Friday, February 26, 2016

Rock of ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From thy riven side which flow'd,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and pow'r.

Not the labours of my hands,
Can fulfil thy laws 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,
While my eye-strings break 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.
                                      Augustus Toplady

.....we ought to have bright ideas of the importance of praise.  Let us think of what the sacrifice of praise in the house of the Lord is designed to do.  It prepares the way for the descent of the Holy Spirit into the heart.  Bring me a minstrel, said Elisha; and while listening to the music the Spirit of the Lord came down and he prophesied.  Very frequently, through the music of a song of praise, the Spirit of God in his glory has come down and filled the living temple of the human heart; for it not only prepares the way for the sermon to follow, but very often clinches the effect produced by the sermon.  I heard the beautiful story about Toplady's conversion.  He went into a barn in Ireland, where he heard a Primitive Methodist minister preach the gospel.  At the close, the minister gave out the hymn,  "Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched."  It seemed to him then that the whole company of the congregation took up the appeal from the minister's lips, and instead of one appeal there was that of hundreds.  Then he gave his heart to Christ, and nobly did he honor the obligation in his latter life by laying on the altar of Christ the hymn that we are so fond of:

        "Rock of ages cleft for me,
        Let me hide myself in thee."

Then, again, singing sustains the heart in trial.  Very often in this country we are in the habit of serenading our great men; but oh! no songs in the ear of God are like the serenades which go up from the hearts of God's children, in the night of trial.  He comes forth from his throne to speak words of comfort and cheer.  Then, again, it braces the heart for conflict.  After his last supper Christ sang a hymn.  The Lord Jesus sang, and sang with Gethsemane in view, to brace himself up for conflict with the prince of this world.  Who does not know, too, how Luther strung himself up for his reformation work by that noble version of the 46th psalm, termed the Marseillaise of the Reformation.
                                                                                                                                         Rev. Dr. Taylor

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