Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven -Henry F. Lyte

Henry F. Lyte, the author of “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven,” was born in Scotland in 1793. He lost his parents as a child and was never physically strong.  He struggled to graduate from Trinity College in Dublin, and he canceled his plans for a medical career. At the age of twenty-one, he was ordained and began to serve several small churches in Ireland. When he was thirty, he was appointed to a church at Lower Brixham, Devonshire, a fishing village on the English coast. He served there for more than twenty years, and he was greatly admired by the people. Even though he experienced ill health, over eight-hundred children had been a part of his Sunday School. In addition to his preaching at the church, he ministered to the sailors and fishermen on the docks. He wrote over 80 hymns and nearly 300 paraphrases of the Psalms.


Published in 1834, “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven” was inspired by Psalm 103.  The opening stanza reflects on the first five verses of the Psalm, summarizing the benefits of the abundant life found in Christ. The Christian is ransomed, healed, restored, and forgiven. The stanzas go on praising God for His grace, mercy, faithfulness, and creation.  The most frequently-used tune was composed specifically for this hymn by Sir John Goss.  Over the years, several tunes have been associated with the hymn, causing the words to be changed to fit the alternate tunes. The original recurring phrase, “Praise him! Praise him,” has been replaced with “Alleluia! Alleluia!” in some hymnals. Many editors have omitted stanza 4, which clearly expresses verses 15-17 of the Psalm.


Queen Elizabeth II requested that the hymn be used as the processional for her wedding in Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947, which, coincidentally, was also the one-hundredth anniversary of Lyte’s death. This was quite a recognition for an unknown preacher who was said to have no fame other than his own saintly character and a handful of hymns. This triumphant hymn has continued to be a blessing to many for nearly 200 years.


Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (Psalm 103: 1-2)


Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;
To his feet thy tribute bring!
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Who like me his praise should sing?
Praise him! praise him!
 Praise him! praise him!
Praise the everlasting King!
Praise him for his grace and favour
To our fathers in distress!
Praise him still the same for ever,
Slow to chide, and swift to bless!
Praise him! praise him,
Praise him! praise him,
Glorious in his faithfulness!
Fatherlike he tends and spares us;
Well our feeble frame he knows.
In his hands he gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes.
Praise him! praise him,
Praise him! praise him,
Widely as his mercy flows!
Frail as summer’s flow’r we flourish;
Blows the wind, and it is gone,
But while mortals rise and perish,
God endures unchanging on.
Praise him! praise him!
Praise him! praise him!
Praise the high eternal One!
 Angels, help us to adore him;
Ye behold him face to face:
Sun and moon, bow down before him;
Dwellers all in time and space,
Praise him! praise him!
Praise him! praise him!
Praise with us the God of grace!


All rights reserved. Without the express written permission of the publisher, this publication may not be reproduced or transmitted, whether in whole or in part, in any form or by any means - electronic, mechanical, photocopy, storage retrieval system, recording, or any other.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.