When, like a stranger on our sphere

When, like a stranger on our sphere

Author: James Montgomery
Published in 70 hymnals

Representative Text

When, like a stranger on our sphere,
The lowly Jesus sojourn'd here,
Where'er He went Affliction fled,
And Sickness rear'd her drooping head.

The eye That roll'd in irksome night
Beheld His face, for He was light;
The opening ear, the loosen'd tongue,
His precepts heard, His praises sung.

Demoniac Madness, dark and wild,
With melancholy transport smiled;
The storm of horror ceased to roll,
And reason lighten'd through his soul.

His touch the outcast leper heal'd,
His lips the sinner's pardon seal'd;
The palsied frame, the crippled limb,
Felt Virtue going forth from Him.

Behold Him in the wilderness,
He lifts His hand the bread to bless;
And while the fainting multitude
Look'd up to Him, gave all their food.

In Him with man's infirmity,
The fulness of the Godhead see,
Warm tears o'er Lazarus He shed,
Then spake the word that raised the dead.

Through paths of loving-kindness brought,
May all our work in Him be wrought;
In His great Name, let us dispense
The crumbs of our benevolence.

Hark! the sweet voice of pity calls
Misfortune to these hallow'd walls;
The breaking heart, and burthen'd breast,
And helpless Poverty distrest.

Here the whole family of woe
Shall friends, and home, and comfort know;
The blasted form and shipwreck'd mind,
Shall here a tranquil haven find.

And Thou, dread Power! whose sovereign breath,
Is health or sickness, life or death,
Send Thine abundant blessing down,
And with success our labours crown.

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: When, like a stranger on our sphere
Author: James Montgomery
Language: English


When like a stranger on our sphere. J. Montgomery. Public Hospitals.] Of this hymn there are two texts, details of which are as follows:—(1) It was written for the opening of the Sheffield Infirmary, October, 1797, and printed in Montgomery's Iris newspaper, Oct. 6,1797. In 1819 it was included in Cotterill’s Selection, No. 246, in 4 stanzas of 8 lines, and entitled "At a Sermon for an Infirmary." In 1825 this text was repeated, with slight alterations, in Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, No. 531, broken into 8 stanzas of 4 lines, entitled "For a Public Hospital." (2) Amongst the Montgomery manuscripts there is a manuscript of this hymn in 10 stanzas, and thus dated: "Revised, June 2, 1844." It is this revised text which was given by Montgomery in his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 286, under the heading "Hymn for the Opening of the Sheffield Infirmary, October, 1797," and from which Dr. Kennedy, in his Hymnologia Christiana 1863, and other modern editors have taken their text. The older hymnbooks have the text as in Cotterill’s Selection whilst most of the modern collections follow that of the Original Hymns, 1853. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The tune BROMLEY is usually credited to Jeremiah Clarke (1674-1707) but there is an authorship problem: the first published use of the tune and setting was Franz Josef Haydn's "O let me in th'accepted hour," a metrical setting of Psalm 69 in Improved Psalmody (1794). The earliest extant version attr…

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Henry Kemble Oliver (b. Beverly, MA, 1800; d. Salem, MA, 1885) composed FEDERAL STREET in 1832, possibly as an imitation of earlier psalm tunes in long meter. He took it to a music class taught by Lowell Mason (who may have contributed to the harmony); Mason (PHH 96) published it in his Boston Acade…

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RETREAT (Hastings)



Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

The Baptist Hymnal #117

Include 69 pre-1979 instances
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