(see the writeup on Bernard Barton)
is the case with James Montgomery, whom we might have
mentioned with his unlucky namesake in the long-poem division, for he
wrote several epics or quasi-epics, which were popular enough,
entirely negligible, but not absurd. Some of his hymns, also, such as
Go to dark Gethsemane,
Songs of praise the angels sang
and others, are still
popular and not negligible, while he could sometimes, also, write
verses (not technically "sacred," but devoted to the affections and
moral feelings which deserve some esteem. James Montgomery is one
of the poets who have no irrefragable reason for existing, but whom, as
existing, it is unnecessary to visit with any very damnatory sentence.
The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes
Volume XII. The Romantic Revival,
V. Lesser Poets, 1790-1837.
So that you may judge for yourselves, two Lutheran hymns by James Montgomery:
Go to Dark Gethsemane
1. Go to dark Gethsemane,
Ye that feel the Tempter's power;
Your Redeemer's conflict see,
Watch with Him one bitter hour;
Turn not from His griefs away,
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray.
2. Follow to the judgment-hall,
View the Lord of life arraigned;
Oh, the wormwood and the gall!
Oh, the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suffering, shame, or loss;
Learn of Him to bear the cross.
3. Calvary's mournful mountain climb;
There, adoring at His feet,
Mark that miracle of time,
God's own sacrifice complete.
"It is finished!" bear Him cry;
Learn of Jesus Christ to die.
4. Early hasten to the tomb
Where they laid His breathless clay;
All is solitude and gloom,--
Who hath taken Him away?
Christ is risen! He meets our eyes.
Savior, teach us so to rise.
In the Hour of Trial
1. In the hour of trial,
Jesus, plead for me
Lest by base denial
I depart from Thee.
When Thou see'st me waver,
With a look recall
Nor for fear or favor
Suffer me to fall.
2. With forbidden pleasures
Should this vain world charm
Or its tempting treasures
Spread to work me harm,
Bring to my remembrance
Or, in darker semblance,
3. Should Thy mercy send me
Sorrow, toil, and woe,
Or should pain attend me
On my path below,
Grant that I may ever
Cast my care on Thee.
4. When my last hour cometh.
Fraught with strife and pain,
When my dust returneth
To the dust again,
On Thy truth relying,
Through that mortal strife,
Jesus, take me, dying,
To eternal life.