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 >
Hail! Alpha and Omega, hail. J. Cennick. [Faith desired.] Published in his Sacred Hymns for the Children of God, &c, 1741, No. 82, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled," A Prayer for Faith." In 1774 it was given in R. Conyers's Collection; No. 78, stanza 3 being omitted. This arrangement has generally been followed by later editors, as in the Moravian Hymn Book, 1849, and others. In Kennedy, 1863, it reads: "Great Alpha and Omega, hail” In the Moravian Hymn Book, 1886, it begins with stanza ii., “Hail, First and Last," &c.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)