I did something a bit different for this episode of Ministry Minded, something I hope was beneficial for you. Here I read a lengthy passage from one of my favorite books of all time, Horatius Bonar’s The Story of Grace. What you’ll find in The Story of Grace is as real a discussion about the grace of God that can ever be found.
Certainly, there are a myriad of books on “grace” at your local Christian bookstore, whole sections devoted to works upon works that delve into this “doctrine” from seemingly every angle known to man. But what many modern texts lack, and where Horatius’s shines, is a level of practical realism and dexterity that is sincere and genuine. There’s a reverence for God throughout the words, not just exaggerated freedom being expounded upon for page upon page.
Bonar’s The Story of Grace is a short book, but it is filled to the brim with pure, 200-proof grace — and such is the passage that’s recited here. This selection is from chapter 6, entitled, “Where the Story of Grace was First Told.” Enjoy!
This episode is brought to you by the Christian Standard Bible. Find out more by going to CSBible.com.
Perhaps best known for his contributions in hymnody, Horatius Bonar (1808-1889) was a Scottish Presbyterian minister and writer throughout the 19th century. One of eleven children, Horatius was the elder brother of Andrew Bonar, who, along with his other brother John James, served as ministers of the Free Church of Scotland for many years. Greatly influenced by the life and ministry Thomas Chalmers, Bonar became a great winner of souls, gifted with putting grand doctrines and gospel truths into easily understood language. Notable preacher Charles Spurgeon is even quoted as saying of Horatius:
“Unlike many writers of the Evangelical school, Dr. Bonar is not content with baling out milk for babes, but gives us real thought and teaching . . . We say to all our friends, read and be refreshed.”
Horatius was an extensive and highly popular author. He wrote books, tracts, and poems throughout the course of his ministry, and served as editor for numerous religious journals. He also wrote several biographies regarding the lives of his contemporaries, including John Milne and Rev. G. T. Dodds. But he is recognized most for his hymns, many of which became known all over the English-speaking world, including “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say,” “Blessing and Honour and Glory and Power,” “Thy Way, Not Mine, O Lord,” and many, many more unnamed works. He was an earnest, zealous minister, always giving preeminence to the Lord Jesus. He spent himself to carry the message of the gospel to those who were likewise spent. In book or in song, the legacy of Horatius Bonar will endure as a passionate Scottish churchman, devoted to the proclamation of the truth of gospel.
The Story of Grace, Horatius Bonar
The Grace, the Service, and the Kingdom, Horatius Bonar
How Shall I Go to God? And Other Readings, Horatius Bonar
God’s Way of Peace: A Book for the Anxious, Horatius Bonar
Family Sermons, Horatius Bonar
Glad Tidings to Perishing Sinners, Abraham Booth
Grace: So Much More Than You Know & So Much Better Than You Think, Brad J. Gray
Intro music: “West Coast” by Ryan Little, licensed under CC BY 4.0.
Photo via Ben White / Unsplash