Not What These Hands Have Done


Horatius Bonar was a 19th century Scottish Pastor and hymn writer. This text, perhaps written in or around 1861 speaks to our inability to save ourselves. It is a rich hymn, full of biblical truth. A PDF of the music can be found here as well. I commend the hymn for your consideration this morning, and encourage you to respond with great thanksgiving, for though we cannot save ourselves, God mercifully and graciously does what we cannot do, and saves people from their sins.

Not what these hands have done

Can save this guilty soul;

Not what this toiling flesh has borne

Can make my spirit whole.

Not what I feel or do

Can give me peace with God;

Not all my pray'rs and sighs and tears

Can bear my awful load.

Thy work alone, O Christ,

Can ease this weight of sin;

Thy blood alone, O Lamb of God,

Can give me peace within.

Thy love to me, O God,

Not mine, O Lord, to Thee,

Can rid me of this dark unrest,

And set my spirit free.

Thy grace alone, O God,

To me can pardon speak;

Thy pow'r alone, O Son of God,

Can this sore bondage break.

I bless the Christ of God;

I rest on love divine;

And with unfalt'ring lip and heart,

I call this Savior mine.

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