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 dayspring is at hand,
And glory—glory dwelleth
In Immanuel's land.
“Immanuel’s Land” is a unique treasure in Christian hymnody. The hymn, also known by its first line, “The Sands of Time Are Sinking,” was written by Anne Ross Cousin from Roxburghshire in Scotland and was first published in 1857 in The Christian Treasury. Mrs. Cousin was the wife of a pastor in the Free Church of Scotland. Her hymn is based on a collection of letters written by Samuel Rutherford (1600–1661), a Scottish pastor who was also from Roxburghshire. Many of the phrases and images from the hymn’s 19 verses come from these letters and provide a glimpse into Rutherford’s life and ministry.