I’ve been reading through Isaac Watts’ Hymns and Spiritual Songs. He uses clear, vigorous language to present vivid and compelling imagery. I often disagree with his theology, but I think his hymns have rarely been surpassed in the English language. And sometimes I do I agree with his theology. Take, for example, this hymn:
The rich sinner dying, Psalm 49:6-9. Eccl. 8:8. Job 3:14-15.
1 In vain the wealthy mortals toil,
And heap their shining dust in vain,
Look down and scorn the humble poor,
And boast their lofty hills of gain.
2 Their golden cordials cannot ease
Their pained hearts or aching heads,
Nor fright nor bribe approaching death
From glittering roofs and downy beds.
3 The lingering, the unwilling soul
The dismal summons must obey,
And bid a long a sad farewell
To the pale lump of lifeless clay.
4 Thence they are huddled to the grave,
Where kings and slaves have equal thrones;
Their bones without distinction lie
Amongst the heap of meaner bones.
Now that’s what I call vivid imagery. Wouldn’t you enjoy singing that hymn? Wouldn’t it help keep you focused on what’s really important in life?