I left the God of truth and light

I left the God of truth and light

Author: James Montgomery
Published in 31 hymnals

Full Text

I left the God of truth and light,
I left the God who gave me breath,
To wander in the wilds of night,
And perish in the snares of death.

Sweet was His service, and His yoke
Was light and easy to be borne;
Through all His bands of love I broke,
I cast away His gifts with scorn.

174
I danced in folly's giddy maze,
And drank the sea, and chased the wind;
But falsehood lurk'd in all her ways,
Her laughter left remorse behind.

I dream'd of bliss in pleasure's bowers,
While pillowing roses stayed my head;
But serpents hiss'd among the flowers;
I woke, and thorns were all my bed.

In riches, when I sought for joy,
And placed in sordid gain my trust,
I found that gold was all alloy,
And worldly treasure--fleeting dust.

I woo'd ambition, climb'd the pole,
And shone among the stars,--but fell,
Headlong in all my pride of soul,
Like Lucifer, from heaven to hell.

Heart-broken, friendless, poor, cast down,
Where shall the chief of sinners fly,
Almighty Vengeance! from thy frown--
Eternal Justice! from thine eye?

Lo, through the gloom of guilty fears,
My faith discerns a dawn of grace;
The Sun of Righteousness appears
In Jesus' reconciling face.

My suffering, slain, and risen Lord,
In sore distress I turn to Thee,
I claim acceptance on Thy word,
My God! my God! forsake not me.

Prostrate before the mercy seat,
I dare not, if I would, despair;
None ever perish'd at Thy feet,
And I will lie for ever there.

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: I left the God of truth and light
Author: James Montgomery
Meter: 8.8.8.8
Language: English

Notes

I left the God of truth and light. J. Montgomery. [Repentance.] In 1795, Montgomery commenced in his paper, the Sheffield Iris, a series of essays under the title of “The Whisperer, or Hints and Speculations, by Gabriel Silvertongue Gent." These essays, which were afterwards republished in a volume, abounded in the irreverent use of Holy Scripture The state of mind which prompted him thus to write continued, he says, " for the space of ten years." (Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 116.) On seeing clearly the wrong which he had done, he destroyed all the copies of the work which he could find, and penned this hymn, in 1807, in token of his true repentance. (Memoirs, vol. v. p. 364.) It was first published in the Evangelical Magazine, subsequently in Cotterill's Selection, 8th ed., 1819, No. 295; and then by Mont¬gomery as the first of his hymns in his Christian Psalmist, 1825. It is also in his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 17 lines. In the Christian Psalmist, stanza ii., lines 3, reads: “Through all His bonds of love I broke." In all his other works we find "bands" for "bonds." In his marked copy of the Christian Psalmist, he has changed "bonds" to "bands" in the margin. This is the authorized reading. In the Hymns & Songs of Praise, N. Y., 1874, No. 479, "Heartbroken, friendless, poor, cast down," is composed of stanzas vii., viii. of this hymn.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Timeline

Instances

Instances (1 - 31 of 31)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
A Collection of Hymns, for the use of the United Brethren in Christ: taken from the most approved authors, and adapted to public and private worship #261Page Scan
A Collection of Hymns, for the use of the Wesleyan Methodist Connection of America. #425Page Scan
A Collection of Hymns: Supplementary to the Psalms and Hymns of Dr. Watts #209Page Scan
A Selection of Hymns: designed as a supplement to the "psalms and hymns" of the Presbyterian church #135Page Scan
Christian Melodies: a selection of hymns and tunes designed for social and private worship in the lecture-room and the family #327Page Scan
Christian Melodies: a selection of hymns and tunes designed for social and private worship in the lecture-room and the family (2nd ed.) #327Page Scan
Hymn Book of the Methodist Protestant Church #301Page Scan
Hymn Book of the Methodist Protestant Church. (11th ed.) #301Page Scan
Hymn Book of the Methodist Protestant Church. (2nd ed.) #555Page Scan
Hymn book of the Methodist Protestant Church. (4th ed.) #555Page Scan
Hymnal for Christian Science Church and Sunday School Services #172Page Scan
Methodist Social Hymn Book #233Page Scan
Plymouth Collection of Hymns and Tunes; for the use of Christian Congregations #479Page Scan
Revival and Camp Minstrel, containing the Best Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Original and Selected #d148
Sacred Poems and Hymns #171Text
Songs for Social and Public Worship. Rev. ed. #d175
Songs for the Sanctuary, or Hymns and Tunes for Christian Worship #ad470
Songs for the Sanctuary: or hymns and tunes for Christian Worship #573Page Scan
Songs for the Sanctuary: or hymns and tunes for Christian worship #573Page Scan
Songs for the Sanctuary: or hymns and tunes for Christian Worship #573Page Scan
Songs for the Sanctuary; or Psalms and Hymns for Christian Worship (Baptist Ed.) #573Page Scan
Songs for the Sanctuary; or, Psalms and Hymns for Christian Worship (Words only) #573Page Scan
Songs of the Church: or, hymns and tunes for Christian worship #343Page Scan
The Baptist Hymn and Tune Book: being "The Plymouth Collection" enlarged and adapted to the use of Baptist churches #479Page Scan
The Baptist Praise Book #649Page Scan
The Halifax Selection of Hymns: intended as a Supplement to Dr. Watts' Psalms and Hymns #d202
The Plymouth Hymnal #d204
The Sabbath Hymn and Tune Book: for the service of song in the house of the Lord #404cPage Scan
The Sabbath Hymn Book. Baptist ed. #d435
The Service of Song for Baptist Churches #d369
The Voice of Praise: a collection of hymns for the use of the Methodist Church #657TextPage Scan



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