As a child, it was clear that Isaac Watts was a young man of advanced intelligence. His mother was amazed to discover that he had begun composing verse before he was even 10 years old. Cautious that he had perhaps copied someone else’s material, she confronted him with that suspicion whereupon he sat down in front of her and composed the following:
I am a vile polluted lump of earth;
So I’ve continued ever since my birth;
Although Jehovah grace does daily give me,
As sure as this monster Satan will deceive me.
Come therefore, Lord, from Satan’s claws relieve me.
Wash me in thy blood, O Christ,
And grace divine impart;
Then search and try the corners of my heart,
That I in all things may be fit to do
Service to Thee, and sing thy praises too.
How prophetic those last two lines were! Little did the young man know that he would come to be known as the Father of English Hymnody whose songs would be sung around the world.