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, when we search the human heart. J. Montgomery. [The World in the Heart.] This hymn was written on the blank page of a juvenile missionary address prepared by Mr. George Cookman, of Hull. Montgomery mentions his having written it in a letter to Mr. Cookman's father, dated "Sheffield, June 24, 1819" (Montgomery's Memoirs, iii. p. 169). The hymn was included in Cotterill's Selection, 8th ed., 1819, No. 338, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines. In Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, 1825, No. 549, it was repeated with slight variations, and the addition of a new stanza (viii.). This text with stanza vii. 1. 2, "Thy name and knowledge," changed to "Thy name, Thy knowledge," is in his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 170.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)