Andrew Bonar


"Study to show thyself approved unto God,
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth"
2 Timothy 2:15

Andrew Bonar at age 80
Andrew Bonar at age 80

Andrew Bonar's Study
Andrew Bonar's Study


During his days at the Divinity Hall, Andrew Bonar and his friends heard lectures by Edward Irving on prophetic subjects, and these made a deep impression.
Through also studying the Bible on this subject, and in particular through a 'calm reading' of Matthew 24, Andrew Bonar became convinced that Christ's second Advent could be no other than pre-millennial.
His brother Horatius, his closest friend Robert Murray M'Cheyne and several others were of the same opinion. Although they 'began to set forth that truth', none of them were fanatical about the subject, and always felt that preaching the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ should have the priority.
Some books and articles by Andrew Bonar which deal with this subject are:
Redemption Drawing Nigh. A Defence Of The Premillenial Advent. 1847.
The Hope of the Lord's Return. The importance of the Doctrine of the Second Advent as a Motive and Help to Holiness. 1888. (From 'Sheaves After Harvest' - edited by Marjory Bonar, 1895)
In 'The Hope of the Lord's Return' he says:
"May I tell you the history of some of us in Edinburgh? It is about sixty years since I myself felt the first thrill of interest in this subject - when Edward Irving was preaching in this city. He had lectures at seven in the morning during the time of the General Assembly, and for two or three years in succession, on prophetic subjects. We used to go at six in the morning to get a good seat. But I remember what led me to decision was the calm reading of Matthew 24. That chapter decided me on this subject. I could not see a foot-breadth of room for the Millennium before Christ comes in the clouds. It is wave upon wave of tribulation till the Son of Man appears.
Our Professor in the Divinity Hall was Dr. Chalmers , and we sometimes told him our thoughts on these subjects, and the opposition shown to us. He would most kindly say: "Oh, gentlemen, there is no harm in studying that subject; go on, and make up your mind. I have not arrived at a conclusion yet; I am looking into it"; and I am glad to say that before he died he ranged himself with the Premillennialists. From that date onward a little band of us began to set forth that truth."
Andrew A. Bonar D.D. Diary and Letters. Transcribed and edited by Marjory Bonar, 1894.
Some quotations from the Diary:
1829. 24th May - "Have been hearing Mr. Irving's lectures all the week, and am persuaded now that his views of the Coming of Christ are truth."
1831. 3rd October - "More and more convinced that the time of Christ's Coming is before the thousand years; often grieved by hearing opposition to this."
1832. May 5th - "He (Horatius Bonar) spoke about the need of labourers and ministers at home, and the witness for Christ's Second Coming borne by few in this land. That may be part of our work."
1833. October 3rd - "Spent some time in praying for the spread of the study of prophecy; then wrote a reply to an article in the Christian Instructor against the Pre-millennial Coming of Christ. Writing upon this subject makes me long much for that glorious day."
1836. September 4th - "..nor have I prayed on behalf of God's truth regarding Christ's Coming, which John Purves has been preaching, and which is here greatly opposed by an old saint with whom I had just met."
1837. 2nd July - "Horace's (Horatius) millenarian views are likely to keep him from Kelso. 16th July - Praying for Horace in regard to Kelso, that his testimony to Christ's Coming again may be honoured of God."
1843. May 3rd - "Heard that St. Peter's is settled; Islay Burns chosen (After M'Cheyne's death). ..I was afraid of being proposed, but left all to God. Many of the electors could not bear my views of Christ's Advent. Many other reasons."
1844. 6th January - "I often feel that Christ's Coming is nearer and nearer. I am reading passages upon this subject to my people every afternoon before preaching.
1846. 15th January - "To-day I have been laying upon the golden altar a small work upon the Second Coming, which I have been enabled to finish to-day." (This must be the work with the title: 'Redemption drawing nigh' which was published in September 1847.)





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Updated 14 March 2017