Words to Winners of Souls was written by Horatius Bonar (Scottish pastor, 1808-1889) in order to stir the Christian to a greater zeal for reaching the lost. While written primarily with ministers in mind, his challenges and counsel are applicable to all Christians in every generation. Michael Haykin describes Bonar as having a “single-minded focus on Christ” and suggests his life and ministry can be summed up in the assertion “Christ is all” (Christ is All: The Piety of Horatius Bonar, 36).
Consider the poem below by Horatius Bonar. It was written in the 1860’s and later was put to music becoming a favorite hymn in many churches. It powerfully captures our utter dependence on grace and hopelessness without the gospel. It stands as a classic testimony to Christ’s amazing love and our unworthiness:
Not What My Hands have Done
Not what my hands have done can save my guilty soul;
Not what my toiling flesh has borne can make my spirit whole.
Not what I feel or do can give me peace with God;
Not all my prayers and sighs and tears can bear my awful load.
Your voice alone, O Lord, can speak to me of grace;
Your power alone, O Son of God, can all my sin erase.
No other work but Yours, no other blood will do;
No strength but that which is divine can bear me safely through.
Thy work alone, O Christ, can ease this weight of sin;
Thy blood alone, O Lamb of God, can give me peace within.
Thy love to me, O God, not mine, O Lord, to Thee,
Can rid me of this dark unrest, And set my spirit free.
I bless the Christ of God; I rest on love divine;
And with unfaltering lip and heart I call this Savior mine.
His cross dispels each doubt; I bury in His tomb
Each thought of unbelief and fear, each lingering shade of gloom.
I praise the God of grace; I trust His truth and might;
He calls me His, I call Him mine, My God, my joy and light.
’Tis He Who saveth me, and freely pardon gives;
I love because He loveth me, I live because He lives.
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