What are these in bright array,
This innumerable throng,
Round the altar night and day,
Hymning one triumphant song:
"Worthy is the Lamb once slain,
Blessing, honour, glory, power,
Wisdom, riches, to obtain,
New dominion every hour."
These through fiery trials trod;
These from great affliction came;
Now before the throne of God,
Seal'd with His almighty name:
Clad in raiment pure and white,
Victor-palms in every hand,
Through their dear Redeemer's might,
More than conquerors they stand.
Hunger, thirst, disease unknown,
On immortal fruits they feed;
Them, the Lamb amidst the throne,
Shall to living fountains lead;
Joy and gladness banish sighs,
Perfect love dispels all fear,
And for ever from their eyes,
God shall wipe away the tear.
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 >
What are these in bright array? J. Montgomery. [All Saints.] Published in his Greenland and other Poems, 1819, p. 185, in 3 stanzas of 8 lines, and headed “Saints in heaven." It was repeated in Cotterill's Selection, 1819, No. 204; in Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, 1825, No. 559; and in his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 237. It is given in several collections in Great Britain and America, and sometimes as, "Who are these in bright array?" In R. Bingham's Hymnologia Christiana Latina, 1871, it is rendered into Latin as "Quid sint cohortes lucidae."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)