James Montgomery’s version of Psalm 91 marries the deep poetical expressions of the ancient Hebrews with the familiar beauties of English poetry to celebrate God’s faithful providence in the lives of those who trust Him.
Call Jehovah thy salvation,
Rest beneath the Almighty’s shade,
In his secret habitation
Dwell, and never be dismay’d:
There no tumult shall alarm thee,
Thou shalt dread no hidden snare,
Guile nor violence can harm thee
In eternal safeguard there.
From the sword at noon-day wasting,
From the noisome pestilence,
In the depth of midnight blasting,
God shall be thy sure defence;
Fear not thou the deadly quiver,
When a thousand feel the blow,
Mercy shall thy soul deliver,
Though ten thousand be laid low.
Only with thine eyes the anguish
Of the wicked thou shalt see,
When by slow disease they languish,
When they perish suddenly:
Thee, though winds and waves be swelling,
God, thine hope, shall bear through all;
Plague shall not come nigh thy dwelling,
Thee no evil shall befall.
He shall charge his angel legions,
Watch and ward o’er thee to keep;
Though thou walk through hostile regions,
Though in desert wilds thou sleep:
On the lion vainly roaring,
On his young, thy foot shall tread,
And, the dragon’s den exploring,
Thou shalt bruise the Serpent’s head.
Since, with pure and firm affection,
Thou on God hast set thy love,
With the wings of His protection
He will shield thee from above:
Thou shalt call on Him in trouble,
He will hearken, He will save,
Here for grief reward thee double,
Crown with life beyond the grave.
~James Montgomery, 1922
Tune: Austrian Hymn