Vain are the hopes the sons of menAuthor: Isaac Watts
Published in 128 hymnals
Vain are the hopes the sons of men. I. Watts. [Justification by Faith.] Published in his Hymns and Sacred Songs, 1709, Bk. i., No. 94, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed “Justification by Faith, not by Works; or, The Law condemns, Grace justifies, Rom. iii. 19-22." In the Draft of the Scottish Translations and Paraphrases, 1745, it was given unaltered; in that of 1751 it was slightly changed; and in the authorised issue of the Translations and Paraphrases, 1781, No. xli., st. i., ii. were rewritten, but began with the original first line as above; st. iii. was taken from the Draft of 1751; and st. iv. unaltered from Watts. In the markings by the eldest daughter of W. Cameron these alterations are attributed to him. The use of the 1781 form of the text is far more extensive than that of the original.
John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)