Horatius Bonar lived from 19 December 1808 to 31 July 1889. He was a clergyman and writer who served as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1883. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.
Horatius Bonar was born in Edinburgh, the son of James Bonar, Solicitor of Excise for Scotland and part of a family that over many generations produced ministers who served a total of 364 years in the Church of Scotland: including Horatius's brothers John and Andrew. Horatius studied theology at the University of Edinburgh and went on to become the minister in the parish of St. John's in Leith before settling in Kelso.
In 1843 Horatius married Jane Catherine Lundie. In the Disruption of that year, Horatius joined the Free Church. In 1853 Bonar was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree by the University of Aberdeen. In 1867 he took over ministry at the Chalmers Memorial Church in Edinburgh, and in 1883 he was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
As well as serving as a church minister, Bonar was a prolific and very successful writer. Many of his hymns remain popular today and he wrote a large amount of poetry as well as the religious books and biographies of a number of church ministers. Among his more durable hymns, which were published in Hymns of Faith and Hope were "I heard the voice of Jesus say" and "Blessing and Honor and Glory and Power". He also served as the editor of "The Quarterly journal of Prophecy" from 1848 to 1873 and the "Christian Treasury" from 1859 to 1879.