Help, or I Perish

Representative Text

1 By Thy birth, and by Thy tears,
By Thy human griefs and fears,
By Thy conflict in the hour
Of the subtle tempter's power:
Saviour, look with pitying eye;
Saviour, help me, or I die.

2 By Thy lonely hour of prayer,
By Thy fearful conflict there,
By Thy cross and dying cries,
By Thy one great sacrifice:
Saviour, look with pitying eye;
Saviour, help me, or I die.

3 By Thy triumph o'er the grave,
By Thy power the lost to save,
By Thy high, majestic throne,
By the empire all Thine own,
Saviour, look with pitying eye;
Saviour, help me, or I die.


Source: The A.M.E. Zion Hymnal: official hymnal of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church #425

Author: Robert Grant

Robert Grant (b. Bengal, India, 1779; d. Dalpoorie, India, 1838) was influenced in writing this text by William Kethe’s paraphrase of Psalm 104 in the Anglo-Genevan Psalter (1561). Grant’s text was first published in Edward Bickersteth’s Christian Psalmody (1833) with several unauthorized alterations. In 1835 his original six-stanza text was published in Henry Elliott’s Psalm and Hymns (The original stanza 3 was omitted in Lift Up Your Hearts). Of Scottish ancestry, Grant was born in India, where his father was a director of the East India Company. He attended Magdalen College, Cambridge, and was called to the bar in 1807. He had a distinguished public career a Governor of Bombay and as a member of the British Parliament, where… Go to person page >

Alterer: James Montgomery

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 >

Text Information

First Line: By thy birth, and by thy tears
Title: Help, or I Perish
Author: Robert Grant
Alterer: James Montgomery
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


From the hymn "Saviour when in dust to thee," by Robert Grant, altered by James Montgomery for Thomas Cotterill's Selection of Psalms and Hymns, 8th Ed. (1819).


TOPLADY (Hastings)


REDHEAD 76 is named for its composer, who published it as number 76 in his influential Church Hymn Tunes, Ancient and Modern (1853) as a setting for the hymn text "Rock of Ages." It has been associated with Psalm 51 since the 1912 Psalter, where the tune was named AJALON. The tune is also known as P…

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The Cyber Hymnal #663
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The A.M.E. Zion Hymnal #425


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