Newton, John, who was born in London, July 24, 1725, and died there Dec. 21, 1807, occupied an unique position among the founders of the Evangelical School, due as much to the romance of his young life and the striking history of his conversion, as to his force of character. His mother, a pious Dissenter, stored his childish mind with Scripture, but died when he was seven years old. At the age of eleven, after two years' schooling, during which he learned the rudiments of Latin, he went to sea with his father. His life at sea teems with wonderful escapes, vivid dreams, and sailor recklessness. He grew into an abandoned and godless sailor. The religious fits of his boyhood changed into settled infidelity, through the study of Shaftesbury and… Go to person page >
I am, saith Christ, your glorious Head. J. Newton. [Easter.] First published in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Bk. i., No. 116, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed “The Resurrection and the Life." The most popular form of the hymn is that given to it by Cotterill in the 8th edition of his Selection, 1819, No. 18. This is composed of stanzas iv., ii., v.-vii. in the order named, and altered to, "Pour down Thy Spirit, gracious Lord." It is in extensive use, and sometimes as: "Pour out Thy Spirit," &c. Another form was given in Stowell's Manchester Selection, 1831, p. 87, and is still in common use. It begins, "Fulfil Thy promise, gracious Lord," and is composed of stanzas iv.-vi., and slightly altered.
--John Julian Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)