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I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

Representative Text

1 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto Me and rest;
lay down, thou weary one, lay down
thy head upon My breast!”
I came to Jesus as I was,
so weary worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting-place,
and He has made me glad.

2 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
the living water; thirsty one,
stoop down, and drink, and live!”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
of that life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in Him.

3 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“I am this dark world’s Light;
look unto Me, thy morn shall rise,
and all thy day be bright!”
I looked to Jesus, and I found
in Him my Star, my Sun;
and in that Light of life I’ll walk,
till all my journey's done.

Source: Hymns to the Living God #222

Author: Horatius Bonar

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 >

Text Information

First Line: I heard the voice of Jesus say, "Come unto Me and rest
Title: I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
Author: Horatius Bonar (1846)
Meter: D
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Despite his intimidating name and physical appearance, Horatius Bonar (1808-89) was a great lover of children and was concerned about how little the children understood of the metrical Psalms that were sung in the Scottish church of his day. "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say" was one of the over 600 hymns he wrote to address the needs of the churches he served. Interestingly, John B. Dykes (composer of "Holy, Holy, Holy" and "Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee") uses the somber key of G minor to present Jesus' invitation to our weary, thirsty and dark souls in the first half of each verse; in the second half of each verse when the invitation has been accepted and the soul satisfied, Dykes uses the happier key of G major. Take some time to read Jesus' invitations to you as recorded in the Gospels and reflect on your response to Him: Matthew 11:28; John 4:10, 13-14; John 8:12. --Greg Scheer, 1996 ======================== I heard the voice of Jesus say. H. Bonar. [Christ's Invitation.] Written at Kelso, and published in his Hymns Original and Selected, 1846, and in the 1st series of his Hymns of Faith & Hope, 1857, in 3 stanzas of 8 lines, and headed, “The Voice from Galilee." It has come into extensive use, and is one of the most popular of the author's hymns. It is often used in Home Mission Services, and is suited thereto. It has been rendered into Latin by Dr. Macgill in his Songs of the Christian Creed and Life, 1876, as “Loquentem exaudivi." --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)




Thought by some scholars to date back to the Middle Ages, KINGSFOLD is a folk tune set to a variety of texts in England and Ireland. The tune was published in English Country Songs [sic: English County Songs] (1893), an anthology compiled by Lucy E. Broadwood and J. A. Fuller Maitland. After having…

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Instances (1 - 62 of 62)
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Ancient and Modern #669

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Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #540

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Common Praise (1998) #508

Common Praise #469

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Community of Christ Sings #31


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #310a

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Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #310b

Complete Mission Praise #275

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Evangelical Lutheran Worship #332

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Evangelical Lutheran Worship #611

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Gather (3rd ed.) #724

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Gather Comprehensive #646

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Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #622

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Glory to God #182


Hymnal 1982 #692

Hymnal #493

Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard Edition #247

Hymns and Psalms #136

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Hymns of Faith #343

Hymns of the Saints #134

Hymns Old and New #231

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Hymns to the Living God #222


Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #597


Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #598


Lift Up Your Hearts #665


Lutheran Service Book #699

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Lutheran Worship #348

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Moravian Book of Worship #606

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Oramos Cantando = We Pray In Song #593

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #488

Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #465

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Sing Joyfully #332

Singing the Faith #248

The Baptist Hymnal #487

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The Christian Harmony #1

The Covenant Hymnal #325


The Cyber Hymnal #2816

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The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #414

The Liturgical Harp #9


The New Century Hymnal #489


The New English Hymnal #376

The New National Baptist Hymnal #310

The Song Book of the Salvation Army #332

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The Worshiping Church #506


This Far By Faith #62


Together in Song #585

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Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #304

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Trinity Psalter Hymnal #272


Voices United #626

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Worship (3rd ed.) #607


Worship (4th ed.) #707


Worship in Song #124

生命聖詩 - Hymns of Life, 1986 #324

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