To God most awful and most high

To God most awful and most high

Author: James Montgomery
Published in 7 hymnals

Representative Text

To God most awful and most high,
Who form'd the earth, the sea, the sky;
To Him on whom all worlds depend,
Our humbled hearts in sighs we send.

Will He who hears the ravens cry,
Reject our prayers, and bid us die?
Will He refuse His keep to yield,
Who clothes the lilies of the field?

Pale famine lifts at His command,
Her withering arm, and blasts the land;
The harvests perish at her breath,
Her train are want, disease, and death.

But when He smiles the desert blooms,
New life is born among the tombs;
O'er the glad plains abundance teems,
And plenty rolls in bounteous streams.

Father of grace whom we adore,
Bless Thy large family--the poor;
The poor on Thee alone depend,
Continue Thou the poor man's friend.

Content to live by toil and pain,
May we eternal riches gain;
Meanwhile, by Thy free goodness fed,
Give us this day our daily bread.

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: To God most awful and most high
Author: James Montgomery
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


To God most awful and most high. J. Montgomery. [In time of Scarcity.] Written for the laying of the foundation stone of a Corn Mill at Sheffield, on Nov. 5, 1795, which was "built for the common use and benefit of the people." It was printed in Montgomery's Sheffield Iris newspaper the same day, and signed "Paul Positive," a nom de plume of the author. It subsequently appeared in Cotterill's Selection, 1819, No. 260; Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, 1825, No. 532; and his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 276. In the last two it is headed, "The poor praying for bread in the time of scarcity," It is found in a few modern hymnbooks.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 7 of 7)
Page Scan

A Collection of Hymns, for the use of the Wesleyan Methodist Connection of America. #248

Page Scan

A Selection of Hymns #373

Page Scan

Hymn Book of the Methodist Protestant Church. (2nd ed.) #777

Page Scan

Hymn book of the Methodist Protestant Church. (4th ed.) #777


Sacred Poems and Hymns #276

The Halifax Selection of Hymns #d431

Suggestions or corrections? Contact us