THE SANDS OF TIME ARE SINKING
Anne Ross Cousin, 1824–1906
And I—in righteousness I will see Your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing Your likeness. (Psalm 17:15)
What beautiful pictures of Christ and our relationship to Him as His bride are portrayed for us in this lovely hymn text which was inspired by the dying words of a 17th century Scottish preacher. The colorful imagery enhances the truths of these very thoughtful lines.
“And glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s Land” were the final triumphant words spoken by Samuel Rutherford, a forceful evangelical preacher who suffered much persecution in Scotland for his support of the non-conformist movement. His open opposition to the state church resulted in banishment from his pulpit and home. When his courageous loyalty to Christ continued throughout his life, Rutherford was eventually charged with high treason, which could mean being beheaded. Already on his death bed, however, he sent, back this message: “I behoove to answer my first summons, and ere your day for me arrive, I will be where few kings and great folks come.”
Two hundred years after the death of Rutherford in 1661, his victorious life, writings, and final words so impressed Anne Ross Cousin that she was moved to write this remarkable text. Mrs. Cousin describes vividly the glories of heaven. Her wonderful closing proclamation that “the Lamb is all the glory” is a fitting climax to the hymn’s vibrant exaltation of Christ and His eternal abode.
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 day-spring is at hand, and glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’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 fulness His mercy doth expand, and glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.
O I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved’s mine! He brings a poor vile sinner into His “house of wine.” I stand upon His merit—I know no other stand, not e’en where glory dwelleth in Immanuel’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 giveth but on His pierced hand: The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel’s land.
For Today: John 17:3; Romans 13:14; Ephesians 3:14–21; Hebrews 12:2
Learn to say—“My goal is Christ Himself, not joy, nor peace, not even heaven—but Himself, my Lord.” Even now, as we anticipate the joy of “Immanuel’s land” and the sight of our Savior’s face, let us look away from ourselves and the cares of life and focus on the author and finisher of our faith.