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

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


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

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A Selection of Hymns #373

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

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


Sacred Poems and Hymns #276

The Halifax Selection of Hymns #d431

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