~Rock Of Ages (1)
M. Toplady, even when he wrote his magnificent masterpiece, the “Rock
of Ages,” could not resist the temptation to give a thrust at those
who, he insisted, were believers in Perfectionism.
he entitled his hymn, when he printed it—“A living and dying prayer
of the holiest believer in the world.”
is as much as if he had said, “The most sanctified soul in the world
must come down on his knees and confess, ‘Nothing in my hands I
bring,’ and ‘Vile I to this fountain fly.’”
Ages, Cleft for Me
(1) Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure.
(2) Could my tears forever flow,
Could my zeal no languor know.
These for sin could not atone-
Thou must save, and Thou alone:
In my hand no price I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling.
(3) While I draw this final breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.
~Rock Of Ages (2)
of the Jubilee Singers, a student of Fisk University, was on board a
steamer that took fire. He had the presence of mind to fix
life-preservers on himself and wife. But in the agony of despair, when
all on board were trying to save themselves, someone took from his wife
her life-preserver, so that she found herself helpless amid waters. But
she clung to her husband, placing her hands firmly on his shoulders as
he swam on. After a little while her strength was exhausted. I can hold
on no longer, was her cry. Try a little longer, was her husband’s
agonized entreaty; and then he added, Let us sing ‘Rock of Ages.’
they both began faintly to sing; and their strains fell upon the ears of
many around them, while they were thus seeking to comfort each other.
One after another of the nearly-exhausted swimmers was noticed raising
his head above the waves and joining in the prayer:
of Ages, cleft for me,
me hide myself in thee.
seemed to come with the song; and they were able to hold out a little
longer, still faintly singing. A boat was seen approaching, and they did
get strength enough to keep themselves afloat ’til the crew lifted
them on board. And thus Toplady’s hymn helped to save more than one
from death by the sea, as it has often helped to save souls ready to