O God, unseen, but not unknown

O God, unseen, but not unknown

Author: James Montgomery
Published in 11 hymnals

Full Text

O God, unseen, but not unknown,
Thine eye is ever fix'd on me;
I dwell beneath Thy secret throne,
Encompass'd by Thy Deity.

Throughout this universe of space,
To nothing am I long allied,
For flight of time and change of place,
My strongest, dearest bonds divide.

Parents I had, but where are they?
Friends whom I knew, I know no more;
Companions, once that cheer'd my way,
Have dropp'd behind or gone before.

Now I am one amidst a crowd
Of life and action hurrying round;
Now left alone,--for, like a cloud,
They came, they went, and are not found.

Even from myself sometimes I part:
Unconscious sleep is nightly death,
Yet surely by my couch Thou art,
To prompt my pulse, inspire my breath.

Of all that I have done and said,
How little can I now recall:
Forgotten things to me are dead;
With Thee they live,--Thou know'st them all.

Thou hast been with me from the womb,
Witness to every conflict here;
Nor wilt Thou leave me at the tomb,
Before Thy bar I must appear.

The moment comes-- the only one
Of all my time to be foretold;
Yet when, and how, and where, can none
Among the race of man unfold:--

The moment comes, when strength shall fail,
When, (health and hope and courage flown)
I must go down into the vale
And shade of death with Thee alone.

Alone with Thee!--in that dread strife
Uphold me through mine agony,
And gently be this dying life
Exchanged for immortality.

Then, when the unbodied spirit lands
Where flesh and blood have never trod,
And in the unveil'd presence stands,
Of Thee, my Saviour and my God;--

Be mine eternal portion this,
Since Thou wert always here with me,
--That I may view Thy face in bliss,
And be for evermore with Thee.

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 God, unseen, but not unknown
Author: James Montgomery
Language: English


O God unseen, but not unknown. J. Montgomery. [Omniscience of the Father.] Written "Sep. 22, 1828" (M. MSS.). A copy, dated "The Mount, n. Sheffield, Dec. 16, 1845," appeared in the Christian Treasury, 1847, p. 7. It had previously appeared in the Evangelical Magazine, 1846, p. 187. In 1853 it was included in Montgomery's Original Hymns, No. 30, in 9 stanzas of 12 lines, and headed, “Thou, God, seest me." It is in common use in an abbreviated form, and also as "The moment comes, when strength shall fail," in the American Sabbath Hymn Book, 1858.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 11 of 11)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
A Collection of Hymns: Supplementary to the Psalms and Hymns of Dr. Watts #419Page Scan
A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for the use of Universalist Societies and Families (13th ed.) #463Page Scan
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A Selection of Hymns: designed as a supplement to the "psalms and hymns" of the Presbyterian church #477Page Scan
Church Harmonies: a collection of hymns and tunes for the use of Congregations #663Page Scan
Hymns for Christian Devotion: especially adapted to the Universalist denomination #540Page Scan
Hymns for Christian Devotion: especially adapted to the Universalist denomination. (New ed.) #540Page Scan
Hymns of the Church Militant #103Page Scan
Prayers and Hymns for the Church and the Home #d454
Sacred Poems and Hymns #30Text
The Gospel Psalmist #652Page Scan