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 >
Descend from heaven, immortal Dove. I. Watts. [Christ in Glory.] First published in his Hymns & Sacred Songs, 1707 (2nd edition, 1709, Book ii., No. 23), in 6 stanzas of 4 lines. In the older collections two arrangements .are found, the first dating from Whitefield's Collection, 1753, No. 79, and the second from Toplady's Psalms & Hymns, 1776, No. 387 (later eds. No. 367), the last stanza of the latter being altered from Watts, Bk. ii., No. 47, by Toplady. In modern hymnals these centos have given place to others. The full and original text is rarely found in the hymn-books.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)