James Montgomery

1771-1854. Hymnwriter. Born at Irvine, Scotland, son of a Moravian missionary, he worked in Yorkshire stores before joining the Sheffield Register as an assistant in 1792. Four years later he became editor, and for thirty-one years he continued to edit the renamed Sheffield Iris. Twice he was imprisoned for radical political opinions. He advocated foreign missions, the Bible Society, and the abolition of slavery. At various times he associated with Moravians, Wesleyans, and Anglicans. Over fifty of his 400 hymns were contributed to Thomas Cotterill's Selection of Psalms and Hymns (1819 ed.), whose publication led to the quasi- legalization of hymn-singing in the Church of England. Over thirty of Montgomery's hymns are still sung, including “Angels, from the realms of glory,” “For ever with the Lord,” “Hail to the Lord's Anointed,” “Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,” and “Stand up and bless the Lord.”