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Title: Horatius Bonar, 1808-1889 : hymn-writer, theologian, preacher, churchman : a study of his religious thought and activity
Author: Oliphint, Benjamin Ray
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1951
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It is amazing that the life and work of a man of the caliber of Horatius Bonar should have passed so quickly off the scene and out of the minds of men. The passing years, however, have all but erased his memory, and few Christians of today are aware of the reputation and influence which he enjoyed for nearly half a century as one of the leaders in the religious life of Scotland. This is not surprising when one considers that he was a man of modest and retiring habits, whose whole life was so subordinated to his work, that most writers have either passed over his life with a scant outline of important dates and brief mention of his accomplishments, or have ignored his life completely. Then, too, it must be remembered that Bonar was no barrier-breaking theologian, preacher, or churchman. Everywhere he stood four-square for the old order, and that order has largely passed away. With it has gone much of the influence and tradition of which he was a leading exponent. If that were all to be said of Horatius Bonar, and his life or work has nothing of abiding value to contribute to us today, this study would have been a pointless academic exercise. Such is not the case. In him has seen the glow and power of the prophets, a man whose heart burned with the urgency of the transforming power of his message, a personality submerged in the Personality whose Gospel he proclaimed. A man of action and of letters, his life was the result of the blending of four qualities: indomitable energy, moral earnestness, gentle kindliness, and ardent piety. It was this character of singular dignity and elevation that secured for Bonar a place of honor and eminence among his contemporaries. The respect accorded to him was the spontaneous expression of the reverence which men felt for an exceptionally noble and impressive personality. Every generation produces a few outstanding examples of this type of minister, and every generation needs to be relentlessly reminded of such men whose lives are consumed by Christ's Gospel and transformed by its power. For this reason alone, he should not be forgotten. The principal reason for remembering Horatius Bonar, however, is for his contribution to the hymnooy of the whole Christian Church. Judged by any standard it is an impressive monument to his memory when all the sermons, theological dispates, and ecclesiastical controversies of the nineteenth century have been forgotten, we, and the generations yet unborn, will regard Horatius Bonar as one in whose hymns of faith and hope mankind heard the voice of Jesus say, "Come unto Me and rest".
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available