The author of "Rock of Ages," the wonderful old song we still sing today was AUGUSTUS TOPLADY, son of Major Richard Toplady and his wife Julia (maiden name Bate). The future songwriter was born November 4, 1740. Augustus was raised and educated well by his mother, for his father died in the young lad's infancy. At about the age of 16, he was saved at a place called Codymain, in Ireland, where a layman was preaching in a barn. There being nothing special nor peculiar about the place it simply shows the truth again of that scripture which teaches us that "it pleaseth God, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe."
Toplady reflected and marveled later in some of his writings, at how God had brought him to Christ in a barn, in a remote part of Ireland, through a sermon preached by a man who could hardly spell his name!
A verbatim reprint of the First Edition of "The Works of Augustus Toplady" is probably still available from Sprinkle Publications, in Harrisonburg, VA, FAX 540-434-4136 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org. His "Works" contains sermons, essays, lectures and letters by the author of "Rock of Ages." The book is a very worthwhile addition to any Pastor's library, though we don't agree with every jot and tittle of Toplady's theology, of course.
Rock of ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide my self in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.
Not the Labour of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law's demands:
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears for ever 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, Saviour, or I die!
While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyelids 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!