Not what I am, O Lord, but what Thou art

Not what I am, O Lord, but what Thou art;
That, that alone, can be my soul’s true rest;
Thy love, not mine, bids fear and doubt depart,
And stills the tempest of my tossing breast.
It is Thy perfect love that casts out fear;
I know the voice that speaks the It is I,
And in these well-known words of heavenly cheer
I hear the joy that bids each sorrow fly.
Thy Name is Love! I hear it from yon Cross;
Thy Name is Love! I read it in yon tomb:
All meaner love is perishable dross,
But this shall light me through time’s thickest gloom.
It blesses now, and shall for ever bless;
It saves me now, and shall for ever save;
It holds me up in days of helplessness,
It bears me safely o’er each swelling wave.
’Tis what I know of Thee, my Lord and God,
That fills my soul with peace, my lips with song;
Thou art my health, my joy, my staff, my rod;
Leaning on Thee, in weakness I am strong.
More of Thyself, Oh, show me, hour by hour;
More of Thy glory, O my God and Lord;
More of Thyself in all Thy grace and power;
More of Thy love and truth, Incarnate Word.
Jack W

Austin, Texas, United States

Ana, thank you so much for sharing Bonar's history.

Ana Lara

Tolls, Connecticut, United States

Horatius Bonar entered the ministry as a pastor of a North parish in the rural town of Kelso in Scotland. He spent 20 years there pastoring,writing and evangelizing. At the time, the Scottish Church had no substantial library of hymns but sang instead metrical Psalms.

Bonar began to write hymns before he was ordained when he was a Sunday school teacher. He found that young people had little love for words or tunes they were singing so he set out to write hymns with simpler words and already familiar tunes. The result was a positive one.

His love for children came from a tragedy in his life. He and his wife lost 5 children in rapid succession. Yet he had hundreds of children in Sunday school. In later life, his daughter widowed and came to live with him and her five children. Horatius said that God gave him back the five he lost with his five grandchildren.

Ana Lara

Tolland, Connecticut, United States

Reference for Horatius BonR is from

Ewald Seidel

Heathmont, Victoria, Australia

With the modern preoccupation with 'me' and 'myself', this hymn is a healthy reminder where our focus needs to be.