When, like a stranger on our sphere

When, like a stranger on our sphere

Author: James Montgomery
Published in 74 hymnals

Representative Text

When, like a stranger on our sphere,
The lowly Jesus sojourn'd here,
Where'er He went Affliction fled,
And Sickness rear'd her drooping head.

The eye That roll'd in irksome night
Beheld His face, for He was light;
The opening ear, the loosen'd tongue,
His precepts heard, His praises sung.

Demoniac Madness, dark and wild,
With melancholy transport smiled;
The storm of horror ceased to roll,
And reason lighten'd through his soul.

His touch the outcast leper heal'd,
His lips the sinner's pardon seal'd;
The palsied frame, the crippled limb,
Felt Virtue going forth from Him.

Behold Him in the wilderness,
He lifts His hand the bread to bless;
And while the fainting multitude
Look'd up to Him, gave all their food.

In Him with man's infirmity,
The fulness of the Godhead see,
Warm tears o'er Lazarus He shed,
Then spake the word that raised the dead.

Through paths of loving-kindness brought,
May all our work in Him be wrought;
In His great Name, let us dispense
The crumbs of our benevolence.

Hark! the sweet voice of pity calls
Misfortune to these hallow'd walls;
The breaking heart, and burthen'd breast,
And helpless Poverty distrest.

Here the whole family of woe
Shall friends, and home, and comfort know;
The blasted form and shipwreck'd mind,
Shall here a tranquil haven find.

And Thou, dread Power! whose sovereign breath,
Is health or sickness, life or death,
Send Thine abundant blessing down,
And with success our labours crown.

Sacred Poems and Hymns

Author: James Montgomery

James Montgomery (b. Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland, 1771; d. Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, 1854), the son of Moravian parents who died on a West Indies mission field while he was in boarding school, Montgomery inherited a strong religious bent, a passion for missions, and an independent mind. He was editor of the Sheffield Iris (1796-1827), a newspaper that sometimes espoused radical causes. Montgomery was imprisoned briefly when he printed a song that celebrated the fall of the Bastille and again when he described a riot in Sheffield that reflected unfavorably on a military commander. He also protested against slavery, the lot of boy chimney sweeps, and lotteries. Associated with Christians of various persuasions, Montgomery supported missio… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: When, like a stranger on our sphere
Author: James Montgomery
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


When like a stranger on our sphere. J. Montgomery. Public Hospitals.] Of this hymn there are two texts, details of which are as follows:—(1) It was written for the opening of the Sheffield Infirmary, October, 1797, and printed in Montgomery's Iris newspaper, Oct. 6,1797. In 1819 it was included in Cotterill’s Selection, No. 246, in 4 stanzas of 8 lines, and entitled "At a Sermon for an Infirmary." In 1825 this text was repeated, with slight alterations, in Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, No. 531, broken into 8 stanzas of 4 lines, entitled "For a Public Hospital." (2) Amongst the Montgomery manuscripts there is a manuscript of this hymn in 10 stanzas, and thus dated: "Revised, June 2, 1844." It is this revised text which was given by Montgomery in his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 286, under the heading "Hymn for the Opening of the Sheffield Infirmary, October, 1797," and from which Dr. Kennedy, in his Hymnologia Christiana 1863, and other modern editors have taken their text. The older hymnbooks have the text as in Cotterill’s Selection whilst most of the modern collections follow that of the Original Hymns, 1853.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

The Baptist Hymnal #117

Include 73 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us


It looks like you are using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue helps keep us running. Please consider white-listing Hymnary.org or subscribing to eliminate ads entirely and help support Hymnary.org.