The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

While With Ceaseless Course The Sun

For the New Year

Words: John Newton (1725-1807), 1779,
Olney Hymns. London: W. Oliver, 1779, Book II, Hymn 1.

Music: Christe, wahres Seelenlicht
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML

Meter: 77 77 D

1. While with ceaseless course the sun
Hasted through the former year,
Many souls their race have run,
Nevermore to meet us here;
Fixed in an eternal state,
They have done with all below.
We a little longer wait,
But how little, none can know.

2. As the winged arrow files
Speedily the mark to find;
As the lightning from the skies
Darts and leaves no trace behind,
Swiftly thus our fleeting days
Bear us down life's rapid stream.
Upward, Lord, our spirits raise;
All below is but a dream.

3. Thanks for mercies past receive,
Pardon of our sins renew;
Teach us henceforth how to live
With eternity in view.
Bless Thy Word to young and old,
Fill us with a Savior's love;
And when life's short tale is told,
May we dwell with Thee above.

Sheet Music from Hugh Blair and Lister R. Peace, eds., Church Hymnal For The Christian Year. London: Novello & Company, Ltd., 1917, #124.

Sheet Music "Benevento" by Samuel Webbe, 1782, from Henry Sloane Coffin and Ambrose White Vernon, eds., Hymns of the Kingdom of God. New York: The A. S. Barnes Company, 1910, #453.


Hymns on this site by John Newton:

For more information, see:

CCEL, The Olney Hymns (

Rodney Canete, The Olney Hymns by John Newton. Brown University, 1997. (

Al Rogers, Amazing Grace: The Story of John Newton (

The Cyberhymnal, John Newton (

All sites accessed February 17, 2007. All links open at an exterior site.

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