The God of your forefathers praise,
Thou, Brethren's Congregation!
Whose mighty arm, by wondrous ways,
Accomplished their salvation:
He heard their groans, came down and broke
The bigot's chain, the tyrant's yoke,
And led them forth to freedom.
He brought them to his chosen place,
Among the woods and mountains;
The desert fled before their face.
Gardens, and fields, and fountains,
Round their new homes and temple sprang,
While day and night hosannas rang
Through all their little Zion.
They walked with God in peace and love,
But failed with one another;
While sternly for the faith they strove,
Brother fell out with brother:
But He, in whom they put their trust,
Who knew their frames, that they were dust,
Pitied and healed their weakness.
He found them in His house of prayer,
With one accord assembled,
And so reveal'd His presence there,
They wept for joy, and trembled;
One cup they drank, one bread they brake,
One baptism shared, one language spake,
Forgiving and forgiven.
Then forth they went with tongues of flame,
In one blest theme delighting,
The love of Jesus, and His Name
God's children all uniting!
That love, our theme and watchword still;
That law of love may we fulfil,
And love as we have loved.
Jesus, Thy little flock behold,
Here met in sweet communion,
Confirm, as in the years of old,
Our sacramental union;
Renew that day of Pentecost,
Send down on us the Holy Ghost,
The promise of the Father.
Now blow the trump of Jubilee,
And while the Church rejoices,
As in one faith, hope, charity,
Join songs, and hearts, and voices,
To Father, Son, and Spirit raise,
On earth, the song of heavenly praise,
Sing, "Holy, Holy, Holy."
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 >