Montgomery, James, son of John Montgomery, a Moravian minister, was born at Irvine, Ayrshire, Nov. 4, 1771. In 1776 he removed with his parents to the Moravian Settlement at Gracehill, near Ballymena, county of Antrim. Two years after he was sent to the Fulneck Seminary, Yorkshire. He left Fulneck in 1787, and entered a retail shop at Mirfield, near Wakefield. Soon tiring of that he entered upon a similar situation at Wath, near Rotherham, only to find it quite as unsuitable to his taste as the former. A journey to London, with the hope of finding a publisher for his youthful poems ended in failure; and in 1792 he was glad to leave Wath for Shefield to join Mr. Gales, an auctioneer, bookseller, and printer of the Sheffield Register newspap… Go to person page >
Lord of hosts, to Thee we raise. J. Montgomery. [Laying the Foundation Stone, or The Opening of a Place of Worship.] The foundation stone of St. George's Church, Sheffield (of which the Rev. W. Mercer was subsequently Incumbent), was laid on the day of the coronation of George IV., July 19, 1821. On that day Montgomery published in his Iris newspaper a leading article on Bonaparte, who died on the 5th of the previous May. Montgomery's original manuscript of that article and "a set of the coronation medals, and other usual memorials," were placed in a glass jar under the foundation stone (Memoirs, iii. p. 241). This hymn was composed for the occasion; was sung during the ceremony, and was printed in the Iris of Tuesday, July 24,1821. It was included in Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, 1825, No. 475, and in his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 301, and in both instances headed "On Opening a Place of Worship."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)