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Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me
Isaiah 2:10
TOPLADY  |  Hymn History  |  Bible Passage
Author: Augustus M. Toplady, 1740-1778
Musician: Thomas Hastings, 1784-1872

  Play Music | MP3 • Click to listen to the music for this hymn.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and pow'r.

Not the labors of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law's demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone:
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyelids close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne;
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

Then above the world and sin,
Thro' the veil, drawn right within,
I shall see Him face to face,
Sing the story, saved by grace,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me ever be with Thee.



HYMN HISTORY:

The Rev. Augustus Montague Toplady, is one name which must be included in any list of the great hymn writers.

One day Toplady was travelling through the pleasant English countryside when a sudden, fierce storm sent him scurrying for shelter. He found it nearby, in the cleft of a great rock.

There are several places throughout Britain and Ireland where local people will point positively to the exact location of Toplady's place of refuge. However, since it's such a matter of uncertainty and dispute I'll refrain from favouring any one in particular.

The important thing is that the great man found the shelter he needed; and the wonderful thing for us is that, while there, and inspired by the situation and surroundings, he penned those immortal lines: "Rock of ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee."

The Rev. Toplady was also the editor of a little religious periodical entitled, "The Gospel Magazine," and sometime later he used the lines he had written beneath the shelter of the rock in an article he had prepared for that paper.

In this he sought to establish the utter sinfulness of man and the absolute necessity of receiving Christ's pardon. It was a totally scriptural essay and to prove his point he compared the sins of the average individual to the national debt of England.

Toplady had calculated that a fifty year old man in his lifetime would be guilty of; one billion, five hundred and seventy-six million, eight hundred thousand sins. He quite rightly argued that it was humanly impossible for anyone to pay off such a staggering debt of iniquity. Therefore, sinners must needs avail themselves of the mercy and pardon of the Lord Jesus, who died upon the Cross to 'redeem us from the curse of the law.'

He concluded the article with - 'A living and dying prayer for the holiest believer in the world' - which contained the recently written hymn "Rock Of Ages".

Just two years after those blessed words were first published, Augustus Toplady, at only 38 years of age, passed from this scene of time, into eternity; and to the everlasting shelter of "The Rock of ages."

Rock of Ages, cleft for me- Psalm 62:5-8
Let me hide myself in Thee - Exodus 33:22
Let the water and the blood - 1 John 5:6
From Thy riven side which flowed - John 19:34
Be of sin the double cure - 2 Kings 2:9-10
Cleanse me from its guilt and power- Isaiah 1:19

Not the labour of my hands- John 5:30 (first clause)
Can fulfil the law's demands- Exodus 33:22
Could my zeal no respite know- Psalm 69:6 (first clause)
Could my tears forever flow - Psalm 6:6
All for sin could not atone - Heb. 10:5-6
Thou must save and Thou alone - Hebrews 10:8-10

Nothing in my hand I bring - Isaiah 4:1
Simply to Thy Cross I cling - Galatians 6:14
Naked come to Thee for dress- Rom. 13:14 (first clause)
Helpless look to Thee for grace- Philippians 4:I3
Foul, I to the fountain fly - Psalm 2:7
Wash me Saviour, or I die - John 13:8 (second clause)

While I draw this fleeting breath- Psalm 103:15-16
When my eyelids close in death - Ecclesiastes 12:3-7
When I soar to worlds unknown - John 14:2-3
See Thee on Thy judgment throne - Matthew 25:31
Rock of Ages cleft for me- 1 Corinthians 10:4 (third clause)
Let me hide myself in Thee - Psalm 16:1-8


BIBLE PASSAGE:

10 ¶ Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty.



Dr. James M. Phillips
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