Once more, to pay our annual vows,
We to Thy temple, Lord, repair;
While every knee before Thee bows,
And every lip is moved in prayer,
Send down Thy Spirit from above,
Thy Holy Spirit, God of love.
In pentecostal power and grace,
May He baptize us now with fire,
With His sweet presence fill the place,
With faith and hope our hearts inspire,
Faith, seeing what no eye can see,
Hope, breathing immortality.
Through Him to us Thy Son reveal,
In every form that once he wore,
When with His blood, our peace to seal,
Our sins He in His body bore,
For all a full atonement made,
For each a priceless ransom paid.
The helpless child in Bethlehem born,
Heaven's pilgrim through earth's wilderness,
The man of sorrows and of scorn,
Him as our Lord we would confess.
And nothing know, or seek beside
Christ Jesus, and Him crucified.
So may we in His likeness grow,
God in the flesh made manifest--
Through whom Thine Image, lost below,
On souls new-born is reimpress'd;
No longer kindred to the clod,
Though sons of Adam, sons of God.
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 >
Once more to pay our annual vows. J. Montgomery. [Sunday S. Anniversary.] Written for the Sheffield Sunday School Anniversary, Whitsuntide, 1845. It is No. 251 of Montgomery's Original Hymns, 1853.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)