1808–1889
portrait

De­cem­ber 19, 1808, Old Brough­ton, Ed­in­burgh, Scot­land.

Ju­ly 31, 1889, Ed­in­burgh, Scot­land.

Can­on­gate church­yard, Ed­in­burgh, Scot­land.

portrait

Bonar has been called the prince of Scot­tish hymn writ­ers.

After grad­u­at­ing from the Un­i­ver­si­ty of Ed­in­burgh, he was or­dained in 1838, and be­came pas­tor of the North Parish, Kel­so. He joined the Free Church of Scot­land af­ter the Dis­rup­tion of 1843, and for a while ed­it­ed the church’s Bor­der Watch.

Bo­nar stayed in Kel­so for 28 years, then moved to the Chal­mers Me­mor­i­al Church in Ed­in­burgh, where he served the rest of his life.

Bonar wrote more than 600 hymns. At a me­mor­i­al ser­vice fol­low­ing his death, his friend, Rev. E. H. Lun­die, said:

His hymns were writ­ten in ve­ry varied cir­cum­stanc­es, some­times timed by the tink­ling brook that bab­bled near him; some­times at­tuned to the or­dered tramp of the ocean, whose crest­ed waves broke on the beach by which he wan­dered; some­times set to the rude mu­sic of the rail­way train that hur­ried him to the scene of du­ty; some­times mea­sured by the si­lent rhy­thm of the midn­ight stars that shone above him.

Bonar’s works in­clude:

A Stranger Here

I miss the dear paternal dwelling,
Which memory still undimmed recalls,
A thousand early stories telling,
I miss the venerable walls.

I miss the chamber of my childhood,
I miss the shade of boyhood’s tree—
The glen, the path, the cliff, the wildwood,
The music of the well known sea.

I miss the ivied haunt of moonlight,
I miss the forest and the stream,
I miss the fragrant grove of noonlight,
I miss our mountain’s sunset gleam.

I miss the green slope, where reposing,
I mused upon the near and far,
Marked, one by one, each floweret closing,
Watched, one by one, each opening star.

I miss the well remembered faces,
The voices, forms of fresher days;
Time ploughs not up these deep drawn traces,
These lines no ages can erase.

I miss them all, for, unforgetting,
My spirit o’er the past still strays,
And, much its wasted years regretting,
It treads again these shaded ways.

I mourn not that each early token
Is now to me a faded flower,
Nor that magic snare is broken
That held me with its mystic power.

I murmur not that now a stranger,
I pass along the smiling earth;
I know the share, I dread the danger,
I hate the haunts, I shun the mirth.

My hopes are passing upward, onward,
And with my hopes my heart has gone;
My eye is turning skyward, sunward,
Where glory brightens round yon throne.

My spirit seeks its dwelling yonder;
And faith fore-dates the joyful day
When these old skies shall cease to sunder
The one dear, love-linked family.

Well pleased I find years rolling o’er me,
And hear each day time’s measured tread;
Far fewer clouds now stretch before me,
Behind me is the darkness spread.

And summer’s suns are swiftly setting,
And life moves downward in their train,
And autumn dews are fondly wetting
The faded cheek of earth in vain.

De­cem­ber moons are coldly waning,
And life with them is on the wane;
Storm laden skies with sad complaining,
Bend blackly o’er the unsmiling main.

My future from my past unlinking,
Each dying year untwines the spell;
The visible is swiftly sinking,
Uprises the invisible.

To light, unchanging and eternal,
From mists that sadden this bleak waste,
To scenes that smile for ever vernal,
From winter’s blackening leaf I haste.

Earth, what a sorrow lives before thee,
None like it in the shadowy past—
The sharpest throe that ever tore thee,
Even tho’ the briefest and the last!

I see the fair moon veil her luster,
I see the sackcloth of the sun;
The shrouding of each starry cluster,
The threefold woe of earth begun.

I see the shadows of its sunset;
And wrapped in these the Avenger’s form;
I see the Armageddon onset;
But I shall be above the storm.

There comes the moaning and the sighing,
There comes the hot tear’s heavy fall,
The thousand agonies of dying—
But I shall be beyond them all.

Horatius Bonar
Hymns of Faith and Hope, 1857

  1. Abide with Us
  2. Almighty Com­fort­er and Friend
  3. All That I Was
  4. All Well
  5. Anchor With­in the Veil, The
  6. Angel Voic­es Sweet­ly Sing­ing
  7. Arise and De­part
  8. Arise, Shine for Thy Light Is Come
  9. At Ease in Zi­on
  10. At Last
  11. Bathed in Un­fall­en Sun­light
  12. Battle Song Against Sa­tan
  13. Battle Song of the Church, The
  14. Be Brave, My Bro­ther
  15. Be Still, My Soul, Je­ho­vah Lov­eth Thee
  16. Bear Thou My Bur­den
  17. Beckon Us Up­ward
  18. Begin with God
  19. Beloved, Let Us Love
  20. Beneath His Wing
  21. Bethlehem
  22. Better Will, The
  23. Beyond the Hills
  24. Beyond the Smil­ing and the Weep­ing
  25. Bless the Lord
  26. Blessed Be God, Our God
  27. Blessèd Night, When First That Plain
  28. Blessing and Hon­or and Glory and Pow­er
  29. Blessing Chain, The
  30. Brethren, Arise, Let Us Go Hence
  31. Bridegroom Comes, The
  32. By the Cross of Je­sus Stand­ing
  33. Calm Me, My God
  34. Christ of God, The
  35. Christ of the Ag­es, The
  36. Church Has Wait­ed Long, The
  37. Come, Lord, and Tar­ry Not
  38. Come, Migh­ty Spir­it
  39. Complete in Him
  40. Consolation, The
  41. Creation in Ear­nest
  42. Credo, Non Opinor
    • I Ask a Per­fect Creed!
    • O True One, Give Me Truth!
  43. Cross and the Crown, The
  44. Cry from the Depths, A
  45. Cry of the Needy, The
  46. Cry of the Wea­ry, The
  47. Day Af­ter Ar­ma­ged­don, The
  48. Day-Spring
  49. Dead and Alive
  50. Dust to Dust
  51. Earth’s Beau­ty
  52. Ecce Ho­mo!
  53. Eternity Is Draw­ing Nigh
  54. Everlasting Prais­es
  55. Far Down the Ag­es Now
  56. Father, Make Use of Me
  57. Father, Our Child­ren Keep
  58. Fear Not, Daugh­ter of Zi­on
  59. Feast, The
  60. Fellowship of the Un­seer, The
  61. Few More Years Shall Roll, A
  62. Fill Thou My Life
  63. Finish Thy Work, the Time Is Short
  64. For Lack of Love
  65. For Thee We Long and Pray
  66. Foreglow, The
  67. Fresh from the Throne of Glo­ry
  68. From the Cross the Blood Is Fall­ing
  69. Give Thou Thy Youth to God
  70. Glory Be to God the Fa­ther
  71. Go, La­bor On: Spend, and Be Spent
  72. Go Up, Go Up, My Heart
  73. God’s Is­ra­el
  74. Gold and the Heart
  75. Good Fight, The
  76. Graves of Ocean, The
  77. Great Mes­sage, The
  78. Great Rul­er of the Land and Sea
  79. Hallelujah for the Cross!
  80. Have Faith in Truth
  81. He Called Them, and They Left
  82. He Has Come, the Christ of God
  83. He Is Com­ing
  84. He Is Near
  85. He Is Ris­en
  86. He Liv­eth Long Who Liv­eth Well
  87. He Must In­crease
  88. He Wept ov­er It
  89. Hear My Cry
  90. Help Me, My God, to Speak
  91. Here, O My Lord, I See Thee
  92. Here Shall Death’s Tri­umph End
  93. Hidden Her­i­tage, The
  94. His Own Re­ceived Him Not
  95. Ho, Ye Thirs­ty, Parched and Faint­ing
  96. Holy Fa­ther, Hear My Cry
  97. Holy Fa­ther, Migh­ty God
  98. Homewards
  99. Hope of Day
  100. How Are My Trou­bles Mul­ti­plied
  101. How Long!
  102. How Sweet­ly Doth He Show His Face
  103. Hymn of the Last Days
  104. I Close My Hea­vy Eye
  105. I Fol­low Thee
  106. I Go to Life
  107. I Hear the Words of Love
  108. I Heard the Voice of Je­sus Say
  109. I Lay My Sins on Je­sus
  110. I Shall Be Sa­tis­fied
  111. I Thought upon My Sins
  112. I Was a Wan­der­ing Sheep
  113. I Weep, but Do Not Yield
    • Come Nearer, Near­er Still
    • I Did Thee Wrong, My God
    • I Said, My God, at Length
    • My Sky Was Once Noon-Bright
  114. In Him We Live
  115. Incorruptible, The
  116. Is This All?
  117. It Is Fi­nished
  118. Jesu, Sav­ior, Son of God
  119. Jesu, Still the Storm
  120. Jesus, My Sor­row Lies Too Deep
  121. Jesus, Sun and Shield Art Thou
  122. Jesus, the Christ of God
  123. Jesus, While This Rough De­sert Soil
  124. Judgment, The
  125. Kingdom, The
  126. Let There Be Light, Je­ho­vah Said
  127. Let Us Draw Near
  128. Let Us Go Forth
  129. Lie Down, Frail Bo­dy, Here
    • Rest for the Toil­ing Hand
    • Soon Shall the Trump of God
  130. Life and I
  131. Light Hath Aris­en, The
  132. Light Is Come, The
  133. Light of Life, The
  134. Light of Life So Soft­ly Shin­ing
  135. Light of the Bet­ter Morn­ing
  136. Light of the World! For­ev­er, Ev­er Shin­ing
  137. Light’s Teach­ings
  138. Little Flock! So Calls He Thee, A
    • Church of the Ev­er­last­ing God
  139. Lo, God, Our God, Has Come!
  140. Lord, Come Away!
  141. Lord, Give Me Light to Do Thy Work
  142. Lord Need­eth Thee, The
  143. Lord, Thou Art Mine
  144. Lost Soul, The
  145. Made of a Wo­man
  146. Make Haste, O Man, to Live
  147. Manifold Light
  148. Marriage of the Lamb Is Come, The
    • Ascend, Be­lov­ed, to the Joy
    • Long, Long De­ferred, Now Come at Last
  149. Martyr’s Grave, The
  150. Master’s Touch, The
  151. Meeting Place, The
  152. Mind at Per­fect Peace, A
  153. Morning, the Bright and the Beau­ti­ful Morn­ing, The
  154. Mountains of Mo­ab, The
  155. Musings and Coun­sels
  156. Nay, ’Tis Not What We Fan­cied It
    • O ’Tis Not What We Fan­cied It
  157. New Song, The
  158. Night and the Morn­ing, The
  159. Night Com­eth, The
  160. Night of Won­der
  161. No, Not Des­pair­ing­ly
  162. No Sha­dows Yon­der
  163. Not Here
  164. Not in Vain
  165. Not Now
  166. Not Thine, but Thee
  167. Not to Our­selves Again
  168. Not Very Far
  169. Not What I Am, O Lord
  170. Not What These Hands Have Done
  171. Not with the Light and Vain
  172. Now in Part­ing, Fa­ther, Bless Us
  173. O Ev­er­last­ing Light
  174. O Love In­vi­si­ble, Yet In­fi­nite
  175. O Love of God, How Strong and True
  176. O Love That Casts Out Fear
  177. O This Soul, How Dark and Blind
  178. Of Old They Sang the Song of Li­ber­ty
    • Free One Makes You Free, The
  179. Old St­ory, The
  180. On the Great Love of God I Lean
  181. On the Thresh­old
  182. On Thee, O Je­sus, Strong­ly Lean­ing
  183. Only Re­mem­bered
  184. Our Ev­en­ing Hymn
  185. Our One Life
  186. Pass ov­er to Thy Rest
  187. Peace to the World
  188. Peace up­on Peace, Like Wave on Wave
  189. Praises to Him Who Built the Hills
  190. Preserved by Thine Al­migh­ty Pow­er
  191. Real, The
  192. Redeem the Time
  193. Rejoice and Be Glad!
  194. Return un­to Thy Rest
  195. Sabbath Hymn
  196. Safe Across the Wa­ters
  197. Sancta The­re­sa
  198. Self-Chal­lenge, The
  199. Shadow of the Cross, The
  200. Shall This Life of Mine Be Wast­ed?
    • Like the Ea­gle, Up­ward, On­ward
  201. Silence of Faith, The
  202. Sin and the Sin Bear­er, The
  203. Sinful Man Am I, A
  204. Sing Them, My Child­ren
  205. Sinner’s Bur­i­al, The
  206. Smooth Ev­ery Wave
  207. Song of Life, The
  208. Song of the New Cr­e­ation
  209. Songs of Glad­ness
  210. Sounds the Trum­pet from Afar
  211. Source of All Love and Pow­er
  212. Sower Di­vine, Sow the Good Seed in Me
  213. Speaketh the Sin­ner’s Sin With­in My Heart
  214. Spirit of Ever­last­ing Grace
  215. Summer of the Si­lent Heart
  216. Sunset and Su­nrise
  217. Supper of Thanks­giv­ing, The
  218. That Clime Is Not Like This Dull Clime of Ours
  219. Thee in the Lov­ing Bloom of Morn
  220. Thee, On­ly Thee
  221. There Is a Morn­ing Star, My Soul
  222. These Are the Crowns That We Shall Wear
    • That Ci­ty with the Jew­eled Crest
    • Yon Ci­ty, with the Jew­eled Crest
  223. They Speak to Me of Prince­ly Tyre
  224. This Is Not My Place of Rest­ing
  225. This Is the Day of Toil
  226. This Pre­sent Ev­il World
  227. Thou Be­liev­est? What Then?
  228. Three Weep­ers, The
  229. Through Death to Life
  230. Through Good Re­port and Evil, Lord
  231. Thy Thoughts Are Here, My God
  232. Thy Way, Not Mine, O Lord
  233. Thy Works, Not Mine, O Christ
  234. Time and Eternity
  235. ’Tis Thus They Press the Hand and Part
  236. To Him Who Spread the Skies
  237. To Je­ho­vah, God of Might
  238. To the Com­fort­er
  239. To the Name of God on High
  240. Training, The
  241. True Bread, The
  242. Trustingly, Trust­ing­ly
  243. ’Twas I That Did It
  244. Two Pro­phets, The
  245. Unto th’Eter­nal Hills
  246. Up and Away, Like the Dew of the Morn­ing
  247. Up, My Soul, ’Tis Day
  248. Upward Where the Stars Are Burn­ing
  249. Use Me!
  250. Victor, The
  251. Village of Si­lo­am
  252. Voice of the Be­lov­èd, The
  253. Vox Ma­tu­ti­na
  254. We Take the Peace Which He Hath Won
  255. Weep, Pil­grim, Weep
  256. Welcome! Wan­der­er, Wel­come!
  257. When the Wea­ry, Seek­ing Rest
  258. Who Are These, and Whence Came They?
  259. Why Walk in Dark­ness?
  260. Wise Weep­ing
  261. Word Made Flesh, The
    • Jesus, Whom An­gel Hosts Adore
  262. Why Walk in Dark­ness?
  263. Work That Saves, The
  264. Yes, for Me He Car­eth
  265. Yet There Is Room
  1. Day of the Lord, The