William Reed Newell was born in Savannah, Ohio, on May 22, 1868. He died April 1, 1956 in DeLand, Florida.
He was highly educated at Wooster College, Princeton and Oberlin Theological Seminaries. In 1895 he went to Chicago as pastor of Bethesda Congregational Church. He was also a pastor of several churches before being the assistant Superintendent at Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.
He did not limit himself to the classroom, however, but was a highly sought after Bible Conference speaker and teacher. For years at the suggestion of Dwight L. Moody, he would travel by train to hold Bible classes in different cities. He also authored several treasured commentaries on the Bible, noted for their deep spiritual insight and application to daily living.
A search of the mention of his name returns a huge list of commentaries that quote him and a large number of Theology works and Bible Study books that refer to him. Just a couple samples of the things he has been quoted as saying are as follows:
“If men are not won by grace, they will never be won.”
“The thing the Law could not do—was accomplished by God! The law was powerless on account of the flesh. The Law, holy, just and good, could command; but the flesh was not subject to it, and could not be. Therefore the Law could forbid, rebuke, reprimand, and curse sin; but could not effectually condemn it, as connected with the flesh. When Christ comes, thank God, we shall be freed from the very presence of sin. But it has already been condemned in the flesh, and should be reckoned so by us all. Just as really as our sins were put away by the blood of Christ, so was sin in the flesh condemned, judgment executed on it.
He wrote the following Hymn:
Dallas Theological Seminary, Bibliotheca Sacra (Dallas Theological Seminary, 1939; 2002). Vol. 96. p.306-307. Quoting W.R. Newell from Romans, Verse by Verse, p. 295.
Kenneth W. Osbeck, 101 More Hymn Stories (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1985) p. 39.
William J. Reynolds, Companion to Baptist Hymnal (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1976) p. 390.
Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1996, c1989). Re 15:5