Benjamin Keach, a Baptist pastor in the late 17th century, is often credited as the first Englishman to provide a well-developed defense of the recovery1 of hymn singing (instead of exclusive Psalm singing). His advocacy paved the way for Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, and other significant English hymn writers.
Just because you are a successful advocate of hymn singing, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that you can do the task yourself. Keach wrote and published many hymns, but most of them were just awful. Here is one example that I thought would provide some levity at the end of the week:
Our wounds do stink and are corrupt,
Hard swelling do we see;
We want a little ointment, Lord,
Let us more humble be.
Repentance like a bucket is
To pump the water out;
For leaky is our ship, alas
Which makes us look about.
- Note that I say “recovery,” because the singing of hymns of “human composure” (rather than just inspired Psalmody) has precedence dating back to the early church and Lutheran traditions; it had simply been lost in favor of exclusive Psalm singing in Reformed and Anglican traditions. [↩]