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

Died: Ju­ly 31, 1889, Ed­in­burgh, Scot­land.

Buried: Can­on­gate church­yard.

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 The Border Watch. Bonar re­mained in Kel­so for 28 years, af­ter which he 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:



  1. Almighty Comforter and Friend
  2. All That I Was
  3. Angel Voices, Sweetly Singing
  4. Ascend, Beloved, to the Joy
  5. Bathed in Unfallen Sunlight
  6. Be Brave, My Brother
  7. Be Still, My Soul, Jehovah Loveth Thee
  8. Bear Thou My Burden
  9. Beloved, Let Us Love
  10. Beyond the Smiling and the Weeping
  11. Blessed Be God, Our God
  12. Blessèd Night, When First That Plain
  13. Blessing and Honor and Glory and Power
  14. Brethren, Arise, Let us Go Hence
  15. Bridegroom Comes, The
  16. By the Cross of Jesus Standing
  17. Calm Me, My God
  18. Christ Has Done the Mighty Work
  19. Church Has Waited Long, The
  20. Come, Lord, and Tarry Not
  21. Come, Mighty Spirit, Penetrate
  22. Cross, It Standeth Fast, The
  23. Deep Down Beneath the Unresting Surge
  24. Done Is the Work That Saves
  25. Everlasting Prais­es
  26. Far Down the Ages Now
  27. Father, Make Use of Me
  28. Father, Our Children Keep
  29. Fear Not the Foe, Thou Flock of God
  30. Few More Years Shall Roll, A
  31. Fill Thou My Life
  32. Finish Thy Work, the Time Is Short
  33. For Lack of Love I Languish
  34. For the Bread and for the Wine
  35. For Thee We Long and Pray
  36. Free One Makes You Free, The
  37. From the Cross the Blood Is Falling
  38. From This Bleak Hill of Storms
  39. Glory Be to God the Father
  40. Go, Labor On: Spend, and Be Spent
  41. Go Up, Go Up, My Heart
  42. Great Ruler of the Land and Sea
  43. He Called Them, and They Left
  44. He Has Come, the Christ of God
  45. He Is Near (I Know Not When the Lord Will Come)
  46. He Liveth Long Who Liveth Well
  47. Help Me, My God, to Speak
  48. Here, O My Lord, I See Thee
  49. Here Shall Death’s Triumph End
  50. Holy Father, Hear My Cry
  51. Holy Father, Mighty God
  52. Ho, Ye Thirsty, Parched and Fainting
  53. How Are My Troubles Multiplied
  54. How Sweetly Doth He Show His Face
  55. I Ask a Perfect Creed
  56. I Close My Heavy Eye
  57. I Hear the Words of Love
  58. I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
  59. I Lay My Sins on Jesus
  60. I See the Crowd in Pilate’s Hall
  61. I Thought upon My Sins
  62. I Was a Wandering Sheep
  63. I Weep, but Do Not Yield
  64. Jesus, My Sorrow Lies Too Deep
  65. Jesus, Sun and Shield Art Thou
  66. Jesus the Christ of God
  67. Jesus, While This Rough Desert Soil
  68. Jesus, Whom Angel Hosts Adore
  69. Let There Be Light, Jehovah Said
  70. Lie Down, Frail Body, Here
  71. Light Hath Arisen, The
  72. Light of Life So Softly Shining
  73. Light of the World! Forever, Ever Shining
  74. Lo, God, Our God, Has Come
  75. Long, Long Deferred, Now Come at Last
  76. Lord, Give Me Light to Do Thy Work
  77. Make Haste, O Man, to Live
  78. Make Use of Me, My God
  79. Master’s Touch, The
  80. Nay, ’Tis Not What We Fancied It
  81. No Blood, No Altar, Now
  82. No, Not Despairingly
  83. No Seas Again Shall Ever Sever
  84. No Shadows Yonder
  85. Not to Ourselves Again
  86. Not What I Am, O Lord
  87. Not What These Hands Have Done
  88. Not with the Light and Vain
  89. Now in Parting, Father, Bless Us
  90. O Everlasting Light
  91. O Light of Light, Shine In
  92. O Love Invisible, Yet Infinite
  93. O Love of God, How Strong and True
  94. O Love That Casts Out Fear
  95. O Strong to Save and Bless
  96. O This Soul, How Dark and Blind
  97. O ’Tis Not What We Fancied It
  98. On the Great Love of God I Lean
  99. On Thee, O Jesus, Strongly Leaning
  100. Oppressed with Noonday’s Scorching Heat
  101. Peace to the World
  102. Peace upon Peace, Like Wave on Wave
  103. Rejoice and Be Glad!
  104. Rest for the Toiling Hand
  105. Safe Across the Waters
  106. Shall This Life of Mine Be Wasted?
  107. Silent, like Men in Solemn Haste
  108. Sinful Man Am I, A
  109. Sing Them, My Children
  110. Soon Shall the Trump of God
  111. Sounds the Trumpet from Afar
  112. Sower Divine, Sow the Good Seed in Me
  113. Speak, Lips of Mine
  114. Speaketh the Sinner’s Sin with­in my Heart
  115. Spirit of Everlasting Grace
  116. Still One in Life and One in Death
  117. Surely, Yon Heaven, Where Angels See God’s Face
  118. That City with the Jeweled Crest
  119. That Clime Is Not Like This Dull Clime of Ours
  120. Thee in the Loving Bloom of Morn
  121. There Is a Morn­ing Star, My Soul
  122. These Are the Crowns That We Shall Wear
  123. This Is Not My Place of Resting
  124. This Is the Day of Toil
  125. Through Good Report and Evil, Lord
  126. Thy Thoughts Are Here, My God
  127. Thy Way, Not Mine, O Lord
  128. Thy Works, Not Mine, O Christ
  129. Till the Day Dawn
  130. Time’s Sun is Fast Setting
  131. To Him Who Spread the Skies
  132. To Jehovah, God of Might
  133. To the Name of God on High
  134. Trustingly, Trustingly
  135. Tomb Is Empty, The
  136. Unto th’Eternal Hills
  137. Upward Where the Stars Are Burning
  138. We Take the Peace Which He Hath Won
  139. Weep, Pilgrim, Weep
  140. When the Weary, Seeking Rest
  141. Where the Faded Flower Shall Freshen
  142. Yes, for Me He Careth
  143. Yet There Is Room