Horatius Bonar was born at Edinburgh, in 1808. His education was obtained at the High School, and the University of his native city. He was ordained to the ministry, in 1837, and since then has been pastor at Kelso. In 1843, he joined the Free Church of Scotland. His reputation as a religious writer was first gained on the publication of the "Kelso Tracts," of which he was the author. He has also written many other prose works, some of which have had a very large circulation. Nor is he less favorably known as a religious poet and hymn-writer. The three series of "Hymns of Faith and Hope," have passed through several editions.
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872… Go to person page >
Blessed night, when first that plain. H. Bonar. [Christmas.] Published in his Hymns of Faith & Hope, 1st series, 1857, in 34 stanzas of 3 lines, and headed, " The Shepherds' Plain." In the Irish Church Hymnal, 1873, two centos are given from this poem, (1) "Blessed night, when first that plain," and (2) "Mighty King of Righteousness"; and in Mrs. Brock's Children's Hymn Book, 1881, No. 72, a cento is given as "Blessed night, when Bethlehem's plain," with "Alleluia " as a refrain. No. 73, in the same Collection and in the same metre, "Hark, what music fills the sky," is attributed to Dr Bonar in error. It forms a good companion hymn to "Blessed night, when first that plain."
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Display Title: Blessèd Night, When First That PlainFirst Line: Blessèd night, when first that plainTune Title: ST. EANSWYTHAuthor: Horatius BonarMeter: 77.74Source: Hymns of Faith and Hope, first series, 1857