The Offerings to Thy Throne

The offerings to Thy throne which rise,
Of mingled praise and prayer,
Are but a worthless sacrifice,
Unless the heart be there.

Upon Thine all-discerning ear
Let no vain words intrude;
No tribute but the vow sincere,—
The tribute of the good.

Our offerings will indeed be blest,
If sanctified by Thee;
If Thy pure spirit touch the breast
With its own purity.

O, may that spirit warm each heart
To piety and love,
And to life’s lowly vale impart
Some rays from heaven above.

-John Bowring

From All Evil, All Temptation

From all evil, all temptation
That besets our earthly path;
From Thy final condemnation,
From Thy transitory wrath,
God of goodness, us deliver,
And Thy name be praised forever!

From a heart of hate and blindness
From all envy, treachery, pride,
From all harshness or unkindness,
All to sin and shame allied.
God of goodness, us deliver
And thy name be praised forever!

In the time of tribulation,
In the bright and prosperous way,
In the hour of life’s prostration,
In the final judgment day,
God of goodness, us deliver,
And Thy name be praised forever!

-John Bowring

In the Cross of Christ I Glory

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.

-John Bowring, Hymns by John Bow­ring, 1825. There is a sto­ry (prob­ab­ly apo­cryph­al) about the in­spir­a­tion for these words. The tra­di­tion is that Bow­ring was sail­ing past the coast of Ma­cao, Chi­na. On the shore were the re­mains of an old, fire gut­ted church. Above the ru­ins, he saw the church’s cross still stand­ing. The ti­tle of this hymn was carved on Bow­ring’s tomb­stone.