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. Deep Down Beneath the Unresting Surge
  23. Done Is the Work That Saves
  24. Everlasting Praises
  25. Far Down the Ages Now
  26. Father, Make Use of Me
  27. Father, Our Children Keep
  28. Fear Not the Foe, Thou Flock of God
  29. Few More Years Shall Roll, A
  30. Fill Thou My Life
  31. Finish Thy Work, the Time Is Short
  32. For Lack of Love I Languish
  33. For the Bread and for the Wine
  34. For Thee We Long and Pray
  35. Free One Makes You Free, The
  36. From the Cross the Blood Is Falling
  37. From This Bleak Hill of Storms
  38. Glory Be to God the Father
  39. Go, Labor On: Spend, and Be Spent
  40. Go Up, Go Up, My Heart
  41. Great Ruler of the Land and Sea
  42. Hallelujah for the Cross!
  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 Shall Be Satisfied
  62. I Thought upon My Sins
  63. I Was a Wandering Sheep
  64. I Weep, but Do Not Yield
  65. Jesus, My Sorrow Lies Too Deep
  66. Jesus, Sun and Shield Art Thou
  67. Jesus the Christ of God
  68. Jesus, While This Rough Desert Soil
  69. Jesus, Whom Angel Hosts Adore
  70. Let There Be Light, Jehovah Said
  71. Lie Down, Frail Body, Here
  72. Light Hath Arisen, The
  73. Light of Life So Softly Shining
  74. Light of the World! Forever, Ever Shining
  75. Lo, God, Our God, Has Come
  76. Long, Long Deferred, Now Come at Last
  77. Lord, Give Me Light to Do Thy Work
  78. Make Haste, O Man, to Live
  79. Make Use of Me, My God
  80. Master’s Touch, The
  81. Mind at Perfect Peace with God, A
  82. Morning, the Bright and the Beautiful Morning, The
  83. Nay, ’Tis Not What We Fancied It
    • O ’Tis Not What We Fancied It
  84. No Blood, No Altar, Now
  85. No, Not Despairingly
  86. No Seas Again Shall Ever Sever
  87. No Shadows Yonder
  88. Not to Ourselves Again
  89. Not What I Am, O Lord
  90. Not What These Hands Have Done
  91. Not with the Light and Vain
  92. Now in Parting, Father, Bless Us
  93. O Everlasting Light
  94. O Light of Light, Shine In
  95. O Love Invisible, Yet Infinite
  96. O Love of God, How Strong and True
  97. O Love That Casts Out Fear
  98. O Strong to Save and Bless
  99. O This Soul, How Dark and Blind
  100. On the Great Love of God I Lean
  101. On Thee, O Jesus, Strongly Leaning
  102. Only Remembered
  103. Oppressed with Noonday’s Scorching Heat
  104. Peace to the World
  105. Peace upon Peace, Like Wave on Wave
  106. Pray, Brethren, Pray
  107. Rejoice and Be Glad!
  108. Rest for the Toiling Hand
  109. Safe Across the Waters
  110. Shall This Life of Mine Be Wasted?
  111. Silent, Like Men in Solemn Haste
  112. Sinful Man Am I, A
  113. Sing Them, My Children
  114. Soon Shall the Trump of God
  115. Sounds the Trumpet from Afar
  116. Sower Divine, Sow the Good Seed in Me
  117. Speak, Lips of Mine
  118. Speaketh the Sinner’s Sin Within My Heart
  119. Spirit of Everlasting Grace
  120. Still One in Life and One in Death
  121. Surely, Yon Heaven, Where Angels See God’s Face
  122. That City with the Jeweled Crest
  123. That Clime Is Not Like This Dull Clime of Ours
  124. Thee in the Loving Bloom of Morn
  125. There Is a Morning Star, My Soul
  126. These Are the Crowns That We Shall Wear
  127. This Is Not My Place of Resting
  128. This Is the Day of Toil
  129. Through Good Report and Evil, Lord
  130. Thy Thoughts Are Here, My God
  131. Thy Way, Not Mine, O Lord
  132. Thy Works, Not Mine, O Christ
  133. Till the Day Dawn
  134. Time’s Sun Is Fast Setting
  135. To Him Who Spread the Skies
  136. To Jehovah, God of Might
  137. To the Name of God on High
  138. Trustingly, Trustingly
  139. Tomb Is Empty, The
  140. Unto th’Eternal Hills
  141. Upward Where the Stars Are Burning
  142. We Take the Peace Which He Hath Won
  143. Weep, Pilgrim, Weep
  144. Welcome! Wanderer, Welcome!
  145. When the Weary, Seeking Rest
  146. Where the Faded Flower Shall Freshen
  147. Yes, for Me He Careth
  148. Yet There Is Room