In a garden,--man was placed,
Meet abode for innocence,
With his Maker's image graced;
Sin crept in, and drove him thence,
Through the world, a wretch undone,
Seeking rest, and finding none.
In a garden,--on that night,
When our Saviour was betray'd,
With what world-redeeming might,
In His agony He pray'd!
Till He drank the vengeance up,
And with mercy fill'd the cup.
In a garden,--on the Cross,
When the spear His heart had riven,
And for earth's primeval loss,
Heaven's best ransom had been given;
Jesus rested from his woes,
Jesus from the dead arose.
Here, not Eden's bowers are found,
Nor forlorn Gethsemane,
Nor that calm sepulchral ground,
At the foot of Calvary;
Yet this scene may well recall
Sweet remembrances of all.
Emblem of the Church below!
Where the Spirit and the Word,
Fall like dews, like breezes blow,
And the Lord God's voice is heard,
Walking in the cool of day,
While the world is far away.
Emblem of the Church above!
Where, as in their native clime,
'Midst the garden of his love,
Rescued from the rage of time,
Saints, as trees of life shall stand,
Planted by His own right hand.
Round the fair enclosure here,
Flames no cherub's threatening sword;
Ye, who enter, feel no fear:
Roof'd by heaven, with verdure floor'd,
Breathing balm from blossoms gay,
This is Paradise to-day.
Yet one moment meditate
On our parents' banishment,
When from Eden's closing gate,
Hand in hand, they weeping went,
Spikenard groves no more to dress,
But a thorn-set wilderness.
Then, remember Him who laid
Uncreated splendour by,
Lower than the angels made,
Fallen man to glorify;
And from death beyond the grave,
Unto life immortal save.
Think of Him,--your souls He sought,
Wandering, never to return;
Hath He found you?--At the thought,
Your glad hearts within you burn:
Then your love, like His, extend;
Be like Him, the sinner's friend.
Ye, who smile in rosy youth,
Glow with manhood, fade through years,
Send the life, the light, the truth,
To dead hearts, blind eyes, deaf ears;
And your very pleasures make
Charities for Jesus' sake.
So shall gospel-glory run,
Round the globe to every clime,
Brighter than the circling sun;
Hastening that millennial time,
When the earth shall be restored,
As the garden of the Lord.
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 >