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 >
God the Creator bless'. J. Montgomery. [Sunday.] Written in May, 1838, and published in a small pamphlet entitled, A Message from the Moon, and Other Poems. [1838.] In 1839 it was also given in Votive Offerings; or a Help to Stannington Church. This was a small volume, and was sold for the benefit of the funds of Stannington Church, near Sheffield. In 1853 the hymn, somewhat altered (stanza iii., line 2, "Christian Day," for "Christian's Day," line 3, "where (met..)" for "when met. .," stanza iv. line 1, "The Church below hath bless'd," for "The Church hath ever bless'd") was given in Montgomery's Original Hymns, No. 11, in 6 stanzas of 6 lines, and entitled "The Sabbath." It is in several modern American hymn-books, but is almost unknown to the collections in Great Britain.