Thus far on life's perplexing path

Thus far on life's perplexing path

Author: James Montgomery
Published in 25 hymnals

Full Text

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.

Sacred Poems and Hymns

Author: James Montgomery

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 >

Text Information

First Line: Thus far on life's perplexing path
Author: James Montgomery
Language: English


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.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


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