Rock of Ages by Augustus Toplady (1763)

Rev. Augustus Toplady, an Anglican cleric, wrote this popular hymn in 1763. It is usually sung to the hymn tune Toplady by Thomas Hastings, an American Composer. Here in the song, the “Rock of Ages” refers to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. It makes a connection between the smitten rock in the Old Testament (Exodus 17:6) and Jesus’ smitten body in the New Testament (John 19:34).

Lyrics

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,
Save me from its guilt and power.

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, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall 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.

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