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 >
Lord, I am Thine, but Thou wilt prove. I. Watts. [Psalms xvii.] First published in his Psalms of David, &c, 1719, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed “The Sinner's Portion and the Saint's Hope; or, The Heaven of separate Souls and the Resurrection." It is given in its original form in the Hymnal Companion and a few other hymnbooks. In addition there are also the following abbreviations in common use:—
1. All, all is vanity below. This is an altered form of stanzas iii.-vi. It appeared in the first edition of Cotterill's Selection, 1810; and is found in several modern collections, including that for the Harrow School Chapel, and others.
2. What sinners value, I resign. This is the most popular form of the hymn, and is in extensive use in Great Britain and America. It appeared in A. M. Toplady's Psalms & Hymns, 1776, No. 154.