In the Cross of Christ I Glory

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

John Bowring had a distinguished career, with many great accomplishments. Born in England in 1792, Bowring was a respected economist and writer, who also served as a Member of Parliament and as the Governor of Hong Kong.

Like many others in politics, he had many admirers, but also enemies. Some questioned his methods and how he treated people. His personal financial affairs often were in chaos. But all seemed to agree that he had great talent and ability.

One day, Bowring was on a ship, sailing past Macao (off the China coast). It is said that he saw on the shore the remains of an old church that had been ravaged by fire. Above the ruins, the spire of the church remained in place, with a cross standing strong and tall. That cross seemed to remind him of what was important in his life.

Inspired by that moment, Bowring wrote a hymn, “In the Cross of Christ I Glory.” He could have boasted about the successes of his career. Instead, he wrote, “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.”

Although his life had been filled with ups and downs, Bowring recognized that the cross had changed everything. “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.” The cross provided a peace “that knows no measure, joys that through all time abide.”

Bowring’s tombstone is marked not by his impressive resume, but by the title of this hymn. In death, he wanted the living to focus on Jesus and the cross.

Today, do not glory in your personal accomplishments, talents, or resources. Remember what Bowring and Paul wrote, and make your boast in the cross.