Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >
Almighty Ruler of the skies. I. Watts. [Ps. viii.] His L. M. paraphrase of v. 1, 2, of Ps. viii., first published in his Psalms of David, 1719, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "The Hosanna of the Children; or, Infants praising God." His explanation of the opening stanzas is given in a note thus:—"These two first verses are here paraphrased and explained by the history of the Children crying Hosanna to Christ, Matt. xxi. 15,16, where our Saviour cites and applies those words of the Psalmist."
Although not of the first importance, it might be utilized as a hymn for Palm Sunday. Its use is limited. The New Congregational Hymn Book, copying from the Leeds Hymn Book, 1853, omits st. iii. and v.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)