In the mid 1600’s, the orphan and Anglican Priest, Thomas Ken became the chaplain of Winchester College. Being dismayed by the rowdy behavior of the students late-night partying and carousing he made an effort to change the culture. To encourage worship, he penned a small book titled “Manual of Prayers”. At the beginning he wrote “Be sure and sing early in the morning and in the night season.” As part of the prayers, he wrote a 13-stanza “Morning Hymn” that began;
Awake my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run
Shake off dull sloth, and early rise
To pay thy morning sacrifice
And concluded with verse 13;
Praise God from whom all blessings flow… You know the rest.
I can imagine the students did not fully appreciate 13 stanzas early in the morning especially the line, “shake off dull sloth, and early rise” but never the less, sing it they did.
He also wrote an Evening hymn which ended with the same verse as the morning hymn, Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
King Charles II elevated Thomas Ken to Bishop in 1679. Charles successor James II stripped him of his title and sent him to prison. Queen Anne released him and offered him the title back, but he refused and left the country.
Thomas Ken spent his last days in poverty and when he died all he had left was an old lute and an old horse. It is said that the morning of his death the six poorest men in the parish carried his casket to the grave and as the sun rose, he was lowered into the ground while his friends sang,
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.