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Horatius Bonar

Horatius Bonar (1808 - 1889)

Read freely text sermons and articles by the speaker Horatius Bonar in text and pdf format. 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.

He was a voluminous and highly popular author. He also served as the editor for "The Quarterly journal of Prophecy" from 1848 to 1873 and for the "Christian Treasury" from 1859 to 1879. In addition to many books and tracts wrote a number of hymns, many of which, e.g., "I heard the voice of Jesus say" and "Blessing and Honour and Glory and Power," became known all over the English-speaking world. A selection of these was published as Hymns of Faith and Hope (3 series). His last volume of poetry was My Old Letters. Bonar was also author of several biographies of ministers he had known, including "The Life of the Rev. John Milne of Perth" in 1869, - and in 1884 "The Life and Works of the Rev. G. T. Dodds", who had been married to Bonar's daughter and who had died in 1882 while serving as a missionary in France.

showing from 1 to 50 of 208 articles

"By the fear of the Lord men depart from evil." – Proverbs 16:6
      My beloved spoke and said to me, "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig t ... read more

A Happy World
      Genesis 2 WHAT a poem, what a picture was the first chapter! Unrivalled in magnificence. The work done, and the words which describe it, are both of God. Now we get some details of the work. I. Its completion. Thus the heavens and earth were finishe ... read more

Amid The Dazzling Confusion
      The religious atmosphere of the present time is much changed from what it was in my younger days; and I may be allowed to note the difference. The theological crisis through which we are passing is a peculiar one, such as the men of fifty years ago would ... read more

Be Not Borderers.
      "Go in and possess the land." – Deuteronomy 10:2 Israel passed through many changes in their history; but here we have its termination– the possession of the land. They were bondsmen, wanderers, outsiders, borderers; but they were not to remain such; ... read more

      It is the Holy Spirit alone that can draw us to the cross and fasten us to the Saviour. He who thinks he can do without the Spirit, has yet to learn his own sinfulness and helplessness. The gospel would be no good news to the dead in sin, if it did not te ... read more

      You are in earnest now; but I fear you are making your earnestness your Christ, and actually using it as a reason for not trusting Christ immediately. You think your earnestness will lead on to faith, if it be but intense enough, and long enough persisted ... read more

Certainty Of Certainties
      And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. 20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This ... read more

Christ the Cleanser
      “He that is washed needeth not, save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.”—John 13:10. THIS washing of the disciples’ feet was one of the last of our Lord’s acts on earth, as the servant of his disciples, the servant of sinners. How fully did ... read more

Christ The Substitute
      If Christ is not the Substitute, He is nothing to the sinner. If He did not die as the Sin-bearer, He has died in vain. Let us not be deceived on this point nor mislead by those who, when they announce Christ as the Deliverer, think they have preached the ... read more

Comfortable Christianity
      Is the Christianity of our day of the lofty kind of which apostolic men have left us so bright an example? Is it not feeble, indolent, self-indulgent, second-rate? Is there in it anything of the presentation of ‘living sacrifices’ to God, which is our acc ... read more

Daniel Rowland of Llangeitho
      Daniel Rowland of Llangeitho, Wales, stands next to his contemporary George Whitefield in might, faith, and zeal. In natural boldness and energy of character, tempered with gentleness and love, he had few equals. In fervor of spirit, in singleness of eye ... read more

Darkness Pursuing the Sinner.
      "Darkness shall pursue his enemies." Nahum 1:8 "But he sweeps away his enemies in an overwhelming flood. He pursues his foes into the darkness of night." Nahum 1:8 It is of Nineveh and Assyria that this prophet utters his fearful burden. That city ... read more

Deliverance From Deep Waters.
      "He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters." Psalm 18:16 "He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters." – Psalm 18:16 We take these words as the expression, (1.) of David's experience; (2.) of C ... read more

Diverse Kinds of Conscience.
      "The former governors....had laid heavy burdens on the people, demanding a daily ration of food and wine, besides a pound of silver. Even their assistants took advantage of the people. But because of my fear of God, I did not act that way." Neh. 5:15 W ... read more

Divine Jealousy For The Truth
      “O Lord, are not thine eyes upon the truth?” –Jeremiah 5:3 The word “truth” in Scripture refers both to doctrine and practice. It points both to the “error” and the “lie.” It classes both together. It condemns both. False speaking, whether in reference ... read more

Divine Jealousy For the Truth.
      "O Lord, are not your eyes upon the truth?" Jeremiah 5:3 "O Lord, do not your eyes look for truth?" Jeremiah 5:3 This first clause of this verse should be connected with the two previous verses, in which the Lord complains that truth was gone from h ... read more

Divine Longings Over the Foolish.
      "If only they were wise and would understand this and discern what their end will be!" – Deuteronomy 32:29 These are the words, not of anger, but of love, of disappointed affection, of a sorrowful friend, of a tender-hearted father, of an earnest, gra ... read more

Divine Love and Human Rejection of It.
      "I hearkened and heard, but they spoke not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rushes into the battle. Yes, the stork in the heaven knows her appointed times; and the turtle ... read more

Divine Silence And Human Despair
      "And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said ... read more

Every Christian a Teacher.
      "Those who understand among the people shall instruct many." – Daniel 11:33 "Those who are wise will give instruction to many." – Daniel 11:33 We do not receive knowledge for ourselves alone. We must share it with others. Like our High Priest, we m ... read more

Expulsion and Re-Entrance
      "So he drove out the man: and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubims and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." —Genesis 3:24 WE may safely conclude that this solemn act on the part of God is no ... read more

Faithful And Just To Forgive
      It is by a perfect law that we are saved; else it would be an unholy salvation. It is by a perfect law fulfilled in "every jot and tittle" that we are saved; else it would be an unrighteous salvation. The Son of God has kept this law for us; He has magnif ... read more

False Religion and Its Doom.
      "I will scatter your bones round about your altars." – Ezekiel 6:5 "I will lay your corpses in front of your idols and scatter your bones around your altars." Ezekiel 6:5 It is of Israel's idolatries that the prophet is speaking; her false gods, he ... read more

Follow the Lamb! (selections)
      "My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me." John 10:27 Christian, your whole life is to be one continuous following of the Lord. You began with turning your back upon the world, and 'looking to Jesus'; keep ever thus. Looking to Him brought ... read more

Gain and Loss for Eternity.
      "For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he has gained, when God takes away his soul?" – Job 27:8 "For what hope do the godless have when God cuts them off and takes away their life?" Job 27:8 The word "hypocrite" means properly the "ungodly, ... read more

God Calls To A New Life
      It is to a new life that God is calling us, not to some new steps in life, some new habits or ways or motives or prospects, but to A NEW LIFE. To produce this new life the eternal Son of God became flesh, died, was buried, and rose again. It is not ... read more

God Finding A Resting-Place
      1 Chronicles 21:1-30 THERE is something very peculiar about this fragment or episode of Israel's history. It is abrupt, and in a manner isolated, though not wholly so. It has also some very remarkable points about it. It is the introduction to the hi ... read more

God Seeking Worshippers
      For ages before God sought a temple, he had been seeking worshippers. He could do without the former, but not without the latter. His first sanctuary was but a tent; and three thousand years had elapsed before he said, Build me a house wherein I may dwell ... read more

      We have seen that a sinner's peace cannot come from himself, nor from the knowledge of himself, nor from thinking about his own acts and feelings, nor from the consciousness of any amendment of his old self. Whence, then, is it to come? How does he get ... read more

God's Dealing With Sin And The Sinner
      "Er, the first-born of Judah, was evil in the sight of the Lord, and he slew him." —1 Chronicles 2:3 HERE we have, in one brief sentence, a statement of the way in which God deals with sin and the sinner. It is the repetition of a verse in Genesis, i ... read more

God's Desire to Bless the Sinner.
      "Woe unto you, O Jerusalem! will you not be made clean? when shall it once be?" – Jeremiah 13:27 Without dwelling on Jerusalem and her apostasy, which this verse specially brings before us, we pass at once to the application of the words to man in gen ... read more

      God knows us. He knows what we are; he knows also what he meant us to be; and upon the difference between these two states he founds his testimony concerning us. He is too loving to say anything needlessly severe; too true to say anything untrue; nor c ... read more

God’s Trees Grow Slowly
      God’s processes are not always rapid. His greatest works rise slowly. Swiftness of growth has been one of man’s tests of greatness; not so is it with God. His trees grow slowly; the stateliest are the slowest. His creatures grow slowly, year by year; man, ... read more

Going Out and Keeping Out
      "Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shall ... read more

Herod's Ball-Room
      "But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod."—Matthew 19:6. This birthday ball of Herod was held, in all likelihood, at Machaerus, a fortress beyond Jordan, not far from the Dead Sea. It was a h ... read more

His Sun
      "He maketh his sun to rise."—Matthew 5:45. Here is the true link between God and "nature" (as men call it), and between us and nature. Here is the divine claim to proprietorship, to lordship over "nature." All things are God's. No created thing is th ... read more

      Afflictions are preparing for us a "more abundant entrance," a weightier crown, a whiter robe, a sweeter rest, a home made doubly precious by a long exile and many sufferings here below. However desperate our earthly warfare may be, it is not forever. No, ... read more

Horatius Bonar Quotes
       Uncertainty as to our relationship with God is one of the most enfeebling and dispiriting of things. It makes a man heartless. It takes the pith out of him. He cannot fight; he cannot run. He is easily dismayed and gives way. He can do nothing for God. ... read more

Human Anodynes
      1 Samuel 16:14-23 OF Saul we may say, "Thou didst run well, who hath hindered you?" He began well, but ended ill. His first days and works were better than his last. So with Demas; so with the church of Ephesus; so with the Jews, whose following Jeho ... read more

Human Heedlessness and Divine Remembrance.
      "They consider not in their hearts that I remember their wickedness.'' – Hosea 7:2 "They do not realize that I remember all their evil deeds. Their sins engulf them; they are always before me." – Hosea 7:2 Let me present this passage to you under t ... read more

Human Leprosy And Its Divine Cure
      "When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will, be thou clea ... read more

Human Remedies.
      "And whenever the tormenting spirit from God troubled Saul, David would play the harp. Then Saul would feel better, and the tormenting spirit would go away." 1 Samuel 16:23 Of Saul we may say, "You did run well, who has hindered you?" He began well, bu ... read more

Incarnation and Atonement
      As the Christmas season approaches, and our focus turns to the coming of the Saviour, we would do well to remember the reason why He came. The incarnation of Jesus Christ is not the end of the story as Bonar aptly points out: It is not by incarnation b ... read more

      You say that you do not feel yourself to be a sinner; that you are not anxious enough; that you are not penitent enough. Be it so. Let me, however, ask you such questions as the following: - 1. Does your want of feeling alter the gospel? Does it mak ... read more

Jesus In Season And Out Of Season
      "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease, among the people."—Matthew 4:23. It is Christ himself that comes before us here; ... read more

      You say, "I am not satisfied with the motives that have led me to seek Christ; they are selfish." That is very likely. The feelings of a newly awakened sinner are not disinterested, neither can they be so. You have gone in quest of salvation from a sen ... read more

Jesus The Seed Of The Woman
      "Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ."—Matthew 1:16. This is the great event or fact in earth's history; out of which are unfolded the eternal issues of this globe and its inhabitants. This is the little fountain out of which the great ... read more

Jesus The Troubler Of Jerusalem
      "When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him."—Matthew 2:3. So quietly had the Son of God stolen into our world, that his arrival was unknown in Jerusalem till these wise men came from the East. Either the ... read more

Jewish Unbelief And Gentile Blessing
      "And the ark of the Lord continued in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months: and the Lord blessed Obed-edom, and all his household." —2 Samuel 6:11 IT was into the house of a Gentile that the ark was brought; a Philistine; a dweller in G ... read more

Lies the Food of Man.
      "But you have cultivated wickedness and raised a thriving crop of sins. You have eaten the fruit of lies; trusting in your military might, believing that great armies could make your nation safe!" Hosea 10:13 The subject suggested by these words is, "l ... read more

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