John Newton has made regular appearances on this blog. Over the years I have posted a number of quotes and hymns by him. A few years ago I reviewed Jonathan Aitken’s biography of Newton and provided a short summary of his life and legacy. And most recently I mentioned his influential role in the life of William Cowper and their collaborative hymn writing work. Since the focus of this series is hymn writing, perhaps we could say a little more …
Isaac Watts (1674-1748) was an English pastor, preacher, poet, and hymn writer. Wrote about 600 hymns including When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Am I a Soldier of the Cross, and Joy to the World. Considered the founder of English hymnody and children's hymnody. Published books of poetry, hymns, and three volumes of theological discourses.
William Williams Pantycelyn - also know as William williams is generally acknowledged as Wales' most famous hymn writer.He wrote some of his work in English but the great majority is in his native Welsh. 1717-1791 - Williams virtuosity as a hymn-writer earned him the accolade Y per ganiedydd (The Sweet Songster). He was also known by the bardic name of Pantycelyn or "Holly Hollow", the name of his farm.
E. O. Excell (1851-1921) was an American composer of hymns and music director. Composed the music for the hymn "Count Your Blessings," and both the words and music for "Since I Have Been Redeemed." Worked with evangelists Sam Jones (for two decades) and Gipsy Smith.