Toplady, Augustus Montague

Toplady, Augustus Montague an English clergyman, was born at Farnham, Surrey, Nov. 4,1740, and received his rudimentary education at Westminster School. It being necessary for his mother to visit Ireland to pursue some claims to an estate, he accompanied her there, and was entered at Trinity College, Dublin, from which he graduated. He received orders June 6, 1762, and, after some time, was inducted into the living of Broadhembury, Devonshire;, but on account of his health settled in London in 1775, where he officiated in the chapel of the French Calvinists, Leicester Fields. He died Aug. 11, 1778 and, agreeably to his own request, was buried in Tottenham Court Chapel. The fame of Mr. Toplady rests chiefly upon his controversial writings against the Methodists, and a few hymns. Against Wesley he may be said to have had a confirmed antipathy, and employed ridicule as well as argument in opposing his opinions and conduct. He published, The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination Stated and Asserted (Lond. 1769; N.

Y. 1773; later editions): — Letter to Rev. John Wesley (1770): — More Work for Rev. John: Wesley (1772, 8vo): — Historic Proof of the Doctrinal Calvinism of the Church of England (1774, 2 vols. 8vo): — The Scheme of Christian and Philosophical Necessity Asserted (1775, 8vo), in opposition to John Wesley's Tract on that subject: — (Collection of Hymns for Public and Private Worship (1776, 1787, 12mo): — Dying Avowal (1778), etc. He was for some years editor of The Gospel Magazine. His works were published after his death by his executor (1783, 8vo), with an enlarged Memoir (1825,6 vols. 8vo). One of his most celebrated hymns is:

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

See Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v.; Tyerman, Life and Times of John Wesley, 3, 139,190, 210; Belcher, Historical Sketches of Hymns, p. 248250; Christopher, Hymns writers and their Hymns, p. 46-49.

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