Hymns of the Faith

Nothing But Jesus

I long to prize God’s matchless worth
Above the passing things of earth;
To be reserved for Christ who died,
Surrendered to the crucified.

Nothing but Jesus, nothing but Jesus for me –
His cross set before me so Jesus is all I can see.
Lord, seize my heart, assert Your right,
And put all other loves to flight:
Nothing but Jesus, nothing but Jesus for me.

Removed from all the noise and strife,
The lust, the pomp, the pride of life;
Direct my heart to heav’nly things
Until my mouth of glory sings.

I long to know Your boundless love
And find my joy in things above;
For this I would be powerless
Without the Spirit I possess.

::For original wording see link::

Born: November 4, 1740, Farn­ham, Sur­rey, Eng­land.
Died: Au­gust 11, 1778, Ken­sing­ton, Mid­dle­sex, Eng­land, of tu­ber­cu­lo­sis.
Buried: White­field’s Tab­er­na­cle, Tot­ten­ham Court Road, Lon­don, Eng­land.

Toplady at­tend­ed West­min­ster School, Lon­don, and Trin­i­ty Coll­ege, Dub­lin. He was or­dained an Ang­li­can priest in 1762, and served as Cur­ate at Blag­don and Far­leigh. In 1766, he be­came Vi­car of Broad­hem­bu­ry, De­von­shire. He left the Ang­li­can church in 1775, moved to Lon­don, and be­gan preach­ing at the French Cal­vin­ist church in Lei­ces­ter Fields. His works in­clude:

  • The Doctrine of Ab­so­lute Pre­des­tin­a­tion Stat­ed and As­sert­ed, 1769
  • Historic Proof of the Doc­trin­al Cal­vin­ism of the Church of Eng­land, 1774
  • The Church of Eng­land Vin­di­cat­ed from the Charge of Armin­i­an­ism, 1774
  • Po­ems on Sac­red Sub­jects, 1775
  • Psalms and Hymns, 1776

(information: www.cyberhmnal.org)

Toplady is best known, quite possibly, for his hymn “Rock of Ages”. As the young minister traveled through the rugged country near England’s Cheddar Gorge, the clouds burst and torrential sheets of rain pummeled the earth. The weary traveler was able to find shelter standing under a rocky overhang. There, protected from the buffeting wind and rain, Augustus Toplady conceived one of the most popular hymns ever written, “Rock of Ages, Cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.”

Cleft in RockIn March, 1776 Toplady published the hymn as part of an article in The Gospel Magazine, which he edited. He wrote that just as England could never pay her national debt, so man could never by his own merits satisfy the justice of God. In the middle of the article he burst into song, printing for the first time the hymn “Rock of Ages”, which so ably describes Christ, the Rock of Ages, as the remedy for all our sin.

Augustus Toplady died of consumption at the age of 38. As he neared the end Toplady proclaimed, “My heart beats every day stronger and stronger for glory. Sickness is no affliction, pain no cause, death itself no dissolution…My prayers are now all converted into praise.”

(information: www.chi.gospelcom.net)

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