Home > Uncategorized > Music Monday: Isaac Watt’s first hymn

Music Monday: Isaac Watt’s first hymn

I’ve been overwhelmed recently by the great work our worship pastors & teams are doing here at the Summit. They’ve got a serious album coming out next month titled “Jesus in My Place” that I cannot wait to hear. I’m coming to realize how powerful a tool music can be, especially in 21st century culture. We love music. It’s on all of the time, everywhere we go (I do not think that’s necessarily healthy as we are losing the ability & desire to sit in silence before God, but I digress). One of our worship pastors, Matt Papa, told me once that a song can be as powerful as a sermon, with a hook people will remember and repeat. And its true. I don’t walk around reciting sermon illustrations, but I do sing whatever song has embedded itself into my brain.

All that to say, I’m on a new journey. Exploring music, from various genres and periods, that preach the gospel. I hope you find this edifying. I do not intend to bombard the blog with this journey. Maybe once a week shed light on a great song & where you can find more like it. BTW: I am NOT a music buff. Most of the office laughs at my commitment to pandora because it finds music for me. So this will be an investigation for me. Feel free to make recommendations!

Isaac Watts was one of the greats, so I’m told, at hymn writing. I read about a dozen of his hymns today and can tell you the young man had an awareness of scripture & love of jesus that spilled out in his lyrics. I also ran into some familiar hymns from my baptist hymnal years! The lyrics below are said to be his first. Written as a teenager trying to convince his church that by only singing the Psalms, they were missing new testament truth. So in reflection on Revelation 5-12, in 1688 as a teenager he wrote “A New Song to the Lamb that was Slain.” You can find it and many others of his in Hymns & Spiritual Songs. Here are the lyrics:

Behold the glories of the Lamb
Amidst His Father’s throne.
Prepare new honors for His Name,
And songs before unknown.

Let elders worship at His feet,
The Church adore around,
With vials full of odors sweet,
And harps of sweeter sound.

Those are the prayers of the saints,
And these the hymns they raise;
Jesus is kind to our complaints,
He loves to hear our praise.

Eternal Father, who shall look
Into Thy secret will?
Who but the Son should take that Book
And open every seal?

He shall fulfill Thy great decrees,
The Son deserves it well;
Lo, in His hand the sovereign keys
Of Heav’n, and death, and hell!

Now to the Lamb that once was slain
Be endless blessings paid;
Salvation, glory, joy remain
Forever on Thy head.

Thou hast redeemed our souls with blood,
Hast set the prisoner free;
Hast made us kings and priests to God,
And we shall reign with Thee.

The worlds of nature and of grace
Are put beneath Thy power;
Then shorten these delaying days,
And bring the promised hour.

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