388 CHURCH REVIEW.
books which the general reader may rely upon as a means of
cultivating a discriminating literaqy taste, but they, or others of
similar character, form a nucleus around which other valuable
works of literary art will collect; and while in the selection of
books there should be no servile deference to the opinions of
other person, yet it is the duty of each one, it should be con-
sidered a high privilege, to aid in adopting and maintaining a high
standard of literature; therefore, let parents, teachers, authors,
critics, the reading public, generally speaking, make common
cause, and, as co-workers, lend a helping hand in this educational
Kansas City, Mo.
WHICH WAS THE GREATER CHRISTIAN POET-
CHARLES WESLEY OR ISAAC WATTS?
BY REV. JOHN C. BROCK.
DR. Isaac Watts and Rev. Charles Wesley stand out pre-
eminently as the two greatest hymnologists that the English-
speaking world has produced. Each exerted a great and wide
influence in the day in which he lived. Each still lives in the
hymns we sing, the sentiment of which brings to us joy and in-
spiration. For it must be conceded that there is a power in an
inspiring hymn, especially when it is well sung.
As that gifted and talented pulpit orator, the late Rev. Henry
Ward Beecher, says: "No other composition is like an experi-
mental hymn. It is not a mere poetic impulse. It is not a
thought, a fancy, a feeling threaded upon words. It is the voice
of experience speaking from the soul a few words that condense
and often represent a whole life. It is the life, too, not of the
natural feelings growing wild, but of regenerated feeling inspired
by God to a heavenly destiny and making its way through
troubles and hinderances, through joys and victories, dark or
light, sad or serene, yet always struggling forward. Thus born,
a hymn is one of those silent ministers which God sends to those
who are the heirs of salvation."
In this way Dr. Watts and Charles Wesley cheered thousands
of pilgrims whilst pursuing their journey toward the promised
Canaan. These hymns came like flaming flambeaux in a darkened
wilderness to illumine their pathway toward the celestial city.
Dr. Isaac Watts was born at Southampton, England, July 17,
1674, and died at Abney Park, November 25, 1748. At the
early age of 7 years he gave evidence of poetic talent. He
had great love for humanity from childhood to old age, and