O where shall rest be found,
Rest for the weary soul?
'Twere vain the ocean-depths to sound,
Or pierce to either pole;
The world can never give
The bliss for which we sigh;
'Tis not the whole of life to live;
Nor all of death to die.
Beyond this vale of tears,
There is a life above,
Unmeasured by the flight of years;
And all that life is love;--
There is a death, whose pang
Ontlasts the fleeting breath;
O what eternal horrors hang
Around "the second death!"
Lord God of truth and grace,
Teach us that death to shun,
Lest we be banish'd from Thy face,
And evermore undone:
Here would we end our quest;
Alone are found in Thee,
The life of perfect love,--the rest
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 >
O where shall rest be found. J. Montgomery. [The Present and the Future.] Written for the Anniversary Sermons of the Bed Hill Wesleyan Sunday School, Sheffield, which were preached on March 15 and 16,
1818, and printed for use on a broadsheet, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines. It was included in Cotterill's Selection, 1819, No. 172, in 3 stanzas of 8 lines, and with stanza v. of the original rewritten thus:—
"Lord God of grace and truth
Teach us that death to shun;
Nor let us from our earliest youth
For ever be undone.”
“Lord God of truth and grace!
Teach us that death to shun ;
Lest we be driven from Thy face,
And evermore undone."'
The latter text was repeated in Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, 1825, No. 514, with "Lest we be driven," altered to ”Lest we be banish’d from Thy face," in stanza iii., l. 3. This form of the text was repeated in his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 216, and is that in common use.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Lowell Mason (PHH 96) arranged DENNIS and first published it in The Psaltery (1845), a hymnal he compiled with George. Webb (PHH 559). Mason attributed the tune to Johann G. Nageli (b. Wetzikon, near Zurich, Switzerland, 1773; d. Wetzikon, 1836) but included no source reference. Nageli presumably pu…