In the Cross of Christ I Glory (Colossians 1:11-20 (KJV))

In the Cross of Christ I Glory (Colossians 1:11-20 (KJV))

11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Sir John Bowring (17 October 1792 – 23 November 1872) wrote amongst many other hymns ‘In the Cross of Christ I Glory’.  He was an English political economist, MP for Kilmarnock Burghs (Ayr, Kilmarnock, Dumbarton, Renfrew and Port Glasgow), traveller, writer, literary translator, polyglot, and the fourth Governor of Hong Kong.

Bowring married twice. Firstly by his wife, Maria (1793/4–1858), whom he married in 1818 after moving to London,  He had five sons and four daughters (Maria, John, Frederick, Lewin, Edgar, Charles, Edith, Emily, and Gertrude). Maria died in September 1858, a victim of the arsenic poisoning of the bread supply.  That is in Hong Kong during the Second Opium War.  An Opium War that was sparked by Sir John her husband.

Secondly to Deborah Castle (1816–1902), in 1860.  Sadly, they had no children. Deborah, became Lady Bowring and died in Exeter in July 1902

John Bowring wrote the words of this great hymn and at least 82 others. He was a hard worker and a brilliant man who had a special gift for languages.  He is reputed to have learned a hundred different languages during his lifetime.  Because of his brilliance with languages, the British government appointed him to a number of jobs.  His career required that he travelled throughout Europe as well as to Syria and even Siam (That is modern Thailand).  He learned Chinese and served as the British governor of Hong Kong in the middle of the 19th Century.

Some people say that Bowring was inspired to write “In the Cross of Christ I Glory” when he visited Macao.  Its is a Portuguese colony near Hong Kong (in 1999 Portugal relinquished their control and gave the colony back to China) and he had a vision of a great bronze cross that towered over the ruins.  That is the ruins of a cathedral. One that had been destroyed by a typhoon.  Whatever the inspiration this hymn celebrates the cross of Jesus. Along with many others, it is a hymn that has been popular since it was first published in 1825. That is nearly two centuries ago.

In the Cross of Christ, I Glory (Colossians 1:11-20) set to tune = Love Divine Ch4 519 24th November 2019 by Charles Litster

1 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. 

2 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. 

3   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. 

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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