Thus far on life's perplexing path,
Thus far, Thou, Lord, our steps hast led;
Snatch'd from the world's pursuing wrath,
Unharm'd, though floods hung o'er our head;
Like ransom'd Israel on the shore,
Here, then, we pause, look back, adore.
Strangers and pilgrims here below,
Like all our fathers in their day,
We to the land of promise go,
Lord, by Thine own appointed way:
Still guide, illumine, cheer our flight,
In cloud by day, in fire by night.
Safety Thy presence is, and rest;
While,--as the eagle, o'er her brood
Flutters her pinions, stirs the nest,
Covers, defends, provides them food,
Bears on her wings, instructs to fly,--
Thy love prepares us for the sky.
Protect us through the wilderness
From fiery tempest, plague, and foe;
With bread from heaven Thy people bless,
And living streams where'er we go:
Nor let our rebel hearts repine,
Or follow any voice but Thine.
Thy holy law to us proclaim,
But not from Sinai's top alone;
Hid in the rock-cleft, be Thy Name,
Thy power and all Thy goodness shown;
And may we never bow the knee,
Or worship any God but Thee.
When we have number'd all our years,
And stand, at length, on Jordan's brink,
Though the flesh fail with mortal fears,
O let not then the spirit sink;
But, strong in faith, and hope, and love,
Plunge through the stream to rise above.
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 >
Thus far on life's bewildering [perplexing] path. J. Montgomery. [Safety in God.] First printed on a broadsheet for use at the Anniversary Sermons, on behalf of the Red Hill Sunday School, Sheffield, March 28, 1819, in 4 stanzas of 6 lines, and signed "J. M." In Montgomery's Greenland and Other Poems, 1819, p. 171, it was given in 6 stanzas of 6 lines, the new stanzas being stanzas iv. and v. of the text as included in his Christian Psalmist, 1825, No. 479, and his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 55. The 1819 text was altered in 1825; and again, but very slightly, in 1853. In modern collections the text is usually abridged.
Display Title: Thus Far On Life's Bewildering PathFirst Line: Thus far on life’s bewildering pathTune Title: BRECKNOCKAuthor: James MontgomeryMeter: 88.88.88Source: First printed on a broadsheet for use at the Anniversary Sermons, on behalf of the Red Hill Sunday School, Sheffield, England, March 28, 1819. "The Christian Israel"