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Boys and Girls Letter from Mrs Seaton

Dear Boys and Girls,

Isaac Watts, HymnwriterThere was born in the town of Southampton over three-hundred years ago a little baby boy by the name of Isaac Watts. I'm sure if you were to look through the hymn book in your church you would find that name on nearly every page, because Isaac Watts was one of the greatest hymn-writers that ever lived.

When little Isaac Watts was born in the year 1674 the times were very hard for some preachers of the gospel known as Non-conformists. Little Isaac's father was a Non-conformist Minister, and he had been put in prison for preaching the gospel. Very often Isaac's mother would sit outside the prison wall nursing her little boy, and, perhaps, it was because young Isaac had such a hard time at the start of his life, that he was never very strong and was often sick.

In spite of this, however he was a cheery, bright little boy whom everybody loved, especially when he used to make up his funny little rhymes about things that he saw happening from day to day.

One day in school, he was caught laughing during the prayers. He was laughing, because he had noticed a big rat climbing down the bell-rope just behind the master's back. The master (who was his father and now out of the prison) called him to the front of the class, and was just about to give him the strap, when he decided to ask him why he had laughed. Little Isaac at once replied: –

“There was a rat, for want of stairs,
  Came down a rope to go to prayers!”

And his father laughed, as well and let him off.

One other day, his father was going to punish him for making up so many silly rhymes, but Isaac said -

“Dear Father, do some pity take,
  And I will no more verses make.”

And again he escaped from the strap.

However, boys and girls, as Isaac Watts grew older, his funny little rhymes gave way to many great hymns that were to become famous throughout the whole world. One of his greatest hymns, perhaps, is “When I survey the wondrous Cross.” The hymn about our Lord Jesus dying on the cross for our salvation. I wonder, can you sing these words and mean them?

If you would like to hear the hymn sung and read the words here is a link for you to go to.  When I survey the wonderous Cross — Isaac Watts

   Mrs Seaton.

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This Page Title – Boys & Girls Letter from Mrs Seaton – “Isaac and His Silly Rhymes”
The Wicket Gate Magazine "A Continuing Witness".
Internet Edition number 105 – placed on line November 2013
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