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Olney Hymns: In Three Books
Olney Hymns was compiled by John Newton, the author of "Amazing Grace" and rector of a parish in Olney, England, and William Cowper, a poet and close friend of Newton. The book contained the first printing of "Amazing Grace," which is numbered "Hymn 41" and begins at the bottom of page 53. The profits from the hymnal went to the benefit of Olney's poor. Olney Hymns later was published in New York in 1790 and in Philadelphia in 1791. In his preface to the book, Newton argued that hymns ...
“Amazing Grace” is arguably the best-known Christian hymn. John Newton (1725-1807), a former British slave trader who became an Anglican clergyman and joined the campaign for abolition of the slave trade, wrote the hymn, most likely around Christmas of 1772. Its words express Newton’s personal journey from despair to peace and joy through the gift of grace. Newton believed that in the course of his life at sea and on the African coast he had been miraculously spared on many occasions from death and spiritual ruin. About 60 years ...