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 >
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.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)