I love hymns. I love their structure, which provides for lyrical poetry, theological depth, and congregational singing. Often at Grace Fellowship we sing songs based on historic hymn texts which are adapted with updated lyrics and melodies to bring them into our musical context.
Two of the songs we sang yesterday were inspired by hymns from the 18th Century. Both “Only Your Blood is Enough” and “Refuge” are Isaac Watts hymns adapted by Neil Robbins from Sojourn Church. Isaac Watts wrote over 600 hymns. The following quote is a quote on Watts from ccel.org:
Watts’ most published book was his Psalms of David, first published in 1719. In his poetic paraphrases of the psalms, Watts adapted the psalms for use by the Church and made David speak “the language of a Christian.” Examples of Watts’ method can be seen in his paraphrases of Psalm 72 into the hymn “Jesus Shall Reign Wher’er the Sun,” Psalm 90 into “O God, Our Help in Ages Past,” and Psalm 98 into “Joy to the World.”
Click on the links below to view the original hymn texts from Isaac Watts for the two songs from yesterday’s service.
Since there is a rich history of hymns in the Christian faith, I appreciate modern-day writers taking the time to research them, update them, and make them available for the current generation.