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.
Not the labor of my hands can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress; helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone.
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 rise to worlds unknown, and behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.
Date: 18th century
Writer(s): Augustus M. Toplady
Background for writing: Augustus wrote this hymn to counter – what he believed – was errant theology being taught from Charles and John Wesley. Augustus was a staunch Calvinist looking to refute the Wesley’s Arminian theology. The hymn “Rock of Ages” was his poetic defense of the doctrine of election and appeared in poetic form in a 1776 issue of The Gospel Magazine. Augustus argued that just like countries cannot always pay their national debt, nor can we pay the debt we owe to God for our salvation. This is really the only surviving hymn that we have of his today.
- God’s is a refuge for those in times of trouble.
- Jesus physical death on the cross absorbed the wrath of God.
- We cannot earn out way to eternal life.
- The only thing we contribute to our salvation is our sin.
- The ultimate deliverance for us is from this world, which is followed by meeting the Lord in heaven.