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 >
God of eternal love. I. Waits. [Psalm cvi.; God's love to Israel.] First published in his Psalms of David, &c, 1719, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled, "Israel punish'd and pardon'd; or, God's unchanging love.” In a note he says:—
"The chief design of this whole Psalm I have ex¬pressed in the Title, and abridged it in this form, having enlarged much more on this same subject in the 77th, 78th, and 105th Psalms.
"Though the Jews now seem to be cast off, yet the Apostle Paul assures us that 'God hath not cast away His people whom He foreknew,' Rom. xi. 2. Their unbelief and absence from God is but for a season, for they shall be recalled again; v. 25, 26."
The use of this hymn is not extensive. Original text in Spurgeon's Our Own Hymn Book, 1866.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)