Newton wrote over 300 hymns, often at the rate of one a week. He published a collection of hymns by himself and his close friend William Cowper in 1779 as Olney Hymns.
The best known of John Newton's hymns is Amazing Grace. For over two centuries, the hymn has proved to be a great comfort to countless people. In the 1970's it was in the hit parade three times. Today there are over 3,000 different recordings of this one hymn - a Guinness Record?
Other well known hymns by Newton are:
Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion city of our God
How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
Let us love and sing and wonder
May the grace of Christ my Saviour
One there is above all others
Why should I fear the darkest hour?
Some of his lesser known hymns are about spiders, lions (when the circus came to town), an eclipse of the moon and an earthquake. One of his earliest hymns was written before he became a minister, while he was working as Surveyor of Tides in Liverpool. He wrote it specially to be sung to his wife's favourite tune from an opera by their contemporary Thomas Augustine Arne (the composer of Rule Britannia and God save the King).
We will be adding in some information on individual hymns on this page. Keep a look-out.
Hymns on this website are printed in modern form e.g. "t'assuage" is printed as "to assuage" and "hov'ring" as "hovering".
To hear some new tunes to some of the Olney Hymns turn to Todd Murray's compositions at the Bible Church, Little Rock.