In the Hour of Trial

Lyricist James Montgomery was born November 4th, 1771 in Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland. Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs historical record recounts:

James Montgomery, 1771-1854

Mr. Montgomery had a heart for missions, assuredly from his parents, who served in the West Indies. In a day, however, things changed as James received word while in seminary that both died unexpectedly on the mission field. This news pushed Montgomery into a path of discouragement and lack of purpose for some time, leaving his studies cut short. Soon he began to write and edited a weekly newspaper. In 1825, after thirty years, he gave up the paper, focusing on promotion of missions and pursuits of generosity.

Of his writing skill, historian John Julian’s “Dictionary of Hymnology” states:

“The secrets of his power as a writer of hymns were manifold. His poetic genius was of a high order, higher than most who stand with him in the front rank of Christian poets. His ear for rhythm was exceedingly accurate and refined. His knowledge of Holy Scriptures was most extensive. His religious views were broad and charitable. His devotional spirit was of the holiest type. With the faith of a strong man he united the beauty and simplicity of a child. Richly poetic without exuberance, dogmatic without uncharitableness, tender without sentimentality, elaborate without diffusiveness, richly musical without apparent effort…”


Spencer Lane, 1843-1903

Musician Spencer  Lane was born April 7th, 1843 in Tilton, New Hampshire, and served in the 8th New Hampshire Infantry during the American Civil war. Lane composed this tune one afternoon specifically for Montgomery’s lyrics after deciding he didn’t like the tune provided by his pastor to be sung that evening.

In the Hour of Trial
             In the hour of trial, Jesus pray for me,
           Lest, by base denial, I depart from thee:
        When thou seest me waver, with a look recall,
         Nor, for fear or favour, suffer me to fall.
With its witching pleasures, would this vain world charm,
Or, its sordid treasures, spread, to work me harm;
Bring to my remembrance sad Gethsemane,
Or, in darker semblance, cross-crowned Calvary.
If, with sore affliction, thou in love chastise,
Pour thy benediction on the sacrifice;
Then, upon thine altar, freely offered up,
Though the flesh may falter, faith shall drink the cup.
When, in dust and ashes, to the grave I sink,
While heav’n’s glory flashes o’er the shelving brink,
On thy truth relying, through that mortal strive,
LORD, receive me, dying, to eternal life.



Colossians 3:16
Melody Publications is an organization focused on reawakening the melody of truth in the hearts and minds of believers at home and abroad. Our prayer is that our work would aid churches and families as they sing “Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs” in praise and in worship to our God.


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