The Prisoner

When the poor prisoner through a grate

Author: John Newton
Published in 4 hymnals

Representative Text

1 When the poor prisoner, through a grate,
Sees others walk at large,
How does he mourn his lonely state,
And long for a discharge!

2 Thus I, confined in unbelief,
My loss of freedom mourn;
And spend my hours in fruitless grief,
Until my Lord return.

3 The beam of day which pierces through
The gloom in which I dwell,
Only discloses to my view
The horrors of my cell.

4 [Ah! how my pensive spirit faints,
To think of former days,
When I could triumph with the saints,
And join their songs of praise!]

5 Dear Saviour, for thy mercy’s sake,
My strong, my only plea,
These gates and bars in pieces break,
And set the prisoner free.

Source: A Selection of Hymns for Public Worship. In four parts (10th ed.) (Gadsby's Hymns) #288

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: When the poor prisoner through a grate
Title: The Prisoner
Author: John Newton
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



Instances (1 - 4 of 4)
Page Scan

A Choice Selection of Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians #400


A Selection of Hymns for Public Worship. In four parts (10th ed.) (Gadsby's Hymns) #288

Old School Sonnets, or a Selection of Choice Hymns #d314

Page Scan

The Baptist Hymn Book #1004

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