When the overwhelming waters
Once a world of sinners drown'd,
Eight of Adam's sons and daughters,
In the Ark salvation found:
Gather'd to the Church, may we
Thus from wrath and peril flee.
When the fire from God descended
On the cities of the plain,
Three alone, by Heaven befriended,
Refuge did in Zoar gain:
By our pastors led, may we
Thus escape to Calvary.
When the midnight angel number'd
Egypt's first-born with the dead,
Israel's tribes, unsmitten slumber'd,
Where the paschal lamb had bled:
By the blood of sprinkling, we
Thus from vengeance are made free.
When, while quick and dead assemble,
Flames this universe destroy,
Though the wicked quake and tremble,
Saints shall lift their heads with joy:
Raised to life, like them, may we
With the Lord for ever be.
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 >