Scripture Verse

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6


Horatius Bonar (1808–1889)

Words: Ho­ra­ti­us Bo­nar, 1843.

Music: Le­ba­non (Zun­del) John Zun­del, 1855 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Zun­del (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


During a re­vi­val in a fe­male se­mi­na­ry in Mas­sa­chu­setts, many of the pu­pils had shown the na­tur­al en­mi­ty of the car­nal mind to spir­it­ual things.

Helen B— was among those who no­ticed the Spir­it’s work on­ly by a curl­ing lip and scorn­ful laugh. It seemed in vain to talk with her or seek to in­duce her to at­tend a pray­er meet­ing. Chris­tians could do no­thing more than to pray for her.

One ev­en­ing, how­ev­er, as a pray­ing band had ga­thered, the door op­ened, and Hel­en B— en­tered. Her eyes were down­cast, and her face was calm and ve­ry pale. There was some­thing in her look which told of an in­ward strug­gle.

She took her seat si­lent­ly, and the ex­er­cis­es of the meet­ing pro­ceed­ed. A few lines were sung, two or three pray­ers of­fered, and then, as was their cus­tom, each re­peat­ed a few vers­es of their fa­vo­rite hymn.

One fol­lowed an­oth­er in suc­ces­sion un­til it came to the turn of the new­com­er. There was a pause and a per­fect si­lence, and then, with­out lift­ing her eyes from the floor, she com­menced:

I was a wan­der­ing sheep,
I did not love the fold.

Her voice was low, but dis­tinct; and ev­ery word, as she ut­tered it, thrilled the hearts of the list­en­ers. She re­peat­ed one stan­za af­ter an­oth­er of that beau­ti­ful hymn of Bo­nar, and not an eye save her own was dry.

Nutter, p. 161


I was a wan­der­ing sheep,
I did not love the fold;
I did not love my Shep­herd’s voice,
I would not be con­trolled.
I was a way­ward child,
I did not love my home;
I did not love my Fa­ther’s voice,
I loved afar to roam.

The Shep­herd sought His sheep,
The Fa­ther sought His child;
They fol­lowed me o’er vale and hill,
O’er des­erts waste and wild;
They found me nigh to death,
Famished and faint and lone;
They bound me with the bands of love,
They saved the wan­d’ring one.

They spoke in ten­der love,
They raised my droop­ing head,
They gent­ly closed my bleed­ing wounds,
My faint­ing soul they fed;
They washed my filth away,
They made me clean and fair;
They brought me to my home in peace,
The long sought wan­der­er.

Jesus my Shep­herd is:
’Twas He that loved my soul;
’Twas He that washed me in His blood,
’Twas He that made me whole.
’Twas He that sought the lost,
That found the wan­d’ring sheep,
’Twas He that brought me to the fold,
’Tis He that still doth keep.

No more a wan­der­ing sheep,
I love to be con­trolled;
I love my ten­der Shep­herd’s voice,
I love the peace­ful fold.
No more a way­ward child,
I seek no more to roam;
I love my heav’n­ly Fa­ther’s voice,
I love, I love His home!