1 I lift my soul to God! My trust is in his name; Let not my foes, that seek my blood, Still triumph in my shame. 2 From early dawning light, Till evening shades arise, For thy salvation, Lord, I wait, With ever-longing eyes.
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 >
I lift my soul to God. I. Watts. [Ps. xxv.] Part i. of his version of Ps. xxv. in his Psalms of David, &c, 1719, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, headed "Waiting for Pardon and Direction." In the Church Pastorals, Boston, 1864, and other American collections, stanzas iii.-vi. are given as, " From the first dawning light." A cento in the Leeds Hymn Book, 1853, No. 31, begins with the same stanza. It is composed of stanzas ii., iv. of Pt. i.; stanzas i., vii., viii. of Pt. iii. The American arrangement is the more popular of the two.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)