Isaac Watts was a genius. At four years of age, he had learned Latin, at nine Greek, at 11 French, and at 13 years old, Hebrew. His poetic re-working of the Psalms was magnificent.
Unfortunately for poor Isaac, he was not a looker. His one chance at love came and went with a young lady named Elizabeth Singer, who actually fell in love with Watts sight-unseen through his published poems. Elizabeth was so taken with this man, who could write so deeply and passionately, that she threw caution to the wind and in a letter asked him to marry her.
But when they finally met, she retracted her offer. She later wrote that Isaac Watts was "only five feet tall, with a shallow face, hooked nose, prominent cheek bones, small eyes, and deathlike color...I admired the jewel but not the casket that contained it."
Isaac never married, but he spent his single life focused on the glory of God. In 1719, Watts published his poetic work based on Psalm 98 that would go on to become what many consider the greatest Christmas hymn of all time: "Joy to the World."
(Lloyd Stilley, LifeWay. From a sermon by Ed Sasnett, "Zechariah’s Song" 12/29/2008)
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