Isaac Watts, Hymn Writer

25 November -- Commemoration
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, Common of any Saint, page 531

Born in Southampton in 1674, Isaac Watts was educated at the local grammar school and had the opportunity to go on to university, but declined because he preferred the dissenting academy at Stoke Newington. He received there an education of high academic standard and he went on to become the pastor to the Independent (or Congregationalist) Church at Mark Lane in London. Due to his deteriorating health, he resigned this post in 1712 and retired to Stoke Newington. Seven years later, he opposed the imposition of the doctrine of the Trinity on his fellow dissenting ministers, which led to the belief that he had become a Unitarian. Isaac wrote many collections of hymns and his own faith showed clearly through them: When I survey the wondrous cross, Jesus shall reign where'er the sun and many others still used in worship. He died at Stoke Newington on this day in 1748.