Simon Browne

Short Name: Simon Browne
Full Name: Browne, Simon, 1680-1732
Birth Year: 1680
Death Year: 1732

Simon Browne was born at Shepton Mallet, Somersetshire, about 1680. He began to preach as an "Independent" before he was twenty years of age, and was soon after settled at Portsmouth. In 1716, he became pastor in London. In 1723, he met with some misfortunes, which preyed upon his mind, and produced that singular case of monomania, recorded in the text-books of Mental Philosophy; he thought that God had "annihilated in him the thinking substance, and utterly divested him of consciousness." "Notwithstanding," says Toplady, "instead of having no soul, he wrote, reasoned, and prayed as if he had two." He died in 1732. His publications number twenty-three, of which some are still in repute.
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872.


Browne, Simon. A contemporary of Dr. Watts, born at Shepton Mallet, Somersetshire, cir. 1680, and died in 1732. After studying for the Independent Ministry under the Rev. John Moore, of Bridgewater, he became pastor of an Independent charge in Portsmouth, and then, in 1716, of the Independent-Chapel in Old Jewry, London. His lateryears were clouded by a peculiar malady, under the influence of which "he imagined that God had in a gradual manner annihilated in him the thinking substance, and utterly divested him of consciousness." It is supposed that the death of a highwayman at his hands during a violent struggle, followed by that of his wife and son a short time after, had much to do in producing this sad result. Whilst thus contending that he had no power to think, he produced a work in defence of Christianity, another in defence of the Trinity, a third as an Exposition of the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, and a fourth in the form of a Dictionary. His publications number over 20. Of these works, he is known to hymnology through his:—

Hymns and Spiritual Songs, in Three Books, designed as a Supplement to Dr. Watts, &c, 1720, 2nd edition 1741, 3rd edition 1760. It contains 166 hymns, 7 doxologies, and a Preface of some historical interest.

In the old collections Simon Browne's hymns (all of which are from the above collection) held a prominent position, but in modern hymnals they are fast passing out of use. The best known and most widely used are "Come, Holy [gracious] Spirit, Heavenly Dove," "O God, on Thee we all depend," and "Lord, at Thy feet we sinners lie." In addition the following are also in common use:—
1. Eternal God, Almighty Cause. Unity of God.
2. Eternal God, of beings First. God all in all .
3. Frequent the day of God returns. Sunday.
4. Great First of beings, Mighty Lord. Creation.
5. Great God, my joyful thanks to Thee. Thanksgiving.
6. Great God, Thy peerless excellence. Imitation of God.
7. Great Lord of earth and seas and skies. Providence.
8. Great Ruler of the earth and sky. Providence.
9. Hail, Holy Spirit, bright, immortal, Dove. Whitsuntide.
10. Hail, happy day, the [thou] day of holy rest. Sunday.
11. I cannot shun the stroke of death. Death.
12. Lord, Thou art good; all nature shows. Divine Goodness.
13. Lord, what a feeble frame is ours. Frailty of Life.
14. O God, on Thee we all depend. Confidence in God.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Texts by Simon Browne (56)sort descendingAsAuthority LanguagesInstances
And now my soul, another yearSimon Browne (Author)English126
And now, my soul the circling sunBrowne (Author)4
At Pentecost, illustrious daySimon Browne (Author)2
Awake, my soul, rouse every powerSimon Browne (Author)9
Awake, my soul, shake off the dreamSimon Browne (Author)1
Bound for the better landSimon Browne (Author)2
Come, gracious Spirit, heavenly Dove, With light and comfort from aboveSimon Browne (Author)English467
Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove, My sinful maladies removeRev. Simon Browne, 1792-1872 (Author)English6
Eternal God! Almighty causeSimon Browne (Author)English106
Eternal God, of beings FirstSimon Browne (Author)English4
Frequent the day of God returnsSimon Browne (Author)English130
From north and south, from east and westButcher (Author)1
God of my life, my thanks to theeSimon Browne (Author)8
God of our lives, our thanks to theeBrowne (Author)8
Great First of beings, mighty LordSimon Browne (Author)English34
Great God, my [our] joyful thanks to TheeSimon Browne (Author)English9
Great God, thy peerless excellenceSimon Browne (Author)10
Great Lord of earth, and seas and skiesBrowne (Author)25
Hail, happy day, the day of sacred restSimon Browne (Author)1
Hail, happy day, thou day of holy restSimon Browne (Author)English28
Hail, Holy Spirit, bright immortal DoveSimon Browne (Author)English7
Hail sovereign love! that first beganBrowne (Author)English1
How oft the day of God returnsBrown (Author)5
Hui mai anei na hoaSimon Browne, 1680-1732 (Author)Hawaiian3
I cannot shun the stroke of deathSimon Browne (Author)14
Jesus, my Savior and my King, to Thee my grateful heart I bringSimon Browne (Author)English2
Jesus the incarnate God of loveSimon Browne (Author)11
Ka uhane lani e iho maiSimon Browne, 1680-1732 (Author)Hawaiian3
Let men of high conceit and zealBrowne (Author)4
Lo what a feeble frame is oursSimon Browne (Author)English1
Lord, at thy feet we sinners lie Simon Browne (Author)English60
Lord, at thy feet in dust I lieBrown, altered (Author)16
Lord, at thy feet we humbly lie, And knock at mercy's doorSimon Browne (Author)4
Lord, Thou art good, all nature showsSimon Browne (Author)English69
Lord, what a feeble frame is oursSimon Browne (Author)3
My soul, forbear on transient thingsSimon Browne (Author)4
O God, my Father, and my KingBrowne (Author)10
O God, my Savior, and my KingBrowne (Author)9
O God, on Thee we all dependSimon Browne (Author)English11
O God, our Father, and our kingSimon Browne (Author)16
O God our Savior and our KingSimon Browne (Author)2
O how can they look up to heavenJ. Browne (Author)English28
O Lord, my Savior and my KingSimon Browne (Author)5
O Lord of earth and seas and skiesSimon Browne (Author)8
Oh amado niño de BelénSimon Browne (Author)Spanish2
Oh, Santo Espíritu de Dios Quien habla con tan suave vozSimon Browne (Author)Spanish2
Shine forth, O Sun of boundless loveSimon Browne, 1680-1732 (Author)1
Stand still, refulgent orb of dayButcher (Author)1
There is a land of pure delight, Where saints immortal reignBrown (Author)English1
To Father, Son, and Spirit, ever blestSimon Browne (Author)English10
To heaven, my longing soul aspireSimon Browne (Author)8
To us the light of truth displayS. Browne (Author)English2
Vain world, thy cheating arts give o'erSimon Browne (Author)6
We cannot shun the stroke of deathSimon Browne (Author)4
Welcome, sweet day, of days the bestSimon Browne (Author)English6
Wherewith shall I approach the LordSimon Browne (Author)40

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