James Montgomery (b. Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland, 1771; d. Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, 1854), the son of Moravian parents who died on a West Indies mission field while he was in boarding school, Montgomery inherited a strong religious bent, a passion for missions, and an independent mind. He was editor of the Sheffield Iris (1796-1827), a newspaper that sometimes espoused radical causes. Montgomery was imprisoned briefly when he printed a song that celebrated the fall of the Bastille and again when he described a riot in Sheffield that reflected unfavorably on a military commander. He also protested against slavery, the lot of boy chimney sweeps, and lotteries. Associated with Christians of various persuasions, Montgomery supported missio… Go to person page >
A sure and tried foundation stone. J. Montgomery. [Laying Foundation Stone.] Written Sept. 4, 1822, for the laying of the Foundation Stone of St. Philip's Church, Sheffield, and printed for use at that ceremony, [M.MSS.] It was given in Montgomery's Original Hymns, 1853, No. 296, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, entitled "On Laying the Foundation Stone of a Place of Worship." Its use has been very limited, mainly owing to the superior excellence of his hymn, " This stone to Thee in faith we lay," which was written during the following month, and was included in his Christian Psalmist, 1825, whilst this hymn was omitted from all his earlier works.