John Cennick was born at Reading, Berkshire, in the year 1717. He became acquainted with Wesley and Whitefield, and preached in the Methodist connection. On the separation of Wesley and Whitefield he joined the latter. In 1745, he attached himself to the Moravians, and made a tour in Germany to fully acquaint himself with the Moravian doctrines. He afterwards ministered in Dublin, and in the north of Ireland. He died in London, in 1755, and was buried in the Moravian Cemetery, Chelsea. He was the author of many hymns, some of which are to be found in every collection.
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872.… Go to person page >
Ere I [we] sleep, for every favour. Cennick. [Evening.] Published in his Sacred Hymns for the Children of God, &c, 1741, No. 14, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines, as the second of two hymns for evening. It was repeated in later editions of the same work, in Whitefield's Collection, 1754; in M. Madan's Psalms & Hymns, 1760; the early editions of Lady Huntingdon's Collection, and others of the old collections, and is also well known to modern hymnals, but usually in an abbreviated form, and sometimes as “Ere we sleep," &c. Orig. text in Stevenson's Hymns for the Church & Home, 1873, with the omission of stanza vii., which reads:—
"So whene'er in death I slumber,
Let me rise || With the wise,
Counted in their number."