Horatius Bonar: Not what my hands have done

19 01 2012

I recently posted a hymn from Horatius Bonar here.  One of the commenters proposed another Bonar hymn, “Not What My Hands Have Done,” as worth a listen.  I had never come across this particular hymn as my familiarity with Bonar is largely centered around his books and sermons.  Needless to say, the hymn linked below will bless you.  The lyrics are in the video, but I’ve pasted them below just in case you need something to whet your appetite.

Not what my hands have done can save my guilty soul;
Not what my toiling flesh has borne can make my spirit whole.
Not what I feel or do can give me peace with God;
Not all my prayers and sighs and tears can bear my awful load.

Your voice alone, O Lord, can speak to me of grace;
Your power alone, O Son of God, can all my sin erase.
No other work but Yours, no other blood will do;
No strength but that which is divine can bear me safely through.

Thy work alone, O Christ, can ease this weight of sin;
Thy blood alone, O Lamb of God, can give me peace within.
Thy love to me, O God, not mine, O Lord, to Thee,
Can rid me of this dark unrest, And set my spirit free.

I bless the Christ of God; I rest on love divine;
And with unfaltering lip and heart I call this Savior mine.
His cross dispels each doubt; I bury in His tomb
Each thought of unbelief and fear, each lingering shade of gloom.

I praise the God of grace; I trust His truth and might;
He calls me His, I call Him mine, My God, my joy and light.
’Tis He Who saveth me, and freely pardon gives;
I love because He loveth me, I live because He lives.


J.C. Ryle on the importance of song in the Christian’s life

17 01 2012

The following is taken from the Preface of J.C. Ryle’s little known Hymns for the Church on Earth, a collection of some 300 hymns selected by Ryle for their potential for spiritual edification.  In Ryle’s words he hopes this collection of hymns “shall do good to the weakest lamb in Christ’s flock.”  I have linked through to the book at the bottom so that you could enjoy Ryle’s selection, which is largely meant for private edification rather than public worship.

Of the value of the hymns, it is needless to say anything.  The children of the world may regard psalm-singing, or hymn-writing, with indifference, or ill-disguised contempt.  But the true-hearted servants of that Saviour, who “sung a hymn” before He went out to the Mount of Olives, have ever loved, in every age, to “teach and admonish one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs.”  (Coloss. iii. 19).  The Bible, on which they love to feed daily, abounds in hymns of praise.  The heaven, which they hope to inhabit one day, will be the abode of eternal praise.  A thankful, hymn-singing spirit has always marked the days of a Church’s spiritual property.  It is a pleasant thought, that, however much Christians may disagree in pulpits, on platforms, and in prose writing, they are generally of one heart, and one mind, in praise and power.

Click here to access Ryle’s book


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