Watts, Isaac, 1674-1748. Divine songs: attempted in easy language for the use of children. By I. Watts, D.D. London: Printed for J. Buckland; J. F. and C. Rivington; T. Longman; W. Fenner; T. Field; and E. and C. Dilly, 1777. xii,58,[2]p.; 12⁰. (ESTC T185045; OTA K123515.000)


    GEORGE the Second, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting. Whereas James Buckland, James Waugh, John Ward, Thomas Longman, and Edward Dilly, Citizens and Booksellers of our City of London, have by their Petition humbly represented unto Us, that they have purchased the Copy-Right of the WHOLE WORKS of the late Doctor ISAAC WATTS, and that they are now printing and preparing for the Press, new Editions with Improvements of several of the separate Pieces of the said Doctor Isaac Watts. They have therefore most humbly prayed Us, that We would be graciously pleased to grant them our Royal Licence and Protection for the sole printing, publishing, and vending the said Works, in as ample Manner and Form as has been done in Cases of the like Nature; We being willing to give all due Encouragement to Works of this Nature, which may be of public Use and Benefit, are graciously pleased to condescend to their Request, and do therefore by these Presents, as far as may be agreeable to the Statute in that Behalf made and provided, grant unto them, the said James Buckland, James Waugh, John Ward, Thomas Longman, and Edward Dilly, their Executors, Administrators, and Assigns, our Royal Privilege and Licence, for the sole printing, publishing, and vending the said Works for the Term of fourteen Years, to be computed from the Date hereof: strictly forbidding and prohibiting all our Subjects with within our Kingdoms and Dominions, to reprint, abridge, or translate the same, either in the like, or any other Volume or Volumes whatsoever, or to import, buy, vend, utter, or distribute any Copies thereof; or printed beyond the Seas, during the aforesaid Term of fourteen Years, without the Consent and Approbation of the said James Buckland, James Waugh, John Ward, Thomas Longman, and Edward Dilly, their Executors, Administrators and Assigns, by Writing under their Hands and Seals first had and obtained, as they and every of them offending herein, will answer the contrary at their Peril: whereof the Commissioners and other Officers of our Customs, the Master, Wardens, and Company of Stationer of our City of London, and all other our Officers and Ministers, whom it may concern, are to take Notice, that due Obedience be rendered to our Pleasure herein signified.

    By His Majesty's Command,
    W. PITT.

    By I. WATTS, D. D.

    MATT. xxi. 16.Out of the Mouths of Babes and Sucklings thou hast perfected Praise.


  • PREFACE, To all that are concerned in the EDUCATION of CHILDREN.

    My Friends,

    IT is an awful and important Charge that is committed to you. The Wisdom and Welfare of the succeeding Generation are intrusted with you beforehand, and depend much on your Conduct. The Seeds of Misery or Happiness in this World, and that to come are oftentimes[Page vi] sown very early; and therefore whatever may conduce to give the Minds of Children a Relish for Virtue and Religion, ought, in the first Place, to be proposed to you.

    VERSE was at first designed for the Service of GOD, though it hath been wretchedly abused since. The Ancients, among the Jews and the Heathens, taught their Children and Disciples the Precepts of Morality and Worship in Verse. The Children of Israel were commanded to learn the Words of the Song of Moses, Deut. xxxi. 19, 30. and we are directed in the New Testament, not only to sing with Grace in the Heart, but to teach, and admonish one another by Hymns and Songs, Ephes. v. 19. And there are these four Advantages in it.

    [Page vii]

    I. THERE is a great Delight in the very learning of Truths and Duties this Way. There is something so amusing and entertaining in Rhymes and Metre, that will incline Children to make this Part of their Business a Diversion. And you may turn their very Duty into a Reward, by giving them the Privilege of learning one of these SONGS every Week, if they fulfil the Business of the Week well, and promising them the Book itself, when they have learnt ten or twenty Songs out of it.

    II. WHAT is learnt in Verse, is longer retained in Memory, and sooner recollected. The like Sounds, and the like Number of Syllables, exceedingly assist the Remembrance. And it may often happen, that the End of a Song running in the Mind, may be an effectual means to keep off some Temptations,[Page viii] or to incline to some Duty, when a Word of Scripture is not upon their Thoughts.

    III. THIS will be a constant Furniture for the Minds of Children, that they may have something to think upon when alone, and sing over to themselves. This may sometimes give their Thoughts a divine Turn, and raise a young Meditation. Thus they will not be forced to seek Relief for an Emptiness of Mind, out of the loose and dangerous Sonnets of the Age.

    IV. THESE Divine Songs may be a pleasant and proper Matter for their Daily or Weekly Worship, to sing one in the Family, at such Time as the Parents or Governors shall appoint; and therefore I have confined the Verse to the most usual Psalm Tunes.

    [Page ix]

    THE greatest part of this little Book was composed several Years ago, at the Request of a Friend, who has been long engaged in the Work of Catechising a very great Number of Children of all kinds, and with abundant Skill and Success. So that you will find here nothing that savours of a Party: The Children of high and low Degree, of the Church of England, or Dissenters, baptised in Infancy, or not, may all join together in these Songs. And as I have endeavoured to sink the Language to the Level of a Child's Understanding, and yet to keep it, if possible, above Contempt; so I have designed to profit all, if possible, and offend none. I hope the more general the Sense is, these Composures may be of the more universal Use and Service.

    [Page x]

    I HAVE added at the End, some Attempts of SONNETS on MORAL SUBJECTS, for Children, with an Air of Pleasantry, to provoke some fitter Pen to write a little Book of them.

    MAY the Almighty GOD make you faithful in this important Work of Education; may he succeed your Cares with his abundant Grace, that the rising Generation of Great Britain may be a Glory among the Nations, a Pattern to the Christian World, and a Blessing to the Earth.


    • Song Page
    • 1. A General Song of Praise to GOD, 1
    • 2. Praise for Creation and Providence, 2
    • 3. Praise to GOD for our Redemption, 4
    • 4. Praise for Mercies spiritual and temporal, 6
    • 5. Praise for Birth and Education in a Christian Land, 7
    • 6. Praise for the Gospel, 9
    • 7. The Excellency of the Bible, 10
    • 8. Praise to GOD for learning to Read, 11
    • 9. The All-seeing GOD, 13
    • 10. Solemn Thoughts of GOD and Death, 15
    • 11. Heaven and Hell, 16
    • 12. The Advantages of early Religion, 17
    • 13. The Danger of Delay, 19
    • 14. Examples of early Piety, 20
    • 15. Against Lying, 22
    • 16. Against Quarrelling and Fighting, 23
    • 17. Love between Brothers and Sisters, 24
    • 18. Against Scoffing and calling Names, 26
    • 19. Against Swearing and Cursing, and taking GOD's Name in vain, 27
    • 20. Against Idleness and Mischief, 29
    • 21. Against evil Company, 30
    • 22. Against Pride in Clothes, 31
    • [Page xii]23. Obedience to Parents, 33
    • 24. The Child's Complaint, 34
    • 25. A MORNING SONG, 35
    • 26. An EVENING SONG, 36
    • 27. An Hymn for the LORD'S-DAY-MORNING, 37
    • 28. An Hymn for the LORD'S-DAY EVENING, 38
    • The Ten Commandments, 39
    • The Sum of the Commandments, 39
    • Our Saviour's Golden Rule, 39
    • Duty to GOD and our Neighbour, 40
    • The Hosanna, in Long Metre, 40
    • — in Short Metre, 41
    • — in Common Metre, 41
    • Glory to the Father, in Long Metre, 42
    • — in Common Metre, 42
    • — in Short Metre, 42
    • A slight Specimen of MORAL SONGS, namely,
      • 1. The Sluggard, 44
      • 2. Innocent Play, 45
      • 3. The Rose, 47
      • 4. The Thief, 48
      • 5. The Ant or Emmet, 49
      • 6. Good Resolutions, 51
      • 7. A Summer Evening, 54
      • 8. A Cradle Hymn, 55
  • SONG I. A general Song of Praise to GOD.
  • SONG II. Praise for Creation and Providence.
  • SONG III. Praise to GOD for our Redemption.
  • SONG IV. Praise for Mercies Spiritual and Temporal.
  • SONG V. Praise for Birth and Education in a Christian Land.
  • SONG VI. Praise for the Gospel.
  • SONG VII. The Excellency of the BIBLE.
  • SONG VIII. Praise to GOD for learning to Read.
  • SONG IX. The All-seeing GOD.
  • SONG X. Solemn Thoughts of GOD and Death.
  • SONG XI. Heaven and Hell.
  • SONG XII. The Advantages of early Religion.
  • SONG XIII. The Danger of Delay.
  • SONG XIV. Examples of early Piety.
  • SONG XV. Against Lying.
  • SONG XVI. Against Quarrelling and Fighting.
  • SONG XVII. Love between Brothers and Sisters.
  • SONG XVIII. Against Scoffing and calling Names.
  • SONG XIX. Against Swearing, and Cursing, and taking God's Name in vain.
  • SONG XX. Against Idleness and Mischief.
  • SONG XXI. Against Evil Company.
  • SONG XXII. Against Pride in Clothes.
  • SONG XXIII. Obedience to Parents.
  • SONG XXIV. The Child's Complaint.
  • The TEN COMMANDMENTS, out of the Old Testament, put into short Rhyme for Children.
  • Our Saviour's Golden Rule.
  • Duty to God and our Neighbour.
  • Out of my Book of HYMNS I have here added the HOSANNA, and GLORY to the Father, &c. to be sung at the End of any of these Songs, according to the Direction of Parents or Governors.

  • [Hymn I.] The Hosanna; or Salvation ascribed to CHRIST.
  • [Hymn II.] GLORY to the FATHER and the SON, &c.
  • SPECIMEN OF MORAL SONGS, Such as I wish some happy and condescending Genius would undertake for the Use of Children, and perform much better.

    THE Sense and Subjects might be borrowed plentifully from the Proverbs of Solomon, from all the common Appearances of Nature, from all the Occurrences in Civil Life, both in City and Country: (Which would also afford Matter for other divine Songs.) Here the Language and Measures should be easy and flowing with Cheerfulness, with or without the Solemnities of Religion, or the sacred Names of GOD and Holy Things; that Children might find Delight and Profit together.

    This would be one effectual Way to deliver them from the Temptation of loving or learning those idle, wanton, or profane Songs, which give so early an ill Taint to the Fancy and Memory; and become the Seeds of future Vices.

    [Page 44][Page 47][Page 54][Page 55]
  • [MORAL SONG] II. Innocent Play.
  • [MORAL SONG] VI. Good Resolutions.
  • THE END.
  • BOOKS published by the AUTHOR for the Use of CHILDREN.

    I. THE first Sett of Catechisms and Prayers: or the Religion of little Children under Seven or Eight Years of Age.

    II. The second Sett of Catechisms and Prayers: or some Helps to the Religion of Children, and their Knowledge of the Scriptures, from Seven to Twelve Years of Age.

    III. The Assembly's Catechism, with Notes; or the Short Catechism, composed by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster: To which is added, A Brief Explication of the more difficult Words and Phrases contained in it, for the Instruction of Youth at Twelve or Fourteen Years of Age.

    IV. A Preservative from the Sins and Follies of Childhood and Youth; written in a Way of Question and Answer: To which is added, A large Catalogue of remarkable Scripture-Names, collected for the Use of Children, and explained for their better Acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures.

    V. The Art of Reading and Writing English: With Rules for reading Verse, and for true Spelling.

    VI. Prayers for the Daily Use and Imitation of Children: suited to their different Ages, and the various Occasions of their younger Years: Together with Instructions to Youth in the Duty of Prayer, drawn up by Way of Question and Answer; and a serious Address to them on that Subject.


    VII. A short View of the Whole Scripture-History: with a Continuation of the Jewish Affairs, from the Old Testament till the Time of Christ; and an Account of the chief Prophecies that relate to Him, represented in a Way of Question and Answer. Illustrated with various Remarks on the History and Religion of the Patriarchs, Jews, and Christians; and on the Laws, Government, Sects, Customs, and Writings of the Jews; and adorned with Figures relating to their Camp, Tabernacle, and Worship.

  • This Day is Published

    A Complete INDEX to DR WATTS'S PSALMS and HYMNS; wherein Reference is had to each Line of the WORK, and the whole digested into an Easy and Natural Alphabetical Order, agreeable to the Doctor's own INDEX to the First Lines of each PSALM and HYMN. And is designed to render that excellent Composition more extensively useful, not only to private Christians, but also to those who take the Lead in Public Worship.

    By D. GUY, of Rye, in Sussex.

    Sold by J. BUCKLAND, in Paternoster-Row; G. KEITH, in Gracechurch-street; J. JOHNSON, in St Paul's Church yard; and by the COMPILER, at Rye. [Price is. 6d. Single, or 3s. bound together.]

    N. B. This is printed on a Size Paper proper to bind up with the PSALMS or HYMNS.