Tuesday Hymns: “The Sands of Time are Sinking”

Samuel Rutherford was a seventeenth-century Scottish pastor who suffered much for his faith in Christ. During the 1630s he was banished from his pastorate to Aberdeen, and although he was permitted to live in his own house, was barred from preaching. While there, he wrote over 200 letters to his own pastorless flock and other non-comformist pastors (often called his “prison epistles). His dying words were said to be, “Glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.” Those words became the inspiration for Anne Ross Cousin’s hymn, The Sands of Time are Sinking, which is our Tuesday Hymn for this week. It is usually sung to the tune, RUTHERFORD, by Chrétien d’Urhan.

Cousin’s hymn reminds us that it is Christ himself who makes heaven, heaven.

The sands of time are sinking,
The dawn of heaven breaks,
The summer morn I’ve sighed for,
The fair sweet morn awakes;
Dark, dark, hath been the midnight,
But dayspring is at hand,
And glory, glory dwelleth
In Emmanuel’s land.

The King there in his beauty
Without a veil is seen;
It were a well-spent journey
Though seven deaths lay between:
The Lamb with his fair army
Doth on Mount Zion stand,
And glory, glory dwelleth
In Emmanuel’s land.

O Christ, he is the fountain,
The deep sweet well of love!
The streams on earth I’ve tasted
More deep I’ll drink above:
There to an ocean fullness
His mercy doth expand,
And glory, glory dwelleth
In Emmanuel’s land.

The bride eyes not her garment,
But her dear bridegroom’s face;
I will not gaze at glory,
But on my King of grace;
Not at the crown he gifteth,
But on his pierced hand:
The Lamb is all the glory
Of Emmanuel’s land.

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1 Comment

  1. rcottrill said,

    April 27, 2010 at 7:51 AM

    Thanks for posting Anne Cousin’s beautiful hymn and something of its background. (Today is the 186th anniversary of Mrs. Cousin’s birth.) If you’d like to learn more about this hymn and others, I invite you to check out my daily blog, Wordwise Hymns.


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