I Lay My Sins on Jesus

Representative Text

1 I lay my sins on Jesus,
the spotless Lamb of God;
He bears them all, and frees us
from the accursed load;
I bring my guilt to Jesus,
to wash my crimson stains
white in His blood most precious,
till not a spot remains.

2 I lay my wants on Jesus;
all fullness dwells in Him;
He heals all my diseases,
He doth my soul redeem;
I lay my griefs on Jesus,
my burdens and my cares;
He from them all releases,
He all my sorrow shares.

3 I rest my soul on Jesus,
this weary soul of mine;
His right hand me embraces,
I on His breast recline.
I love the Name of Jesus,
Immanuel, Christ, the Lord;
like fragrance on the breezes
His Name abroad is poured.

4 I long to be like Jesus,
meek, loving, lowly, mild;
I long to be like Jesus,
the Father's holy Child;
I long to be with Jesus
amid the heav'nly throng,
to sing with saints His praises,
to learn the angels' song.

Source: Psalms and Hymns to the Living God #209

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 >


I lay my sins on Jesus, p. 556, ii. The Rev. H. N. Bonar, in his Hymns by Horatius Bonar, 1904, pp. x., xi., xxxi., says that his father's hymn-writing began during his residence at Leith, 1834-1837, in a desire to provide something which children could sing and appreciate in divine worship. Selecting two tunes, "Heber," and "The Flowers of the Forest," he wrote to the former "I lay my sins on Jesus," and to the latter "The morning, the bright and the beautiful morning." These were printed on leaflets and distributed in the schools, and were the first of Dr. Bonar's long series of hymns. Mr. Bonar continues the history:—

"After a little it became obvious that, if the interest and improvement in the service were to be maintained, more hymns must be provided. My father made careful search through various books, and selected a few pieces which seemed to be suitable; these he caused to be printed on sheets along with three new ones from his own pen : 'I was a wandering sheep' [p. 559, ii.] . . . 'There was gladness in Zion' . . . and 'For thee we long and pray' [p. 161, ii. 1].

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)



Composed by Samuel S. Wesley (PHH 206), AURELIA (meaning "golden") was published as a setting for “Jerusalem the Golden” in Selection of Psalms and Hymns, which was compiled by Charles Kemble and Wesley in 1864. Though opinions vary concerning the tune's merits (Henry J. Gauntlett once condemned…

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Said to be a "Greek Air," CALCUTTA was one of the popular national tunes used by Dublin's Thomas Moore (1779-1852) in his Sacred Songs (1816). Arthur S. Sullivan (PHH 46) adapted it for congregational singing and published it in his Church Hymns with Tunes (1874). [The tune was earlier adapted for c…

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