Isaac Watts was an important but relatively unexamined figure and this volume offers a description of his theology, specifically identifying his position on reason and passion as foundational. The book shows how Watts modified a Puritan inherence on both topics in the light of the thought of his day. In particular there is an examination of how he both took on board and reacted against aspects of Enlightenment and sentimentalist thought. Watts’ position on these foundational issued of reason and passion are then shown to lie behind his more practical works to revive the church.
Graham Beynon examines the motivation for Watts’ work in writing hymns, and the way in which he wrote them; and discusses his preaching and prayer. In each of these practical topics Watts’s position is compared to earlier Puritans to show the difference his thinking on reason and passion makes in practice. Isaac Watts is shown to have a coherent position on the foundational issues of reason and passion which drove his view of revival of religion.
Isaac Watts the Dissenting hymnwriter was also an eighteenth-century intellectual who exerted a powerful influence over several generations through his extensive writings. His achievement, as Graham Beynon shows, was to build on his Puritan inheritance by engaging with contemporary thought so as to lay the foundations for the reformation of religion. In many ways he anticipated the concerns of the Evangelical Revival that took off in his later years.
—David Bebbington, University of Stirling, UK
Reason and passion and the relationship between them are key themes in the early eighteenth century. Graham Beynon has made a significant contribution in this area with this volume on reason and passion in the works of Isaac Watts. Beynon examines Watts's approach to reason and passion and the interconnections between those subjects and preaching, worship and prayer. His study makes a significant contribution to the understanding of English Dissent in the first part of the 18th century.
—Robert Strivens, Principal, London Theological Seminary, UK
The strength of this book is that it takes Isaac Watts seriously as a thinker. As such, it will be particularly useful for scholars who wish to better understand Watts' views of reason and passion, and to see how these positions informed his approach to preaching, praise and prayer.
—The Expository Times
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
Graham Beynon is Minister at the Grace Church in Cambridge, UK, and Director of Independent Ministry Training, Oak Hill College, London, UK.