This Day in History: January 15th, 1702
“Isaac Watts is called as pastor to Newington where he will set a high standard of preaching and overcome the resistance of the established church to the introduction of new hymns.”
“Isaac Watts had a pedigree the New England Congregationalists could get behind – his father was a Congregationalist pastor in Southampton, England, who was imprisoned for non-conformity. Watts had taught himself Latin by age four, Greek by nine, and Hebrew by thirteen. He turned down a scholarship to Oxford because he would have had to convert to Anglicanism, and instead went to the dissenters’ school at Stoke Newington, in London. If anyone’s hymns could supplant the Bay Psalm Book in the Yankee congregations, it would be his, which may be why the pastors embraced the change in the mid-Eighteenth Century so readily, even if the congregations did not always, as well.”
This is around the time when singing Psalms in Church was replaced my singing Hymns in Church. This reminds me of when singing Hymns in Church was replaced, in many churches, by singing modern songs. Kind of funny. What goes around comes around. I wonder what will be next. I am sure that we won’t like it at first.
I make a hand bound replica of Isaac Watt’s Hymnal that was originally published in 1767 in Boston. Click the following link to learn more about it: