The Bible, the light of the world

Representative Text

1 A glory gilds the sacred page,
Majestic like the sun:
It gives a light to every age;
It gives, but borrows none.

2 The hand that gave it still supplies
The gracious light and heat;
His truths upon the nations rise,
They rise, but never set.

3 Let everlasting thanks be thine,
For such a bright display,
As makes a world of darkness shine
With beams of heavenly day.

4 My soul rejoices to pursue
The steps of him I love,
Till glory break upon my view
In brighter worlds above.

A New Selection of Hymns, 1812

Author: William Cowper

William Cowper (pronounced "Cooper"; b. Berkampstead, Hertfordshire, England, 1731; d. East Dereham, Norfolk, England, 1800) is regarded as one of the best early Romantic poets. To biographers he is also known as "mad Cowper." His literary talents produced some of the finest English hymn texts, but his chronic depression accounts for the somber tone of many of those texts. Educated to become an attorney, Cowper was called to the bar in 1754 but never practiced law. In 1763 he had the opportunity to become a clerk for the House of Lords, but the dread of the required public examination triggered his tendency to depression, and he attempted suicide. His subsequent hospitalization and friendship with Morley and Mary Unwin provided emotional st… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: What glory gilds the sacred page
Title: The Bible, the light of the world
Author: William Cowper (1719)
Meter: 8.6.8.6
Language: English

Tune

BELMONT (Gardiner)

This tune has been mis-attributed to various other composers, but is clearly the work of the above-named composer.

Go to tune page >


BURLINGTON (Burrowes)


Timeline

Media

The Cyber Hymnal #1855
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)

Instances

Instances (1 - 2 of 2)

The Baptist Hymnal #219

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #1855

Include 368 pre-1979 instances
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