My Songs

No, Not Despairingly

No, Not Despairingly - Instrumental

a hymn by

Horatius Bonar, 1808-1889

a new musical setting by

Garry Nation

"old wine in new skins"

All rights reserved.

The hymn with the original tune by Anne B. Spratt can be heard here:

Horatius Bonar (pronounced "Bonner") was a minister in the Free Church of Scotland. A prolific author of many popular devotional works and biographies, he was also the composer of more than 140 hymns. Among them are "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say" and "I Lay My Sins on Jesus." And, "No, Not Despairingly."

These hymns are in the hymnal I grew up with, but I don't remember singing them. Despite the fact that their theology is rich, the poetry is good, and the tunes singable, few churches use Bonar's compositions anymore.

Perhaps there's something offputting about hymns with a title like "No, Not Despairingly." But give the lyrics a good, meditative read.

The Bible says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

This hymn is a prayer of confession and repentance. Let it soak into your soul, and then pray it back to God when you need to.

In my case, it's fairly often.


No, not despairingly

Come I to thee;

No, not distrustingly

Bend I the knee:

Sin hath gone over me,

Yet is this still my plea,

Jesus hath died.

Lord, I confess to thee

Sadly my sin;

All am tell I thee,

All I have been:

Purge thou my sin away,

Wash thou my soul this day;

Lord, make me clean.

Faithful and just art thou,

Forgiving all;

Loving and kind art thou

When poor ones call:

Lord, let the cleansing blood,

Blood of the Lamb of God,

Pass o'er my soul.

Then all is peace and light

This soul within;

Thus shall I walk with thee,

The loved Unseen;

Leaning on thee, my God,

Guided along the road,

Nothing between.