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, we confess our numerous faults. I. Watts. [Salvation by Grace.] First published in his Hymns & Sacred Songs, 2nd ed., 1709, Book i., No. 111, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed "Salvation by Grace." It is in common use in its full form, and also abbreviated and altered as:—
1. 'Tis not by works of righteousness. This arrangement begins with stanza iii. Its use is limited.
2. How wretched was our former state. In the Draft of the Scottish Translations and Paraphrases, 1745, Watts's hymn was given with alterations as No. 19, but in the authorized public worship issue of the Translations and Paraphrases, in 1781, it gave place to "How wretched was our former state," which was thus composed:—stanza i. new; ii. Watts; iii. new; iv. Watts and 1745; v. from 1745; vi. Watts and 1745; vii. from 1745. This recast has been in use in Scotland and elsewhere for more than one hundred years. It is sometimes attributed to W. Cameron (q. v.), but is not assigned to him in the markings, by Cameron's eldest daughter, of the Translations and Paraphrases. Its authorship is therefore doubtful.
3. 'Tis from the mercy of our God. This is a rewritten form of the Scottish Translations and Paraphrases, text, by Miss Jane E. Leeson, and was published in her Paraphrases and Hymns for Congregational Singing, 1853.
Display Title: Lord, We Confess Our Numerous FaultsFirst Line: Lord, we confess our numerous faultsTune Title: ST. FLAVIANAuthor: Isaac WattsMeter: CMSource: Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707-9, number 111