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Horatius Bonar
1808-1889

      Horatius Bonar, had a passionate heart for revival and was a friend and supporter of several revivalists, He was brother to the more well-known Andrew Bonar, and with him defended D. L. Moody's evangelistic ministry in Scotland. He authored a couple of excellent revival works, one including over a hundred biographical sketches and the other an addendum to Rev. John Gillies' 'Historical Collections...' bringing it up to date.

      He was a powerful soul-winner and is well qualified to pen this brief, but illuminating study of the character of true revivalists.

      Horatius was in fact one of eleven children, and of these an older brother, John James, and a younger, Andrew, also became ministers and were all closely involved, together with Thomas Chalmers, William C. Burns and Robert Murray M'Cheyne, in the important spiritual movements which affected many places in Scotland in the 1830s and 1840s.

      In the controversy known as the "Great Disruption," Horatius stood firmly with the evangelical ministers and elders who left the Church of Scotland's General Assembly in May 1843 and formed the new Free Church of Scotland. By this time he had started to write hymns, some of which appeared in a collection he published in 1845, but typically, his compositions were not named. His gifts for expressing theological truths in fluent verse form are evident in all his best-known hymns, but in addition he was also blessed with a deep understanding of doctrinal principles.

      Examples of the hymns he composed on the fundamental doctrines include, "Glory be to God the Father".....on the Trinity. "0 Love of God, how strong and true".....on Redemption. "Light of the world," - "Rejoice and be glad" - "Done is the work" on the Person and Work of Christ. "Come Lord and tarry not," on His Second Coming, while the hymn "Blessed be God, our God!" conveys a sweeping survey of Justification and Sanctification.

      In all this activity, his pastoral work and preaching were never neglected and after almost twenty years labouring in the Scottish Borders at Kelso, Bonar moved back to Edinburgh in 1866 to be minister at the Chalmers Memorial Chapel (now renamed St. Catherine's Argyle Church). He continued his ministry for a further twenty years helping to arrange D.L. Moody's meetings in Edinburgh in 1873 and being appointed moderator of the Free Church ten years later. His health declined by 1887, but he was approaching the age of eighty when he preached in his church for the last time, and he died on 31 May 1889.

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SermonA Present Savior
       1867 "She did not know it was Jesus." John 20:14 When Jesus comes the second time there will be no mistake as to who he is. He comes in his own glory, and in his Father's glory, and with his mighty angels--in majesty, and power, and brightness. Every one shall know him then. The Jew shall know him, for he shall "look upon him whom he has pier ...read
SermonApostolic Sighs
       1867 "I wish you did reign, so that we also could reign with you!" 1 Cor. 4:8 This is one of the very few passages in which the apostle gives vent to his feelings as a suffering and injured man. Through no less than six verses here (8-13), there runs the utterance of a solemn sorrow--we might almost call it melancholy--at the contemplation of ...read
SermonBethany and its Feast
       1867 "Six days before the Passover ceremonies began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus--the man he had raised from the dead. A dinner was prepared in Jesus' honor. Martha served, and Lazarus sat at the table with him. Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus' feet with ...read
SermonBethlehem and Its Good News
       1867 "The Word was made flesh." John 1:14 It was "little among the thousands of Judah" (Mic. 5:2); perhaps but a shepherd-village or small market town; yet there the great purpose of God became a fact; "The Word was made flesh." It is in facts that God's purposes come to us, that we may take hold of them as real things. It is into facts that ...read
SermonChrist and the New Creation
       1867 "If any man (one) be in Christ, he is a new creature (there is a new creation to him); old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Cor. 5:17 It is usual to make this affirmation of the apostle refer merely to the change of nature which takes place in conversion. For then the renewal of man's whole being is effected; ...read
SermonChrist and the World
       1867 "What fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness?" 2 Cor. 6:14 "The friendship of the world is enmity with God." James 4:4 "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1 John 2:15 Worldly people seem to be well aware, that it is only in this life that they wil ...read
SermonChrist the Cleanser
       1867 "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean." 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 that towel, and that basin, show that he had "taken upon him the form of a servant," (Ph ...read
SermonChrist the Healer
       1867 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed." Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed from that moment. Matthew 9:20-22. H ...read
SermonConsecration by Blood
       1867 "And he brought the other ram, the ram of consecration: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram. And he slew it; and Moses took of the blood of it, and put it upon the tip of Aaron's right ear, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot." Leviticus 8:22-23 By "the ram of consec ...read
SermonDivine Philosophy
       1867 "Christ...the wisdom of God." 1 Cor. 1:24 Our age is eager in its pursuit of knowledge. It professes to be a truth-loving, and a truth-seeking age. It is quite awake to science, and thoroughly in love with its marvels and mysteries. It has obtained a far insight into the dark processes of that which is called "nature." It has witnessed o ...read
SermonFaith in an Unseen Christ
       1867 "Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed." John 20:29 Here is another "beatitude" in addition to what Matthew gives; and from the same lips that spoke the others. For Christ was himself the "Blessed One;" and well knew who were "blessed," and what made them so. He knew not only who were to be partakers of the great bea ...read
SermonFollow the Lamb!
       "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 rest to you at first, and healed your soul; so, looking to Him daily will maintain your rest and perfec ...read
Book
God's Way of Holiness - Table of Contents
       God's Way of Holiness 1864. by Horatius Bonar, D.D. Preface The way of peace and the way of holiness lie side by side, or rather, they are one. That which bestows the one imparts the other; and he who takes the one takes the other also. The Spirit of peace is the Spirit of holiness. The God of peace is the God of holiness. If at any time ...read
Book
God's Way of Peace - Table of Contents
       GOD'S WAY OF PEACE A BOOK FOR THE ANXIOUS BY HORATIUS BONAR, D.D. "To him that worketh not, but believeth." Rom. iv.5 PRESBYTERIAN PUBLICATION COMMITTEE This volume is stereotyped and perpetuated by a donation from the late Mrs. E. K. Smith, of St. Louis, Missouri as a tribute of respect and affection to the memory of her mother, Mrs. ...read
SermonHerod's Ballroom
       "When Herod's birthday celebration came, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod." Matthew 14:6 This birth-day ball of Herod was held, in all likelihood, at Machaerus, a fortress beyond Jordan, not far from the Dead Sea. It was a high and royal festival. Pomp, splendor, luxury, and lust were all gathered there. In the mids ...read
SermonHome!
      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, it is brief, very brief. Its end is near, very near. And with the end come triumph, and honor, ...read
SermonHow Shall I Go to God?
      "How Shall I Go to God?" It is with our sins that we go to God--for we have nothing else to go with that we can call our own. This is one of the lessons that we are so slow to learn; yet without learning this--we cannot take one right step in that which we call a Christian life. To look up some good thing in our past life, or to get some good thin ...read
SermonLife and Fruitfulness Through Death
       1867 "I assure you--Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop." John 12:24 It is strange that, in a world made by the God only wise and good, there should be such a thing as death. It is more astonishing, that this death should come out of a thing so glorious as life ...read
Book
Light and Truth: The Old Testament - Table of Contents
       Light and Truth The Old Testament By Horatius Bonar, D.D. Light and Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes Volume I. The OLD TESTAMENT 1868 Preface ALL the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full," said the wisest of the wise. We might add to this, and say, "All the rivers come out of the sea, yet the sea is not empty." All the ...read
SermonLongings for the Land
       1867 "At that time I pleaded with the Lord and said, 'O Sovereign Lord, I am your servant. You have only begun to show me your greatness and power. Is there any god in heaven or on earth who can perform such great deeds as yours? Please let me cross the Jordan to see the wonderful land on the other side, the beautiful hill country and the Leban ...read

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