This week in Christian history: ‘Rock of Ages’ writer ordained, bombed church reopens

Author of 'Rock of Ages' ordained — June 6, 1762

Augustus Toplady
Anglican minister Augustus Toplady (1740-1778), author of the famous hymn "Rock of Ages." |

This week marks the anniversary of when Augustus Toplady, the man who wrote the famous hymn “Rock of Ages,” was ordained as a minister in the Church of England.

While known for his vocal theological debates with Methodism founder and fellow Church of England clergyman John Wesley, Toplady is most known in the modern day for his sacred song.

According to legend, Toplady was inspired to write the hymn after taking refuge in a rock cleft located in North Somerset, England, during a vicious storm.

"Toplady was most likely inspired to write the hymn after reading the preface of John and Charles Wesleys' hymns on the Lord's Supper (1745) which contains a prayer voicing many of the themes and words that are also found in the hymn,” wrote author and blogger Tim Challies in 2013.

“This is ironic, given the poor condition of Toplady's relationship with John Wesley; but one can perhaps see the hand of God in it."

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