Pick up almost any book of hymns and you will note several songs by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), a native of Southhampton, England. The Dictionary of the Christian Church says,
Watts deservedly holds a very high place among English hymn-writers. His hymns reflect his strong and serene faith and did much to make hymn-singing a powerful devotional force, especially in Nonconformity… [especially nonconformity to the Church of England at the time, but used of nonconformity to any Established Church]
Logos is offering The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts free to Logos users for the month of September. See details here.
I have Logos Bible Software 4 open now to a hymn based on Galatians 6:14. The title is “Crucifixion to the world by the cross of Christ.” We probably know this song by the first words, “When I survey the wondrous cross.”
Crucifixion to the world by the cross of Christ.
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 am I 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.
Watts, I. (1998). The Psalms and hymns of Isaac Watts. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Don’t expect modern shaped notes. And if you know nothing of the Meters that were used in Watts’ time, you may simply use the book for devotional readings.
Notice the vivid fourth stanza describing the dying Christ which is often left out of modern hymn books.