The Olney Hymns (/ˈoʊni/) were first published in February 1779, and are the combined work of curate John Newton (1725–1807) and his poet friend, William Cowper (1731–1800). The hymns were written for use in Newton's rural parish which was made up of relatively poor and uneducated followers. The Olney Hymns are an illustration of the potent ideologies of the Evangelical movement, to which both men belonged, present in many communities in England at the time.
The Olney Hymns were very popular; by 1836 there had been 37 recorded editions, and it is likely that many other editions were printed in both Britain and America. As hymn-singing gained popularity in the nineteenth century, many (around 25) of the hymns were reproduced in other hymn-books and pamphlets. Today around six of the original 348 Olney Hymns regularly feature in modern church worship, the most famous of which is "Amazing Grace".
Famous quotes containing the word hymns:
“The form of act or thought mattered nothing. The hymns of David, the plays of Shakespeare, the metaphysics of Descartes, the crimes of Borgia, the virtues of Antonine, the atheism of yesterday and the materialism of to-day, were all emanation of divine thought, doing their appointed work. It was the duty of the church to deal with them all, not as though they existed through a power hostile to the deity, but as instruments of the deity to work out his unrevealed ends.”
—Henry Brooks Adams (18381918)