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Isaac Watts’ Pastoral Poetry

I have been reading recently on Isaac Watts who has blessed the church so richly with his hymns.  Below is a good, though lesser known, example of Watts poetry (originally published in Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707-1709).  Many of Watt’s hymns were composed to accompany his sermons and you can see him as a pastor applying the balm of the gospel to his people’s souls.  The beautiful hope of the gospel is clear as is his Christo-centric approach to the Scripture.

May we so teach our people.

Laden with guilt, and full of fears,
I fly to Thee, my Lord,
And not a glimpse of hope appears
But in Thy written Word.

The volume of my Father’s grace
Does all my griefs assuage;
Here I behold my Savior’s face
Almost in every page.

This is the field where hidden lies
The pearl of price unknown;
That merchant is divinely wise
Who makes the pearl his own.

Here consecrated water flows
To quench my thirst of sin;
Here the fair tree of knowledge grows,
Nor danger dwells therein.

This is the Judge that ends the strife
Where wit and reason fail,
My guide to everlasting life
Through all this gloomy vale.

O may Thy counsels, mighty God,
My roving feet command;
Nor I forsake the happy road
That leads to Thy right hand.

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