Isaac Watts (1674-1748) argued that the passions, understood synonymously with the affections, were an essential component of the Christian experience. Watts designed a system of hymnody which allowed the worshipper to excite, cultivate, and express their passions. This paper traces the history of the passions and affections in those who were to influence Watts’ thought, before considering the ways Watts’ hymns allowed the passions to be experienced and articulated.
Isaac Watts. Hymns. Passions. Affections. Singing. Worship. Dissent. Calvinism.