Free, though in chains, the mountains stand

Free, though in chains, the mountains stand

Author: James Montgomery
Published in 2 hymnals

Full Text

Free, though in chains, the mountains stand,
The valleys link'd run through the land;
In fellowship the forests thrive,
And streams from streams their strength derive.

The cattle graze in flocks and herds,
In choirs and concerts sing the birds;
Insects by millions ply the wing,
And flowers in peaceful armies spring.

All nature is society,
All nature's voices harmony,
All colours blend to form pure light,--
Why then should Christians not unite?

Thus to the Father pray'd the Son,
"One may they be as We are one,
158
That I in them, and Thou in me,
They one with Us may ever be."

Children of God! combine your bands;
Brethren in Christ! join hearts and hands,
And pray,--for so the Father will'd,
That the Son's prayer may be fulfill'd:--

Fulfill'd in you, fulfill'd in all,
That on the name of Jesus call,
And every covenant of love
They bind on earth be bound above.



Source: Sacred Poems and Hymns #154

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: Free, though in chains, the mountains stand
Author: James Montgomery
Language: English

Notes

Free, yet in chains, the mountains stand. J. Montgomery. [Christian Union.] Written for the Sheffield Sunday School Union, Whitsuntide gathering, 1837, and printed on a flyleaf for that occasion, [M. MSS.] It was included in his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 154, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, "Christian Union symbolized by Natural Objects." In the Scottish Evangelical Union Hymnal, 1878, it begins, "Free, though in chains, the mountains stand." This reading is found in some copies of the Original Hymns, but is not the original text.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

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