Seventeenth century Scottish minister Samuel Rutherford was banished to Aberdeen for his nonconformity to the church of England, where he wrote many letters to his church in Anwoth.
These letters were so filled with doctrine, exhortation and encouragement that Charles Spurgeon would later write in his review of them, “when we are dead and gone let the world know that Spurgeon held Rutherford’s Letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men.”
British poet Anne Ross Cousin was inspired by Rutherford’s writing, too. After reading them, she wrote her most well-known hymn, “The Sands of Time Are Sinking” - which contains many beautiful allusions to Rutherford’s work and concludes all 19 stanzas with Rutherford’s last words, “Immanuel’s Land.”
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 fullness
His mercy doth expand,
And glory, glory dwelleth In Immanuel's land.
With mercy and with judgment
My web of time He wove,
And aye the dews of sorrow
Were lustered with His love.
I'll bless the hand that guided,
I'll bless the heart that planned,
When throned where 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.
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