In the Cross of Christ I Glory

John Bowring
1792-1872

The tale of this hymn is well-known, however it is unsubstantiated. John Bowring, editor of Westminster review, was a linguist who was fluent in over 20 languages and spoke over 80 more. He was a British statesman, commissioner to France, consul to China, and was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1854.

The story goes that John was sailing near Macao, China when he saw the ruins of a burned church along the coast with only the Cross remaining above the rubble.

The title of this hymn is inscribed on John Bowring’s gravestone in Exeter, England.

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.

When the woes of life o’ertake me,
Hopes deceive, and fears annoy,
Never shall the cross forsake me,
Lo! it glows with peace and joy.

When the sun of bliss is beaming
Light and love upon my way,
From the cross the radiance streaming
Adds more luster to the day.

Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,
By the cross are sanctified;
Peace is there that knows no measure,
Joys that through all time abide.

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.

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