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 >
In the beginning God said "Be!" J. Montgomery. [Creation.] This hymn is dated in the original manuscript "Written at Dinsdale, Sep. 22, 1835." In 1853 it was included in Montgomery's Original Hymns, No. 2, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "The Creation and Dissolution of all Things." Its use is limited.