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 >
Bright and joyful is the morn. J. Montgomery. [Christmas.] This popular hymn was contributed to the 8th edition of Cotterill's Selection, 1819, No. 213, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, and repeated in Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, 1825, No. 489, and his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 17. Its use is somewhat extensive, both in Great Britain and America. The original text is usually given; but sometimes stanza iii., line 2, reads, “Christ, th’Incarnate Deity," for "The Incarnate Deity." It is sometimes dated 1825, in error.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)