Thou, God, art a consuming fire

Thou, God, art a consuming fire

Author: James Montgomery
Published in 3 hymnals

Representative Text

Thou, God, art a consuming fire,
Yet mortals may find grace,
From toil and tumult to retire,
And meet Thee face to face.

Though "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord!"
Seraph to seraph sings,
And angel-choirs, with one accord,
Worship, with veiling wings;--

Though earth Thy footstool, heaven Thy throne,
Thy way amidst the sea,
Thy path deep floods, Thy steps unknown,
Thy counsels mystery:--

Yet wilt Thou look on him who lies
A suppliant at Thy feet;
And hearken to the feeblest cries
That reach Thy mercy-seat.

Between the cherubim of old
Thy glory was express'd;
But God, through Christ, we now behold
In flesh made manifest.

Through Him who all our sickness felt,
Who all our sorrows bare,
Through Him in whom Thy fulness dwelt
We offer up our prayer.

Touch'd with a feeling of our woes,
Jesus, our High Priest, stands;
All our infirmities He knows,
Our souls are in His hands.

He bears them up with strength divine,
When at Thy feet we fall;
Lord, cause, Thy face on us to shine
Hear us,--on Thee we call.

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: Thou, God, art a consuming fire
Author: James Montgomery
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Thou God art a consuming fire. J. Montgomery. [Prayer.] Written in 1818, and first printed on a broadsheet with Montgomery's "Prayer is the soul's sincere desire," and "What shall we ask of God in prayer?" for use in the Nonconformist Sunday schools in Sheffield. It was included in Cotterill's Selection, 1819, No. 279, in 4 stanzas of 8 lines; in Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, 1825, No. 481, with alterations, and in 8 stanzas of 4 lines; and again in his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 68, without further alteration. This last is the text usually given in the hymnals.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 3 of 3)
Page Scan

Hymn Book of the Methodist Protestant Church. (2nd ed.) #361

Page Scan

Hymn book of the Methodist Protestant Church. (4th ed.) #361


Sacred Poems and Hymns #68

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