O be joyful, every nation

O be joyful, every nation

Author: James Montgomery
Published in 1 hymnal

Full Text

O be joyful, every nation!
Hail the day with sacred mirth,
When the trumpet of salvation
Sounds the jubilee of earth,
And creation
Travails with the world's new birth.

Then the north, in darkness shrouded,
Jacob's rising star shall bless;
And the eastern morn, unclouded,
Bring the sun of righteousness,
Cheering, healing,
Sin-sick souls in heart's distress.

Then her swarthy sons and daughters,
Afric to the Cross shall bring;
And the angel of the waters
Hear His coral islands sing,
Till the whole Pacific ring.

O thou everlasting Father,
Give the kingdoms to Thy Son;
He hath died that He might gather
All God's children into one;
For the travail
Of His soul, let this be done!

Yea, it must be:--Thou hast spoken,
And Thy covenant shall last;
Though the arch of heaven were broken,
And the earth's foundations cast
Down the abysses;
Yet Thy word, O God! stands fast.

On Thy holy hill of Zion,
Hast Thou not ordained His seat?
Now, as Judah's conquering lion,
Lay all foes beneath His feet,
Till His armies
In eternal triumph meet.

We have join'd their marching legions,
Where our fathers fought, we fight;
Slavery's cane-lands, Brama's regions,
Are exulting at the sight;
Freedom, freedom,
Comes with Gospel-life and light.

All the languages of Babel,
Weapons for the warfare yield;
And with these we well are able,
By Thy Spirit's might, to wield
In the battle,
Truth's safe guard, and Faith's strong shield.

Thus, through fifty years victorious,
Thou hast led our brethren on;
Arm them now for deeds more glorious,
Till the latest field is won:
And all people
Bow the knee, and kiss the Son.

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: O be joyful, every nation
Author: James Montgomery
Language: English


O be joyful every nation. J. Montgomery. [Missions.] Written Feb. 8, 1842 (M. MSS.), for the Baptist Missionary Society, and printed in their Jubilee Hymns, 1842, No. 1, in two parts, Pt. ii., beginning with st. vi., "On Thy holy hill of Zion." In 1853, it was included as No. 269, in 9 stanzas of 6 lines, in Montgomery's Original Hymns. A cento therefrom, beginning with st. iv., was given in the Baptist Psalms & Hymns, 1858, as "O Thou everlasting Father.”

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)