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Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts

(1674 – 1748)


Come, we that love the Lord

Born in Southampton, (UK) Dr. Watts became known as the father of English hymnody. The story goes that one day after returning from a Dissenting meeting house, the young Watts complained about the poor content of the Psalmody; he said that it is as if Jesus had never come! His Father then turned to him and told young Isaac to produce something better. And so he did, producing some of the most wonderful Christ – centred hymns in the language. Watts became known as the ‘Father of English hymns’.

This hymn is usually sung with the refrain ‘we’re marching to Zion’; here the hymn is given in its original form – as it appears in Watts’ ‘Psalms and Hymns’.


Come, we that love the Lord,
And let our joys be known;
Join in a song of sweet accord,
And thus surround the throne.


[The sorrows of the mind
Be banished from the place;
Religion never was design’d
To make our pleasures less]


Let those refuse to sing
That never knew our God;
But fav’rites of the heavenly King
May speak their joys abroad.


[The God that rules on high,
And thunders when He please,
That rides upon the stormy sky,
And manges the seas;]


This awful God is ours,
Out Father and our Love;
He shall send down His heav’nly powers
To carry us above.


There we shall see His face,
And never, never sin;
There, from the rivers of His grace,
Drink endless pleasures in.


Yes, and before we rise
To that immortal state,
The thoughts of such amazing bliss
Should constant joys create.


[The men of grace have found
Glory begun below;
Celestial fruits on earthly ground
From faith and hope may grow.]


The hill of Sion yields
A thousand sacred sweets,
Before we reach the heav’nly fields,
Or walk the golden streets.


Then let our songs abound,
And every tear be dry;
We’re marching thro’ Immanuel’s ground
To fairer worlds on high.