This is a gorgeous choral arrangement of one of my favorite hymns, (I know I say that every week, but seriously – it’s in my top five.) Lovely use of tin whistle in this version of I Heard The Voice of Jesus Say, written by Horatius Bonar in 1846:
Another beautiful version, here.
While pastor of a Presbyterian church in Kelso, Scotland, Horatius Bonar (1808 – 1889), known as the Prince of Scottish Hymn Writers with more then 600 hymns, wrote this text in 1846, which he intended to be a children’s hymn. Entitled The Voice from Galilee, the text was published in Bonar’s Hymns Original and Selected (1846) with a reference to John 1: 16 (“From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another”). The truth of the biblical imagery and the spiritual depth of the personal responses to Christ captured in this text have made this a hymn much loved by children and adults. It is often considered to be among the finest of Bonar’s many hymn texts.
Each of the three stanzas has two parts: the first half quotes Jesus’ words, and the second half testifies to the personal experience of responding to Christ. The entire text invites us to accept what Jesus offers: rest from our burdens (st. 1), living water to quench our thirst (st. 2), and light for life’s journey (st. 3).