Fill Thou my life, O Lord my God,
In every part with praise,
That my whole being may proclaim
Thy being and Thy ways.
Not for the lip of praise alone,
Nor e’en the praising heart
I ask, but for a life made up
Of praise in every part!
Praise in the common words I speak,
Life’s common looks and tones,
In fellowship at hearth and board
With my belovèd ones;
Not in the temple crowd alone
Where holy voices chime,
But in the silent paths of earth,
The quiet rooms of time.
Fill every part of me with praise;
Let all my being speak
Of Thee and of Thy love, O Lord,
Poor though I be, and weak.
So shalt Thou, Lord, from me, e’en me,
Receive the glory due;
And so shall I begin on earth
The song forever new.
So shall each fear, each fret, each care
Be turned into a song,
And every winding of the way
The echo shall prolong;
So shall no part of day or night
From sacredness be free,
But all my life, in every step,
Be fellowship with Thee.
What a beautiful prayer about praising the Lord in every aspect of our lives! What a benefit to us is described in the last verse, as “each fear, each fret, each care” is “turned into a song”!
Horatius Bonar, the author, was a well-educated Scotsman who became an ordained minister and co-founded, with Dr. Thomas Chalmers, the Free Church of Scotland. He had studied under Chalmers, a professor of divinity. Bonar served in Kelso and in 1866 became minister of the Chalmers Memorial Church in Edinburgh. How honoured he must have been! In 1883 Bonar was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church. He also did considerable work in the editing of church publications and wrote several hymns. Five of Bonar’s hymns are in the Salvation Army’s 1987 Song Book, but only two are included in the 2015 edition: the one above, and I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say .
WORDS: HORATIUS BONAR; MUSIC, TUNE – ELLACOMBE: CONRAD KOCHER
S.A. SONG BOOK, 1987 EDITION, #7; 2015 EDITION, #361
Fill Thou my Life, O Lord my God – Congregation, Festival Chorus & Canadian Staff Band
Fill Thou My Life – New Scottish Hymns 2012 Gregory De Blieck CCLI – 6467986
Performed by Steph Macleod and Ellyn Oliver
Words: Horatius Bonar (1808-89)
Accordion: David Lyon / Drums: Stuart Spence / Guitar: Steph Macleod / Upright Bass: Gus Stirrat / Electric Mandolin: Douglas Weir