From the cross the blood is falling,
And to us a voice is calling,
Like a trumpet silver clear:
‘Tis the voice announcing pardon—
It is finished is its burden—
Pardon to the far and near.
Peace that glorious blood is sealing,Horatius Bonar
All our wounds forever healing,
And removing every load;
Words of peace that voice has spoken,
Peace that shall no more be broken,
Peace between mankind and God.
Copied from my grandmother’s hymnal, Hymn Book, Methodist Episcopal Church, South: Nashville, TN, 1901, Hymn #99.
Horatius Bonar (1808-1889) was born and educated in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was ordained in 1837, and pastored a church in Kelso. In 1843, he joined the Free Church of Scotland. He was a prolific writer of both prose and poetry. In his lifetime he was well known for his “Kelso Tracts.” The University of Aberdeen conferred on him the doctor of divinity in 1853. His father was also a minister, as were others of his family, spanning two centuries. Bonar’s hymns and poems were composed amid a great variety of circumstances, and as literary works, they are exemplary. While they evoke a strong emotional response through compassion and empathy, their primary purpose seems to be to teach doctrine. To be specific, Bonar writes about Christ’s substitutionary death and subsequent resurrection, grace, righteousness, communion with God, and our Lord’s second coming. Nearly 100 of Bonar’s hymns remain in use in the UK and the United States, including “Hallelujah for the Cross,” “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say,” and “Not What My Hands Have Done.”
Note: The hymns in this hymnal are not titled. So when I do not know the hymn, I make up a title or simply use the first line.
Photo taken in Milton, FL, 2021
Information about Horatius Bonar from Hymnary.org