Montgomery, James, son of John Montgomery, a Moravian minister, was born at Irvine, Ayrshire, Nov. 4, 1771. In 1776 he removed with his parents to the Moravian Settlement at Gracehill, near Ballymena, county of Antrim. Two years after he was sent to the Fulneck Seminary, Yorkshire. He left Fulneck in 1787, and entered a retail shop at Mirfield, near Wakefield. Soon tiring of that he entered upon a similar situation at Wath, near Rotherham, only to find it quite as unsuitable to his taste as the former. A journey to London, with the hope of finding a publisher for his youthful poems ended in failure; and in 1792 he was glad to leave Wath for Shefield to join Mr. Gales, an auctioneer, bookseller, and printer of the Sheffield Register newspap… 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.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)