By Robert J Morgan
Excerpt From: Then Sings My Soul, Book 2
2004 Thomas Nelson
Make use of me to save a soul, and that will be worth living for.
Several well-known hymns first appeared in Watt’s Psalms of David, including “O God Our Help in Ages Past” (from Psalm 90), “Joy to the World!” (Psalm 98), “Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun,” (Psalm 72), and “I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath,” Watts’ rendition of Psalm 146.
The theme of this hymn reflects Isaac’s great interest in the afterlife. One of his most popular books was The World to Come, in which he vividly described the Bible’s teaching about heaven, hell, and eternity. He wrote, “Death to a good man is but passing through…one little dusky room of his Father’s house into another that is fair and large, lightsome and glorious, and divinely entertaining.”
Then he added this personal note: “Oh, may the rays and splendors of my heavenly apartment shoot far downward and gild the dark entry with such a cheerful beam as to banish every fear when I shall be called to pass through.”
It was as he wished. As he lay on his deathbed for three weeks in November of 1748, at age seventy-four, his friends gathered around. Mustering his strength, he exclaimed, “If God should raise me up again, I may finish some more of my papers, or God can make use of me to save a soul, and that will be worth living for. If God has no more service for me to do, through grace I am ready; it is a great mercy to me that I have no manner of fear or dread of death…”
Isaac Watt was buried in London’s Bunhill Fields, and this epitaph, prepared by himself, was placed at his tomb:
Isaac Watt, D.D., pastor of a church of Christ in London…
After fifty years of feeble labours in the gospel,
Interrupted by four years of tiresome sickness, was at last dismissed to his rest…
2 Corinthians 5:8: Absent from the body, and present with the Lord.
Colossians 3:4: When Christ, who is my life, shall appear,
then shall I also appear with Him in Glory.
November OakLeaf Articles:
The State of the World by Scott Boerckel
Three Priorities to Shape Evangelism by Jim Boerckel
Genuine Curiosity in Gospel Conversations by Matt Kent
A Life Worth Living by Robert J. Morgan
The Message the World Needs to Hear by RD
Nurturing a Love for the Lost by Larry Van Gundy
The Gospel Is Life Itself by Jim Simmons
Participating in the Disciple Making Process by Ron Miller