I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

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I heard the voice of Jesus say:
“Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down
Thy head upon My breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting place,
And He has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say:
“Behold, I freely give
The living water; thirsty one,
Stoop down and drink and live.”
I came to Jesus and I drank
Of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in Him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say:
“I am this dark world’s light;
Look unto Me, thy morn shall rise,
And all Thy day be bright.”
I looked to Jesus and I found
In Him my star, my sun;
And in that light of life I’ll walk
Till travelling days are done.

I heard the voice of Jesus say: “Come unto Me and rest; Click To Tweet

This does not seem to us a likely hymn for children, especially with its original tune in the minor key, yet Horatius Bonar wrote it as such, back in 1846. He was born in 1808 in Scotland, one of eleven children. Perhaps his family life was part of the reason he related well to children. However, he and his wife lost five of their own children in a short period of time, so that may have increased his love and concern for other little ones. He began writing hymns only after becoming a pastor in the town of Kelso, and many of his hymns were for young people. Later on, at Bonar’s church in Edinburgh, only the Scottish versions of the Psalms were sung, and only the children were permitted to sing Bonar’s hymns! It seems that the adults thought these were beneath their dignity, and at one service, when a hymn was announced, two church leaders walked out in protest!

two church leaders walked out in protest! Click To Tweet

Horatius wrote the above hymn with each verse based on a promise of Jesus. These are found in Matthew 11:28, John 4:14, and John 8:12. He preached his last sermon at the age of almost eighty. He requested that no biography of him be written, but that all the glory be given to Christ. Let us hope he wouldn’t mind these words being written about him now!

he wouldn’t mind these words being written about him now! Click To Tweet
WORDS:HORATIUS BONAR MUSIC:JOHN B. DYKES; ALTERNATE TUNES:ST. MATTHEW, BY WM. CROFT; SONGSTER SELECTION, BY LEONARD BALLANTINE
S.A. SONG BOOK, 2015 EDITION, #424; 1987 EDITION, #332
REFERENCE: MORGAN, ROBERT J., THEN SINGS MY SOUL

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