LDS Hymns



#111 Rock of Ages

Music & voice:
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Music only:
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Lyrics:

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. Not the labors of my hands
Can fill all 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.

3. While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine 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.

Text: Augustus M. Toplady, 1740-1778
Music: Thomas Hastings, 1784-1872

-History: (Source: Wikipedia)

Rock of Ages” is a popular Christian hymn by Reverend Augustus Montague Toplady written in 1763 and first published in The Gospel Magazine in 1775.

Traditionally, it is held that Rev. Toplady drew his inspiration from an incident in the gorge of Burrington Combe in the Mendip Hills in England. Toplady, a preacher in the nearby village of Blagdon, was travelling along the gorge when he was caught in a storm. Finding shelter in a gap in the gorge, he was struck by the title and scribbled down the initial lyrics on a playing card.

The fissure that is believed to have sheltered Toplady is now marked as the “Rock of Ages”, both on the rock itself and on some maps, and is also reflected in the name of a nearby tea shop.

The hymn was a favourite of Prince Albert, who asked it to be played to him on his deathbed, as did Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart. It was also played at the funeral of William Ewart Gladstone.[4]

In his book Hymns That Have Helped, W. T. Stead reported “when the SS London went down in the Bay of Biscay, 11 January 1866, the last thing which the last man who left the ship heard as the boat pushed off from the doomed vessel was the voices of the passengers singing “Rock of Ages”.[4]

This hymn was regarded as one of the Great Four Anglican Hymns [5] in the 19th century.

Johannes Maas, a leader in the faith movement, commented on this hymn, “The words of this hymn are among the most profound, inspiring, encouraging, sacred, devotional, and precious words ever penned.” [2]

Also, In his score for Altered StatesJohn Corigliano made reference to this hymn many times, to symbolize the religious struggle of the hero, and the memories of his anti-religious father, which figures in one of his hallucinations.

The hymn has appeared in other languages including German (as “Fels der Ewigkeit”) and Swedish (“Klippa, du som brast för mig”).

There were also Latin translations by William Ewart Gladstone as “Jesus, pro me perforatus” and by Canadian linguist Silas Tertius Rand as “Rupes saeculorum, te.”[6][7] On reading this version, Gladstone wrote to Rand, “I at once admit that your version is more exact than mine”.[8]

-Video:




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