This stone to Thee in faith we lay

Representative Text

1 This stone to thee in faith we lay;
To thee this temple, Lord, we build;
Thy power and goodness here display,
And be it with thy presence filled.

2 Here, when thy people seek thy face,
And dying sinners pray to live,
Hear thou in Heaven, thy dwelling-place,
And when thou hearest, Lord, forgive.

3 Here, when thy messengers proclaim
The blessèd gospel of thy Son,
Still, by the power of his great name,
Be mighty signs and wonders done.

4 Thy glory never hence depart;
Yet choose not, Lord, this house alone;
Thy Kingdom come to every heart,
In every nation fix thy throne.

Source: The Song Book of the Salvation Army #945

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: This stone to Thee in faith we lay
Author: James Montgomery
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


This stone to Thee in faith we lay. J, Montgomery. [Laying Foundation-stone of a Church.] Written in 1822, for the laying of the Foundation-stone of Christ Church, Attercliffe, Sheffield, and sung at that ceremony on Oct. 30, 1822. It was printed in Montgomery's newspaper, the Sheffield Iris, Nov. 5, 1822, together with a full account of the whole ceremony. Subsequently it was published in Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, 1825, No. 474, his Poetical Works of various dates, and his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 300, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines. It is in extensive use in its full or in an abbreviated form, and also as:—
1. Here, in Thy Name, eternal God. This form is given in Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, N. Y., 1872, and others.
2. When in these courts we seek Thy face. In the American Sabbath Hymn Book , Andover, 1858, it begins with an altered form of stanza ii.
3. Within these walls let heavenly peace. In the American Church Praise Book, N. Y., 1882. Of this text in 3 stanzas, stanza i. is from J. Newton's "O Lord, our languid souls inspire," Olney Hymns, 1779, Bk. ii., No. 43, stanzas v., and stanzas ii. and iii. are from this hymn by Montgomery.
4. When here, 0 Lord, we seek Thy face. This form of the text, beginning with stanza ii., is in the Plymouth Collection, U.S.A., 1855.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



William Knapp (b. Wareham, Dorsetshire, England, 1698; d. Poole, Dorsetshire, 1768) composed WAREHAM, so named for his birthplace. A glover by trade, Knapp served as the parish clerk at St. James's Church in Poole (1729-1768) and was organist in both Wareham and Poole. Known in his time as the "coun…

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Instances (1 - 3 of 3)

Hymns and Psalms #659

The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #139


The Song Book of the Salvation Army #945

Include 74 pre-1979 instances
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