1 Not all the outward forms on earth,
nor rites that God has giv'n,
nor will of man, nor blood, nor birth,
can raise a soul to heav'n.
The sov'reign will of God alone
creates us heirs of grace
born in the image of His Son,
a new, peculiar race.
2 The Spirit, like some heav'nly wind,
blows on the sons of flesh,
new models all the carnal mind,
and forms the man afresh.
Our quickened souls awake, and rise
from the long sleep of death;
on heav'nly things we fix our eyes,
and praise employs our breath.
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 >
MARTYRDOM was originally an eighteenth-century Scottish folk melody used for the ballad "Helen of Kirkconnel." Hugh Wilson (b. Fenwick, Ayrshire, Scotland, c. 1766; d. Duntocher, Scotland, 1824) adapted MARTYRDOM into a hymn tune in duple meter around 1800. A triple-meter version of the tune was fir…