Many congregations unknowingly sing the last stanza each Sunday by Thomas Ken (1637-1710). What numerous congregations commonly call “The Doxology” (“Praise God from whom all blessings flow…”) is actually the final stanza of Ken’s hymn, All Praise to Thee, My God, This Night. A native of Hertfordshire, England, Ken was orphaned at age 9 and raised as the ward of Izaak Walton, the husband of his sister, Ann. After his education at Winchester College and Hart Hall, Oxford, he became a fellow of New College in 1657, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Ken was ordained in 1662 and was rector of Little Easton. Ken was among the bishops imprisoned in the Tower of London for refusing to sign James II’s 1687 “Declaration of Indulgence.” The author of many hymns, Ken wrote three hymns that framed the day—morning, evening and midnight. The two that are still in common use are “Awake my soul, and with the sun” and “All praise to thee, my God, this night.” All three hymns conclude with his famous “doxology” stanza1.
All praise to Thee, my God, this night,
For all the blessings of the light!
Keep me, O keep me, King of kings,
Beneath Thine own almighty wings.
Forgive me, Lord, for Thy dear Son,
The ill that I this day have done,
That with the world, myself, and Thee,
I, ere I sleep, at peace may be.
O may my soul on Thee repose,
And with sweet sleep mine eyelids close,
Sleep that may me more vigorous make
To serve my God when I awake
Teach me to live, that I may dread
The grave as little as my bed.
Teach me to die, that so I may
Rise glorious at the judgment day.
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.