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