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13 Mar 2021
Somerset Fascinating Facts - One of the most famous hymns in the world created in our beautiful county of Somerset.
THE NEARBY VILLAGE OF BURRINGTON, SOMERSET - PROVIDES A NUMBER OF INTERESTING WALKS.
It was here in 1763 that the Reverend Augustus Montague Toplady, an Anglican minister from nearby Blagdon, took shelter in the cleft of a rock formation during a violent thunderstorm. While he sheltered from this heavenly blast he wrote the original lyrics for ‘Rock of Ages’, inspired by the deluge and his rocky shelter.
The resulting hymn was first published in The Gospel Magazine in 1775. In 1861 it was played to Prince Albert on his deathbed and in 1866 was also heard being sung by the doomed passengers onboard the SS London when she sank.
The hymn has also featured in various films and inspired the lyrics to a song written by the 1980s heavy metal rock band, Def Leppard.
ROCK OF AGES
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself 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 pow’r.
Not the labours of my hands Can fulfil 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.
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 my 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.
Then above the world and sin, Thro’ the veil, drawn right within, I shall see Him face to face,
Sing the story, saved by grace, Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me ever be with Thee.
For more on Somerset's incredible history and heritage go to our interactive E Book.