Hymns for the Amusement of Children
(1771) was the final work completed by Christopher Smart
. It was completed while Smart was imprisoned for outstanding debt at the King's Bench Prison
, and the work is his final exploration of religion. Smart's Hymns
are one of the first works of hymns dedicated to children, and they are intended to teach Christian virtues. Unlike some of the other works produced by Smart after his release from a mental asylum, such as A Song to David
orHymns and Spiritual Songs
, this work was a success and went into many immediate editions. Part of the success of this work lies in the simplicity and accessibility of the text. However, Smart died before he ever saw the proceeds of the work and never learned of the book's success.