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Isaac Watts has often been called "the Father of English Hymnody." He is responsible for many of my favorite hymns:

  • Joy to the world (arranged by Lowell Mason to an older melody originating from Handel)
  • Come ye that love the Lord (often sung with the chorus [and titled] "We’re marching to Zion")
  • O God, Our Help in Ages Past
  • When I survey the wondrous cross
  • Alas! and did my Saviour bleed

and many, many others. I've seen his hymns in Baptist, Anglican, and Methodist hymnals, so I'm assuming he's Protestant in some fashion (although I'd love to know if he is in Catholic hymnals), but I don't know what tradition he himself was.

Does he he make a confession in a particular denomination?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Quoth Wikipedia:

Likewise, Isaac Watts held religious opinions that were more non-denominational or ecumenical than was at that time common for a Nonconformist; he had a greater interest in promoting education and scholarship than preaching for any particular ministry.

The general consensus is that Watts' father was a dissenter and that Watts followed suit. No denomination truly claim him as "one of their own". That said, his particular congregation was independent in 18th century UK. Now, while that does not necessarily mean that he was of Puritan stock, it means that he was far closer to that than, say, Presbyterian. And, FWIW, the Puritan church in the US predominantly became Congregationalists.

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That link on Watts is great. I hadn't realized how learned Watts really was till reading that. Thanks! –  Affable Geek Feb 15 '12 at 20:29
This means that he was technically Anglican, but on the fringe, correct? –  John Peyton Aug 10 '13 at 22:01
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