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Cennick, John, was born in Berkshire, England, December 12, 1718. Being converted in his seventeenth year, he connected himself first with the Methodists and became a preacher among them, and was placed in charge of the Kingswood School; but his theological views undergoing a change, he separated from them in 1741, carrying several members with him and founding an independent society of his own, which, however, was soon gathered into the Whitefield, or Lady Huntingdon, Connection. A few years later he joined the Moravians, and spent most of the remainder of his life in the northern part of Ireland, returning to London in 1755, where he died July 4 of that same year, at the age of thirty-seven. He was a man of sincere and earnest piety. His first hymns were written for the use of the Methodists, and were altered and probably improved by the Wesleys. He published Sacred Hymns in three parts and in various editions, 1741-49, and in 1754 his Hymns to the Honor of Jesus Christ, Composed for Such Little Children as Desire to be Saved. "I would not have any," says Cennick, "who read these hymns look to find either good poetry or fine language, for indeed there is none." to which Dr. Hatfield says: "It was the truth. The few hymns from his pen that are now used have been considerably modified to fit them for the service of song, and are known at present almost wholly in these altered forms." He is the author of two well-known "Graces" before and after meat, commencing, "Be present at our table, Lord," and "We thank thee, Lord, for his our food." (See notes under Nos. 306 and 532 for further biographical facts.) His three best hymns are:

Children of the heavenly King 547
Jesus, my all, to heaven is gone 306
Thou dear Redeemer, dying Lamb 532
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