Climb we the mountain afar,
In the still hour of even;
Led by yon beautiful star,
First of the daughters of heaven:
Darkness yet covers the face of the deep;
Spirit of freedom! go forth in thy might,
Break the slave’s bondage like infancy’s sleep,
The moment when God shall say, Let there be light!
Gaze we meanwhile for the day,
Praying in thought while we gaze;
Watch for the morning’s first ray;
Prayer then be turned into praise!
Shout to the valleys, Behold ye the morn,
Long, long desired, but denied to our sight;
Lo, myriads of slaves into men are new-born;
The word was omnipotent, and there is light!
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 >