One human pair, and only one

One human pair, and only one

Author: James Montgomery
Published in 1 hymnal

Representative Text

One human pair, and only one,
Were form'd in youthful prime,
All else that e'er beheld the sun,
Were children in their time.

For each a mother's pangs were borne,
And many a father's eye
Wept o'er his infant born to mourn,
His infant born to die.

With millions life was but a spark,
Extinct as soon as fired;
Others, just glancing from the dark,
Wept, smiled, look'd round, retired.

Millions and millions more have pass'd
Life's various pilgrimage,
While Death at all his arrows cast,
And slew of every age.

Of these what multitudes untold
Have never known their God,
But blind, and ignorant, and bold,
In paths of ruin trod.

What guiltier multitudes have known,
Yet scorn'd Him or denied,
Lived to themselves and sin alone;
And as they lived they died.

We may not wander like the first;
Then, lest we share the lot
Of those more awfully accurst,
Who knew, but loved, Him not,--

May we hold fast the faithful word,
Our future time redeem,
Live, while we live, unto the Lord,
Die, when we die, to Him.

Sacred Poems and Hymns

Author: James Montgomery

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 >

Text Information

First Line: One human pair, and only one
Author: James Montgomery
Language: English


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Sacred Poems and Hymns #13

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