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 >
st. 1 = Gen. 17:7
st. 2 = Gen. 22
st. 3 = Acts 2:38-39
Isaac Watts (PHH 155) first published this baptism hymn in his Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1707). The Psalter Hymnal has omitted Watts's original third stanza and has altered the text considerably to update the language. Originally the first line read 'Thus saith the mercy of the Lord."
The song's four stanzas in the Psalter Hymnal are a "sung theology" of God's covenant with Abraham and his descendants (Gen. 17:7) expressed in the context of baptism. Stanza 4 offers an unusual apocalyptic view of the meaning of baptism.
ARDEN is a noble, singable, somewhat dramatic tune set to a fine accompaniment suited to harmony singing. Try having a soloist sing the words attributed to God in stanza 1.
George T. Thalben-Ball (b. Sidney, Australia, 1896; d. London, England, 1987) composed ARDEN for the BBG Hymn Book of 1951, on…
Display Title: The Lord Our God in Mercy SpokeFirst Line: The Lord our God in mercy spokeTune Title: ARDENAuthor: Isaac WattsMeter: CMScripture: Genesis 17:7; Acts 2:39; Genesis 15:3Date: 1987Subject: Biblical Names & Places | Abraham; Family | ; Baptism | ; Covenant | ; Faithfulness of God | ; New Creation | ; Promises | ; Temptation & Trial |