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,… Go to person page >
And now, my soul, another year. S. Browne. [New Year.] In his Hymns & Spiritual Songs, &c, 1720, Bk. i., pp. 44-5, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "New Year's Day." Its use is very limited in Great Britain, but somewhat extensive in America. As given in modern hymnbooks it is generally in an abbreviated form, as in Major's Book of Praise, No. 293, Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, No. 915.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)