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 >
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.
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…