Dr. Horatius Bonar (1808-89) is perhaps best-known today for his hymns, such as ‘I heard the voice of Jesus say’, ‘Thy way, not mine, O Lord’, and the communion hymn ‘Here, O my Lord, I see Thee face to face’. An older brother of Andrew A. Bonar, he was educated at Edinburgh High School and the University, where he was much influenced by Thomas Chalmers.
After mission work in Leith, he was ordained as parish minister in Kelso in 1837, where he remained (after the 1843 Disruption and the formation of the Free Church) until 1867, when he was called to Chalmers Memorial Free Church in Edinburgh. He received a DD from the University of Aberdeen in 1853, and was Moderator of the Free Church Assembly in 1883. Influenced by Edward Irving, Bonar’s pre-millennial convictions regarding the Lord’s return were a feature of much of his ministry.
He wrote several biographies, including one of his contemporary John Milne of Perth, published by the Trust.[See also ‘Bonar and the Love of God in Evangelism’, in Iain H. Murray’s A Scottish Christian Heritage.]