Free, though in chains, the mountains stand

Free, though in chains, the mountains stand

Author: James Montgomery
Published in 2 hymnals

Representative Text

Free, though in chains, the mountains stand,
The valleys link'd run through the land;
In fellowship the forests thrive,
And streams from streams their strength derive.

The cattle graze in flocks and herds,
In choirs and concerts sing the birds;
Insects by millions ply the wing,
And flowers in peaceful armies spring.

All nature is society,
All nature's voices harmony,
All colours blend to form pure light,--
Why then should Christians not unite?

Thus to the Father pray'd the Son,
"One may they be as We are one,
158
That I in them, and Thou in me,
They one with Us may ever be."

Children of God! combine your bands;
Brethren in Christ! join hearts and hands,
And pray,--for so the Father will'd,
That the Son's prayer may be fulfill'd:--

Fulfill'd in you, fulfill'd in all,
That on the name of Jesus call,
And every covenant of love
They bind on earth be bound above.



Source: Sacred Poems and Hymns #154

Author: 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: Free, though in chains, the mountains stand
Author: James Montgomery
Language: English

Notes

Free, yet in chains, the mountains stand. J. Montgomery. [Christian Union.] Written for the Sheffield Sunday School Union, Whitsuntide gathering, 1837, and printed on a flyleaf for that occasion, [M. MSS.] It was included in his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 154, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, "Christian Union symbolized by Natural Objects." In the Scottish Evangelical Union Hymnal, 1878, it begins, "Free, though in chains, the mountains stand." This reading is found in some copies of the Original Hymns, but is not the original text.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

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Sacred Poems and Hymns #154

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The Harp #28

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