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

July 31, 1889, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Canongate churchyard, Edinburgh.


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
    • Long, Long Deferred, Now Come at Last
  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. Day After Armageddon, The
  23. Deep Down Beneath the Unresting Surge
  24. Done Is the Work That Saves
  25. Eternity Is Drawing Nigh
  26. Everlasting Praises
  27. Far Down the Ages Now
  28. Father, Make Use of Me
  29. Father, Our Children Keep
  30. Fear Not the Foe, Thou Flock of God
  31. Few More Years Shall Roll, A
  32. Fill Thou My Life
  33. Finish Thy Work, the Time Is Short
  34. For Lack of Love I Languish
  35. For the Bread and for the Wine
  36. For Thee We Long and Pray
  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. Hallelujah for the Cross!
  44. He Called Them, and They Left
  45. He Has Come, the Christ of God
  46. He Is Near (I Know Not When the Lord Will Come)
  47. He Is Risen
  48. He Liveth Long Who Liveth Well
  49. Help Me, My God, to Speak
  50. Here, O My Lord, I See Thee
  51. Here Shall Death’s Triumph End
  52. Holy Father, Hear My Cry
  53. Holy Father, Mighty God
  54. Ho, Ye Thirsty, Parched and Fainting
  55. How Are My Troubles Multiplied
  56. How Long?
  57. How Sweetly Doth He Show His Face
  58. I Ask a Perfect Creed
    • O True One, Give Me Truth
  59. I Close My Heavy Eye
  60. I Hear the Words of Love
  61. I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
  62. I Lay My Sins on Jesus
  63. I See the Crowd in Pilate’s Hall
  64. I Shall Be Satisfied
  65. I Thought upon My Sins
  66. I Was a Wandering Sheep
  67. I Weep, but Do Not Yield
  68. Jesus, My Sorrow Lies Too Deep
  69. Jesus, Sun and Shield Art Thou
  70. Jesus the Christ of God
  71. Jesus, While This Rough Desert Soil
  72. Jesus, Whom Angel Hosts Adore
  73. Let There Be Light, Jehovah Said
  74. Let Us Draw Near
  75. Lie Down, Frail Body, Here
    • Rest for the Toiling Hand
    • Soon Shall the Trump of God
  76. Light Hath Arisen, The
  77. Light of Life So Softly Shining
  78. Light of the World! Forever, Ever Shining
  79. Lo, God, Our God, Has Come!
  80. Lord, Give Me Light to Do Thy Work
  81. Lost Soul, The
  82. Make Haste, O Man, to Live
  83. Make Use of Me, My God
  84. Master’s Touch, The
  85. Mind at Perfect Peace with God, A
  86. Morning, the Bright and the Beautiful Morning, The
  87. Nay, ’Tis Not What We Fancied It
    • O ’Tis Not What We Fancied It
  88. Night Cometh, The
  89. No Blood, No Altar Now
  90. No, Not Despairingly
  91. No Seas Again Shall Ever Sever
  92. No Shadows Yonder
  93. Not to Ourselves Again
  94. Not What I Am, O Lord
  95. Not What These Hands Have Done
  96. Not with the Light and Vain
  97. Now in Parting, Father, Bless Us
  98. O Everlasting Light
  99. O Light of Light, Shine In
  100. O Love Invisible, Yet Infinite
  101. O Love of God, How Strong and True
  102. O Love That Casts Out Fear
  103. O Strong to Save and Bless
  104. O This Soul, How Dark and Blind
  105. Of Old They Sang the Song of Liberty
    • Free One Makes You Free, The
  106. On the Great Love of God I Lean
  107. On Thee, O Jesus, Strongly Leaning
  108. Only Remembered
  109. Oppressed with Noonday’s Scorching Heat
  110. Peace to the World
  111. Peace upon Peace, Like Wave on Wave
  112. Praises to Him Who Built the Hills
  113. Rejoice and Be Glad!
  114. Safe Across the Waters
  115. Shall This Life of Mine Be Wasted?
  116. Silent, Like Men in Solemn Haste
  117. Sinful Man Am I, A
  118. Sing Them, My Children
  119. Sounds the Trumpet from Afar
  120. Sower Divine, Sow the Good Seed in Me
  121. Speak, Lips of Mine
  122. Speaketh the Sinner’s Sin Within My Heart
  123. Spirit of Everlasting Grace
  124. Surely, Yon Heaven, Where Angels See God’s Face
  125. That Clime Is Not Like This Dull Clime of Ours
  126. Thee in the Loving Bloom of Morn
  127. There Is a Morning Star, My Soul
  128. These Are the Crowns That We Shall Wear
    • That City with the Jeweled Crest
    • Yon City, with the Jeweled Crest
  129. This Is the Day of Toil
  130. This Is Not My Place of Resting
  131. This Is the Day of Toil
  132. Through Death to Life
  133. Through Good Report and Evil, Lord
  134. Thy Thoughts Are Here, My God
  135. Thy Way, Not Mine, O Lord
  136. Thy Works, Not Mine, O Christ
  137. Till the Day Dawn
  138. ’Tis Thus They Press the Hand and Part
  139. To Him Who Spread the Skies
  140. To Jehovah, God of Might
  141. To the Name of God on High
  142. Trustingly, Trustingly
  143. Unto th’Eternal Hills
  144. Upward Where the Stars Are Burning
  145. We Take the Peace Which He Hath Won
  146. Weep, Pilgrim, Weep
  147. Welcome! Wanderer, Welcome!
  148. When the Weary, Seeking Rest
  149. Where the Faded Flower Shall Freshen
  150. Who Are These, and Whence Came They?
  151. Yes, for Me He Careth
  152. Yet There Is Room