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 >
Father of eternal grace [love] . J. Montgomery. [The Image of God desired.] Written in 1807, at the request of Mr. Gardiner, of Leicester, and published by him in his Sacred Melodies, 1808, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines. In 1812 it was included in Dr. Collyer's Collection, No. 919; in 1825 in Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, No. 464; and in 1853 in his Original Hymns, No. 186. It is in common use both in Great Britain and America. The hymn, "Father of eternal love," in Dr. Martineau's Hymns, &c, 1840 and 1873, is the same with slight alterations and the omission of stanza ii.