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~Rock Of Ages (1)


       Augustus 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.

       So he entitled his hymn, when he printed it—“A living and dying prayer of the holiest believer in the world.”

       This 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.’”

—Walter Baxendale

 

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Rock of 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)

       One 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.’ 

       Immediately 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:

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in thee.

       Strength 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 perish.

      

 

 

 

 

 

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