May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.@Galatians 6:14
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John Bowring (1792–1872)
© National Portrait Gallery

John Bowring, Hymns (London: Rowland Hunter, 1825), number 63. There is a tradition that while Bowring was governor of Hong Kong, he visited nearby Macao and saw the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral, which had been gutted by fire in 1835. Above the ruins, he saw the church’s cross still standing. The story is likely apocryphal, though—the hymn was published a decade before the fire, and more than 20 years before Bowing was in Hong Kong: He was appointed British consul in 1849, and governor in 1854.

Rathbun Ithamar Conkey, 1849 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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Glorification of the Cross
Adam Elsheimer (1578–1610)

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.