Horatius Bonar was a Scottish churchman and Poet in the mid-19th century. He came from a long line of ministers who served a total of 364 years in the Church of Scotland. Living through many struggles including the successive death of five of his young children, Bonar showed an amazing faith and passion by writing some of the most beautiful hymns that are still sung in churches around the world.
In this hymn, Bonar writes about the source of the strength that he had to make it through life's many struggles. Looking forward to the "gate of heav'n," Bonar put his trust in the Christ of the cross by which he stood.
By the cross of Jesus standing,
Love our straitened souls expanding,
Taste we now the peace and grace!
Health from yonder tree is flowing,
Heav’nly light is on it glowing,
From the blessed Sufferer’s face.
Here is pardon’s pledge and token,
Guilt’s strong chain forever broken,
Righteous peace securely made;
Brightens now the brow once shaded,
Freshens now the face once faded,
Peace with God now makes us glad.
All the love of God is yonder,
Love above all thought and wonder,
Perfect love that casts out fear!
Strength, like dew, is here distilling,
Glorious life our souls is filling,
Life eternal, only here!
Here the living water welleth;
Here the Rock, now smitten, telleth
Of salvation freely giv’n:
This the fount of love and pity,
This the pathway to the city,
This the very gate of Heav’n.