I heard this old favorite recently on a television show I was watching and decided to look up the history. It was written in 1833 by Sir Robert Grant, a Scottish Anglican who was born in India. Both Robert and his father served as members of Parliament and directors of the East India Company. His father, Charles, was an early opponent of slavery.
This hymn was inspired by a 16th century hymn by William Kethe — which was, in turn, inspired by Psalm 104. If you read Psalm 104 alongside the words of this O Worship the King, you’ll find many similar phrases. It’s often used as the opening hymn of the worship service. What a great way to start the day!