On July 17, 1674 Isaac Watts was born in England.
Watts initially was trained for the pastoral ministry and on this same date in 1698, he preached his first sermon at Mark Lane in London. So 314 years ago was his initial sermon.
Poor health prevented Watts from continuing in pastoral work. Instead he turned to writing hymns.
He penned many of the hymns that the church still sings. Below are the six verses to my favorite Watt’s hymn.
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
To Christ, who won for sinners grace
By bitter grief and anguish sore,
Be praise from all the ransomed race
Forever and forevermore.