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’.
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Does his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
Behold the islands with their kings,
And Europe her best tribute brings;
From north to south the princes meet,
To pay their homage at His feet.
There Persia, glorious to behold,
There India shines in eastern gold;
And barb’rous nations at His word
Submit, and bow, and own their Lord.
To Him shall endless prayer be made,
And praises throng to crown His head;
His Name like sweet perfume shall rise
With every morning sacrifice.
People and realms of every tongue
Dwell on His love with sweetest song;
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings on His Name.
Blessings abound wherever He reigns;
The prisoner leaps to lose his chains;
The weary find eternal rest;
And all the sons of want are blessed.
Where He displays His healing power,
Death and the curse are known no more:
In Him the tribes of Adam boast
More blessings than their father lost.
Let every creature rise and bring
Peculiar honours to our King;
Angels descend with songs again,
And earth repeat the loud amen!