Hail to the Lord's Anointed

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Hail to the Lord's anointed

Author: James Montgomery (1821)
Scripture Songs
Published in 835 hymnals

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Song available on My.Hymnary

Representative Text

1. Hail to the Lord's Anointed,
great David's greater Son!
Hail in the time appointed,
his reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression,
to set the captive free;
to take away transgression,
and rule in equity.

2. He comes with succor speedy
to those who suffer wrong;
to help the poor and needy,
and bid the weak be strong;
to give them songs for sighing,
their darkness turn to light,
whose souls, condemned and dying,
are precious in his sight.

3. He shall come down like showers
upon the fruitful earth;
love, joy, and hope, like flowers,
spring in his path to birth.
Before him on the mountains,
shall peace, the herald, go,
and righteousness, in fountains,
from hill to valley flow.

4. To him shall prayer unceasing
and daily vows ascend;
his kingdom still increasing,
a kingdom without end.
The tide of time shall never
his covenant remove;
his name shall stand forever;
that name to us is love.

The United Methodist Hymnal

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: Hail to the Lord's anointed
Title: Hail to the Lord's Anointed
Author: James Montgomery (1821)
Meter: D
Language: English
Notes: Spanish translation: See "Dad gloria al ungido" by J. Burghi
Copyright: Public Domain
Liturgical Use: Scripture Songs


This is James Montgomery's best psalm rendering. It is based on Ps. 72 and was written in eight stanzas for, and included in, a Christmas Ode which was sung at one of the Moravian settlements, perhaps Fulneck, in the United Kingdom, Christmas, 1821. It was published in the following year in the Evangelical Magazine and entitled "Imitation of the 72d psalm (Tune: Culmstock)."

—The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal

I need not tell the intelligent reader that he has seized the spirit and exhibited some of the principal beauties of the Hebrew bard, though, to use his own words in letter to me, his "hand trembled to touch the harp of Zion." I take the liberty here to register a wish, which I have strongly expressed to himself, that he would favor the Church of God with a metrical version of the whole book.

—Dr. Adam Clarke: Exposition to "Commentary on Psalm 72"



George J. Webb (b. Rushmore Lodge, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, 1803; d. Orange, NJ, 1887) composed WEBB (also known as MORNING LIGHT) on a voyage from England to the United States. The tune was published in The Odeon, a collection of secular music compiled by Webb and Lowell Mason (PHH 96) i…

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