Send out Thy light and truth, O God

Full Text

Send out Thy light and truth, O God!
With sound of trumpet from above;
Break not the nations with Thy rod,
But draw them as with cords of love;
Justice and mercy meet;
The work is well begun,
Through every clime their feet,
Who bring glad tidings, run;
In earth, as heaven, Thy will be done.

Before Thee every idol fall,
Rend the false prophet's veil of lies;
The fulness of the Gentiles call,
Be Israel saved, let Jacob rise:
Thy Kingdom come indeed,
Thy church with union bless,
All scripture be her creed,
And every tongue confess
One Lord,--the Lord our Righteousness.

Now for the travail of His soul,
Messiah's peaceful reign advance;
From sea to sea, from pole to pole,
He claims His pledged inheritance:
O Thou most mighty! gird
Thy sword upon Thy thigh,--
That two-edged sword,--Thy word,
By which Thy foes shall die,
Then be new-born beneath Thine eye.

So perish all Thine enemies,
Their enmity alone be slain;
Them, in the arms of mercy seize,
Breathe, and their souls shall come again:
So may Thy friends at length,
Oft smitten, oft laid low,
Forth, like the sun in strength,
Conquering, to conquer go,
Till to Thy throne all nations flow.

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: Send out Thy light and truth, O God
Author: James Montgomery
Meter: D
Language: English


Send out Thy light and truth, O God! J. Montgomery. Missions.] This well-known hymn was first printed in a religious annual, The Christian Keepsake, in 1836; again in Montgomery's Original Hymns, 1853, No. 253; and again in Mercer's Church Psalter & Hymn Book, 1854, No. 381, in 4 stanzas of 8 lines, the only change from the 1836 text being st. iii. 1. 9, “Then spring" to "Then be new born," &c. From Mercers Preface it would seem that he was under the impression that it was written specially for his collection. Montgomery says in a note in his Original Hymns, p. 256, that it was written "in the metre and to suit the tune of the hymn said to have been composed and set to music by Luther, and sung by him and his friends as they entered the city of Worms to appear before the Diet there." The German hymn referred to is Ein’ feste Burg. Montgomery's hymn, however, has nothing in common with Luther's save the metre. It has attained to somewhat extensive use in Great Britain and America.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The original rhythms of EIN FESTE BURG (see 469) had already reached their familiar isorhythmic (all equal rhythms) shape by the time of Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) in the eighteenth century. The harmonization is taken from his Cantata 80. Many organ and choral works are based on this chorale, including…

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Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church #348Page Scan
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Offices of Worship and Hymns: with tunes, 3rd ed., revised and enlarged #1029Page Scan
Sacred Poems and Hymns #253Text
The Liturgy and the Office of Worship and Hymns of the American Province of the Unitas Fratrum, or the Moravian Church #1029Page Scan