Scripture Verse

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from…the Father. James 1:17


Thomas Ken (1637–1711)

Words: Tho­mas Ken, 1674. These lyr­ics, sung as the Dox­olo­gy in ma­ny church­es, are ac­tu­al­ly the last verse of a long­er hymn, Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun.

Music: Old 100th Ge­ne­van Psal­ter, 1551, at­trib­ut­ed to Lou­is Bour­geois (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Bour­geois (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


Many have heard from Chap­lain Mc­Cabe’s own fire-touched lips, how this grand old dox­olo­gy, that has doubt­less been on more lips than any other un­in­spired pro­duc­tion, was sung by the star­ving boys in blue [Un­ion sol­diers in the Am­er­ican ci­vil war] that were in­car­cer­at­ed in Lib­by Prison [Rich­mond, Vir­gin­ia].

Day af­ter day they saw com­rades pass­ing away, and their num­bers in­creased by fresh, liv­ing re­cruits for the grave.

One night about ten o’clock, through the still­ness and the dark­ness, they heard the tramp of com­ing feet, that soon stopped be­fore the pris­on door un­til ar­range­ments could be made in­side. In the com­pa­ny was a young Bap­tist min­is­ter, whose heart al­most faint­ed as he looked on those cold walls and thought of the suf­fer­ing in­side.

Tired and wea­ry, he sat down, put his face in his hands and wept. Just then a lone voice of deep, sweet pa­thos, sung out from an up­per win­dow—

Praise God from whom all bless­ings flow;

And a doz­en man­ly voic­es joined in the se­cond line—

Praise Him all crea­tures here be­low

And then by the time the third was reached, more than a score of hearts were full, and these joined to send the words on high—

Praise Him above ye hea­ven­ly host;

And by this time the pris­on was all al­ive, and seemed to quiv­er with the sac­red song, as from ev­ery room and cell those brave men sang—

Praise Fa­ther, Son, and Ho­ly Ghost.

As the song died out on the still night that en­vel­oped in dark­ness the doomed ci­ty of Rich­mond, the young man arose and hap­pi­ly said—

Pris­ons would pal­ac­es prove
If Je­sus would dwell with me there

Crafts, pp. 122–24


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.