Belknap, Jeremy. “Memoirs of the Lives, Characters and Writings of those two
eminently Pious and useful ministers of Jesus Christ, Dr. Isaac Watts and Dr.
Philip Doddridge.” Boston: Edes & West, 1793.
Looks helpful because it includes an introduction of biographical information, along with some hymns, meditations, and letters, which show a glimpse into Watts’ private life.
Benson, Louis F. The Hymnody of the Christian Church. Richmond Virginia: John
Knox Press, 1956.
Good account of his philosophy/stance on music/hymns. His “system of praise.”
What happened to his hymns/texts – how others changed it, thus changing the
doctrine presented in them. Includes his poetry and method of hymn writing.
Carey, Matthew. “The Beauties of the Late Reverend Dr. Isaac Watts: containing the
most striking and admired Passages in the Works of that justly celebrated Divine,
Philosopher, Moralist, and Poet: equally calculated for the communication of
polite and useful knowledge, and the increase of Wisdom and Happiness, to
which is added – The Life of the Author.” Newburyport, Mass.: Edmund M.
Some biographical information. Mostly this would be useful for looking at some of Watts’ hymns and poems.
Jack, Robert. “A Letter on Psalmody: shewing that human composures ought not to be
used in Christian worship, in singing the praises of God.” Philadelphia: Bailey, 1790.
An interesting essay of disagreement with Watt’s doctrine. Jack asserts
that Watts holds theological positions that are unorthodox.
Ninde, Edwards. Nineteen Centuries of Christian Song. New York: Fleming H. Revell
Biographical information and mood/atmosphere of religion when Watts comes on the scene. Shows how his hymns reflect his nature/character/beliefs.
Smith, Jane, and Betty Carlson. Great Christian Hymn Writers. Wheaton Illinois:
Crossway Books, 1997.
A very brief biography.
Watts, Isaac. “Divine Songs, Attempted in Easy Language, for the use of Children.”
Haverhill, N.H.: Coverly, 1797.
Shows Watts’ interest in raising and educating children in a godly way. Includes a preface to the parents as well as songs for children that appear to have great depth.
Watts, Isaac. “Divine and Moral Songs: Attempted in Easy Language for the use of
Children.” Boston: Hall, 1796.
Similar to the previous collection of Watts’ poems and songs for children, although this also includes prayers for children.