Isaac Watts (1674-1748) was an English hymn writer and wrote over 750 hymns in his lifetime, many of which are still sung in churches today.
Read about how Watts got started in hymn writing after a sarcastic comment from his father:1
Matthew Arnold [an English poet of the 1800’s] declared the greatest Christian hymn in the English language to be “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”
At least it is admittedly the greatest hymn of a great hymn-writer, Isaac Watts, the father of modern English hymnody. He was the son of a deacon in the Independent Church, who had no sympathy with young Watts’ custom of making rhymes and verses when a boy.
At the age of eighteen Watts was one day ridiculing some of the poor hymns then sung in the churches, when his father said to him, sarcastically, “Make some yourself, then.”