For mercies, countless as the sands

For mercies, countless as the sands

Author: John Newton
Published in 44 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 For mercies, countless as the sands
Which daily I receive
From Jesus, my Redeemer’s hands,
My soul, what canst thou give?

2 Alas! from such a heart as mine,
What can I bring Him forth?
My best is stained and dyed with sin,
My all is nothing worth.

3 Yet this acknowledgement I’ll make
For all He has bestowed;
Salvation’s sacred cup I’ll take,
And call upon my God.

4 The best return for one like me,
So wretched and so poor;
Is from His gifts to draw a plea,
And ask Him still for more.

5 I cannot serve him as I ought,
No works have I to boast;
Yet would I glory in the thought
That I shall owe Him most.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #11923

Author: John Newton

John Newton (b. London, England, 1725; d. London, 1807) was born into a Christian home, but his godly mother died when he was seven, and he joined his father at sea when he was eleven. His licentious and tumul­tuous sailing life included a flogging for attempted desertion from the Royal Navy and captivity by a slave trader in West Africa. After his escape he himself became the captain of a slave ship. Several factors contributed to Newton's conversion: a near-drowning in 1748, the piety of his friend Mary Catlett, (whom he married in 1750), and his reading of Thomas à Kempis' Imitation of Christ. In 1754 he gave up the slave trade and, in association with William Wilberforce, eventually became an ardent abolitionist. After becoming a tide… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: For mercies, countless as the sands
Author: John Newton
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


For mercies countless as the sands. J. Newton. [Praise.] Appeared in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Book i., No. 50, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and based upon Psalms cxvi. 12,13. Its use both in the older, and in modern collections both in Great Britain and America, is extensive. Original text in Hymnal Companion, No. 501.

The authorship of this hymn is sometimes attributed to W. Cowper, the poet, but in error. It is not given in any of the collected works of Cowper, and his signature in the Olney Hymns "C" is not added to this hymn, in any edition with which we are acquainted, and certainly not in the first of 1779. We attribute it to J. Newton on the ground that all unsigned hymns in the Olney are claimed by him.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #11923
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)


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The Cyber Hymnal #11923

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