Let there be light: thus spake the Word

Let there be light: thus spake the Word

Author: James Montgomery
Published in 7 hymnals

Representative Text

"Let there be light:" thus spake the Word;
The Word was God; "and there was light:"
Still the creative voice is heard;
A day is born from every night.

And every night shall turn to day,
While months, and years, and ages roll;
But we have seen a brighter ray
Dawn on the chaos of the soul.

Nor we alone; its wakening smiles
Have broke the gloom of pagan sleep;
The Word hath reach'd the utmost isles,
God's Spirit moves upon the deep.

Already from the dust of death,
Man in his Maker's image stands;
Once more inhales immortal breath,
And stretches forth to heaven his hands.

From day to day, before our eyes,
Glows and extends the work begun;
When shall the now creation rise
On every land beneath the sun?

When, in the Sabbath of His love,
Shall God amidst his labours rest;
And, bending from His throne above,
Again pronounce His creatures bless'd?

Sacred Poems and Hymns

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: Let there be light: thus spake the Word
Author: James Montgomery
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Let there be light! Thus spake the Word. J. Montgomery. [Missions.] This hymn was printed in the Evangelical Magazine, June, 1818, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed "Hymn composed for the Anniversary of the Missionary Society by J. Montgomery, Esq., and sung at Spa Fields Chapel, May 14th, 1818." It was included in Cotterill's Selection, 8th ed., 1819, No. 236, in 4 stanzas of 8 lines. In Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, 1825, No. 554, stanza iv. is omitted, and the rest are divided into 6 stanzas of 4 lines. This form is repeated in his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 260, is the revised text, and is in several collections in Great Britain and America. The hymn "From day to day, before our eyes," in Beecher's Plymouth Collection, 1855, the N. Y. Songs for the Sanctuary, 1865, and other American hymnbooks, is composed of st. iv.-viii. of the Evangelical Magazine text of 1818. (Cotterill’s stanzas iii., iv.).

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 7 of 7)
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Hymnal for Christian Science Church and Sunday School Services #179

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Plymouth Collection #a959

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Plymouth Collection of Hymns and Tunes; for the use of Christian Congregations #959


Sacred Poems and Hymns #260

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The Baptist Hymn and Tune Book #959

The Halifax Selection of Hymns #d243

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