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 >
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…
Initially Luther used the folk melody associated with his first stanza as the tune for this hymn. Later he composed this new tune for his text. VOM HIMMEL HOCH was first published in Valentin Schumann's Geistliche Lieder in 1539. Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) used Luther's melody in three places in his wel…