Thursday, 26 March 2015

"Praise God, from whom all blessings flow" - Thomas Ken, 1637-1710

THE doxology of praise to the Holy Trinity was written by the Rev. Thomas Ken, whom King Charles II once made a chaplain to his sister, Mary, Princess of Orange. Ken was so courageous in his preaching at court that the king often said on the way to chapel : "I must go and hear Ken tell me my faults." The king afterward made him Bishop of Bath and Wells. 

Bishop McCabe said that while the prisoners of the Union Army during the Civil War were incarcerated in Libby Prison, day after day they saw comrades passing away and their numbers increased by living recruits. One night, about ten o clock, through the darkness they heard the tramp of 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 when he looked in 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 sang out from an upper window, "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow"; a dozen joined in the second line, more than a score in the third line, and the words "Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" were sung by nearly all the prisoners. As the song died away on the still night, the young man arose and sang: 

"Prisons would palaces prove, 
If Jesus would dwell with me there."  

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