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

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-and-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 heavenly Father’s voice,
I love, I love His home!