Horatius Bonar (1808-89), older brother of
Andrew, was a gospel minister whose name is particularly
associated with Kelso, in the Scottish borders, where he ministered.
Rejoice and be glad! The
Redeemer hath come;
Go, look on his cradle, his cross and his tomb.
Sound his praises, tell the story of him who was slain;
Sound his praises, tell with gladness he liveth again.
It is said of Arabian
airs that they are all plaintive. They all touch some melancholy chord,
as if the wail of the desert echo were the keynote of each melody. It
is in some measure thus with the children of the kingdom, while
sojourning in this wilderness of earth. ‘Their voice is ever
soft, gentle, and low’. Sorrow has smoothed away its harshness,
and breathed gentler feeling into its tones. True, it is the voice of
gladness, for it is the voice of the forgiven; but still it is
sorrowing gladness, calm and serious joy. Their peculiar lot as
followers of a hated Lord and their peculiar circumstances, as standing
in the midst of a doomed and dying world, have wrought into their
spirit a deep though serene solemnity of expression, alike in look and
It is not by doubting but by believing that we overcome. Faith
leads us first of all to Abel’s ‘more excellent
sacrifice’. By faith we quit Ur and Egypt and Babylon, setting
our face to the eternal city. By faith we offer up our Isaacs, and
worship ‘leaning on the top of our staff’, and ‘give
commandment concerning our bones’. By faith we choose affliction
with the people of God, and despise Egypt’s treasures. By faith
we keep the Passover; pass through the Red Sea; overthrow Jerichos;
subdue kingdoms; work righteousness; stop the mouth of lions; quench
the violence of fire; turn to flight the armies of aliens, and refuse
deliverance in the day of trial, that we may obtain a better
No blood, no altar now;
The sacrifice is
No flame, no smoke
ascends on high,
The lamb is slain no
But richer blood has
flowed from nobler veins,
To purge the soul from
guilt and cleanse the reddest stains.
The world is still
sleeping its ‘sleep of death’ …
Yet God has not left it to sleep on unwarned. He has spoken in a voice
that might reach the dullest ears and quicken the coldest heart
… Yet in one sense the world’s sleep has never been
universal. Never has there been an age when it could be said that there
is not one awake. The multitude has always slept, but there has always
been a little flock awake.
Come, Lord, and tarry not; Bring the
long-looked for day;
O why these years of
waiting here, These ages of delay?
Come, for thy saints
still wait; Daily ascends their sigh;
The Spirit and the
bride say, Come; Wilt thou not hear the cry?