Image of Horatius Bonar


Lifetime: 1808 - 1889 Passed: ≈ 134 years ago


Churchman, Poet



Horatius Bonar

Horatius Bonar a contemporary and acquaintance of Robert Murray M'cheyne was a Scottish churchman and poet. He is principally remembered as a prodigious hymnodist. Friends knew him as Horace Bonar. Licensed as a preacher, he did mission work in Leith for a time, and in November 1837 he settled at Kelso as minister of the new North Church founded in connection with Thomas Chalmers's scheme of church extension. He became exceedingly popular as a preacher, and was soon well known throughout Scotland.

He was the son of James Bonar (1758–1821), Solicitor of Excise for Scotland, and his wife Marjory Pyott Maitland. The family lived in the Broughton district of Edinburgh.

He came from a long line of ministers who served a total of 364 years in the Church of Scotland. One of eleven children, his brothers John James and Andrew Alexander were also ministers of the Free Church of Scotland. Horatius studied Divinity at University of Edinburgh and was ordained as a minister for the Church of Scotland in 1838 at the North Church in Kelso. In the Disruption of 1843 he left the established church and joined the Free Church of Scotland. In 1866 he moved to the newly built Chalmers Memorial Church in Edinburgh.

He married Jane Catherine Lundie in 1843 and five of their (nine) young children died in succession. Towards the end of their lives, one of their surviving daughters was left a widow with five small children and she returned to live with her parents.

In 1853, Bonar received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the University of Aberdeen.

He died at this home, 10 Palmerston Road in the Grange, 31 July 1889. They are buried together in the Canongate Kirkyard in the lair of Alexander Bonar (and his parents), near the bottom of the eastern extension.

Books by Horatius Bonar

The Everlasting Righteousness  Cover image

The Everlasting Righteousness

Non-Fiction Religion
Slavery Faith Devotion Justice Christianity Religious Christian Literature Jesus

How does salvation work? How does a righteous God declare an unrighteous person to be righteous in His sight? In this comprehensive and devotional study of justification by faith alone in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, Horatius Bonar a...

The Night of Weeping Cover image

The Night of Weeping

Young Christianity Life Church Spirituality Earth Jesus God

It is no easy matter to write a book for the family of God. Yet it is for them that these thoughts on chastisement are written. They may be found not unsuitable for the younger brethren of the man of sorrows. For the way is rough, and the desert-blas...

God's Way of Peace: A Book for the Anxious Cover image

God's Way of Peace: A Book for the Anxious

Both a work of theology and psychology, Calvinist revivalist Horatius Bonar guides readers from the universal human need for repentance and faith to the "peace that passes all understanding" that comes from communion with Christ. - Summary by Loren...

Morning of Joy Cover image

Morning of Joy

I have been asked, once and again, to follow up "The Night of Weeping " with "The Morning of Joy," the words of David, in the 30th Psalm, having suggested the addition. After much thought and some hesitation I have done so. The former work was meant...