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 >
Are we not sons and heirs of God? I. Watts. [Gravity and Decency.] First published with his Sermons on Various Subject, &c, 1721, and was composed on the subject of his sermon on Phil. iv. 8. It was also repeated in 6 stanzas of 4 lines in later editions of the Sermons. In Rippon's Selection1787, it was given, No. 229, as:— "Behold the sons, the heirs of God." and as such is known to modern hymnals.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)