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Toplady's Dying Testimony PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sylvester Hassell   

Augustus M. Toplady, of England (born Nov. 4, 1740, and died Aug. 11, 1778), was an Episcopalian min­ister and hymn-writer, and one of the strongest predes­tinarians that ever lived. He was editor of The Gospel Magazine, and the author of many hymns, of which the chief was “Rock of Ages,” ‘which I have given, as ex­pressive of the truest and deepest religious feeling, on page 660 of my Church History, at the close of my gen­eral history of the church, and which was the favorite of Mr. W. E. Gladstone, the greatest English statesmen of the 19th century, and which was translated by Mr. Gladstone into Latin and was sung at his burial in West­minster Abbey.

Mr. Toplady had everything before him to make life desirable, yet when death drew near, his soul exulted in gladness. He said:—“It is my dying avowal that these great and glorious truths which the Lord in rich mercy has given me to believe and enabled me to preach are now brought into practical and heartfelt experience. They are the very joy and support of my soul. The con­solations flowing from them carry me far above the things of time and sense. So far as I know my own heart, I have no desire but to be entirely passive.” Fre­quently he called himself a dying man, and yet the hap­piest man in the world, adding, “Sickness is no affliction, pain no curse, death itself no dissolution; and yet how this soul of mine longs to be gone; like a bird impris­oned in its cage, it longs to take its flight. Had I wings like a dove, then would I fly away to the bosom of God, and be at rest forever.” Within an hour before he ex­pired he seemed to awake from a gentle slumber, and he exclaimed, “O, what delights! Who can fathom the joys of the third heaven? What a bright sunshine has been spread around me! I have not words to express it. I know it can not be long now till my Saviour will come for me, for surely no mortal can live (bursting, as he said it, into a flood of tears) after glories that God has manifested to my soul. All is light, light, light——the brightness of His own glory. O, come, Lord Jesus, come; come quickly.” Then he closed his eyes and fell asleep, to be awakened with others of like precious faith on that great day “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, to be glorified with his saints and admired in all them that believe,” (2 Thess. i 7-10).   

S. H.

Last Updated ( Friday, 11 July 2008 )
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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.