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 >
Be joyful in God, all ye lands of the earth. J. Montgomery. [Ps. c.] Published in his Songs of Zion, 1822, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, and in his Poetical Works, 1828 and 1846; but omitted from his Original Hymns, 1853. It is not in common use in Great Britain; but in America, from its appearance in the Prayer Book Collection, 1826, to the present, it has been included in numerous hymnals throughout the States. Original text in the American Baptist Praise Book, N. Y., 1871, No. 255.