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 >
How shall a contrite [sinner] spirit pray. J. Montgomery. [Lent. Prayer.] Written Sept. 15, 1840, "M. MSS.," and published in an undated edition of T. Russell's Selection of Hymns for Congregational Worship, enlarged edition with Appendix; and again in Dr. Leifchild's Original Hymns, &c, 1842, No. 76. Subsequently it was included in the author's Original Hymns, 1853, No. 73. In Common Praise, 1879, it. is given as "How shall a contrite sinner pray?" Its use, especially in its original form, is extensive.