05 February 2012

Sunday Morning Praise

The hymn, Rock of Ages, was written in 1776 by Augustus Toplady. Early in his Christian walk, Toplady "was attracted to the ministry of John and Charles Wesley and the Methodists. As time went on, however, he became a strong follower of the 'election' doctrines of John Calvin and was vehemently opposed to the Arminian views promoted by the Wesleys and their supporters" (Kenneth Osbeck, 101 Hymn Stories, 216).

The words of this hymn, then, were born out of a zeal for these truths and amid controversy. "In 1776 Toplady published this hymn text in The Gospel Magazine as a climax to an article attempting to prove his argument that even as England could never pay her national debt, so man through his own efforts could never satisfy the eternal justice of a holy God" (ibid). Interestingly enough, "Dr. Louis J. Benson, a noted hymnologist, in Studies of Familiar Hymns, calls attention to the fact that Toplady actually plagiarized his text from a hymn Charles Wesley had written thirty years earlier.." (ibid, 217).

Regardless, the lyrics of this well-known hymn ring true and cut deep to the soul of any saved sinner. Indeed, "Could [our] zeal no respite know, Could [our] tears forever flow, All for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone." Let all of us cry out to our Lord, "Wash me, Savior, or I die!"


Rock of Ages

2 comments:

  1. He is the rock! At the end of time He will come ..."But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth." Daniel 2:35b. His government will be His and it will be perfect. :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. thank you. the youth in the evangelical church have very little knowledge about our christian heritage. perheps it is not always intended but the worship services are sometimes concerts promoting the latest cd for sale of the worship team.

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