Home  »  The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century  »  James Montgomery (1771–1854)

Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Original Hymns for Public, Private, and Social Devotion (1853). V. At Home in Heaven (“For ever with”)

James Montgomery (1771–1854)

Part I

“FOR ever with the Lord!”

—Amen; so let it be;

Life from the dead is in that word,

’Tis immortality.

Here in the body pent,

Absent from Him I roam;

Yet nightly pitch my moving tent

A day’s march nearer home.

My Father’s house on high,

Home of my soul, how near,

At times, to faith’s foreseeing eye,

Thy golden gates appear!

Ah! then my spirit faints

To reach the land I love,

The bright inheritance of saints,

Jerusalem above.

Yet clouds will intervene,

And all my prospect flies;

Like Noah’s dove, I flit between

Rough seas and stormy skies.

Anon the clouds dispart,

The winds and waters cease,

While sweetly o’er my gladden’d heart

Expands the bow of peace.

Beneath its glowing arch,

Along the hallow’d ground,

I see cherubic armies march,

A camp of fire around.

I hear at morn and even,

At noon and midnight hour,

The choral harmonies of heaven

Earth’s Babel-tongues o’erpower.

Then, then I feel that He,

(Remember’d or forgot,)

The Lord, is never far from me,

Though I perceive Him not.

Part II

IN darkness as in light

Hidden alike from view,

I sleep, I wake within His sight

Who looks all nature through.

From the dim hour of birth,

Through every changing state

Of mortal pilgrimage on earth,

Till its appointed date;

All that I am, have been,

All that I yet may be,

He sees at once, as He hath seen

And shall for ever see.

How can I meet His eyes?

Mine on the cross I cast,

And own my life a Saviour’s prize,

Mercy from first to last.

“For ever with the Lord!”

—Father, if ’tis Thy will,

The promise of that faithful word,

Even here to me fulfil.

Be Thou at my right hand,

Then can I never fail;

Uphold Thou me, and I shall stand,

Fight, and I must prevail.

So when my latest breath

Shall rend the veil in twain,

By death I shall escape from death,

And life eternal gain.

Knowing as I am known,

How shall I love that word,

And oft repeat before the throne,

“For ever with the Lord!”

Then, though the soul enjoy

Communion high and sweet,

While worms this body must destroy,

Both shall in glory meet.

The trump of final doom

Will speak the self-same word,

And Heaven’s voice thunder through the tomb,

“For ever with the Lord!”

The tomb shall echo deep

That death-awakening sound;

The saints shall hear it in their sleep

And answer from the ground.

Then, upward as they fly,

That resurrection-word

Shall be their shout of victory,

“For ever with the Lord!”

The resurrection-word,

That shout of victory,

Once more,—“For ever with the Lord!”

Amen; so let it be.