The following poem is found in the work Contemplations on the Sufferings, Death and Resurrection of Christ by Augustus M. Toplady (“published from the author’s manuscripts” in 1822 and republished by Gospel Standard Baptist Trust, 1976).
This unique work includes various “contemplations” by Toplady (see biographical note below) on the subjects given above, interspersed with poems, some of them his own (some of his well-known hymns and poems) and some by others (I.Watts, J.Hart, C.Wesley according to the Preface).
The poem posted here is often attributed to Charles Wesley (a bit ironic considering Toplady’s opposition to John Wesley), but I find the language sufficiently different that I wonder if this one too is not actually Toplady’s (although, comparing it with other of his poems, it does not seem to be in harmony with his usual language). Perhaps someone with more knowledge of poetry than I can help me with this. In any case, the poem is certainly fitting for this Easter Sunday.
- Love’s redeeming work is done,
Fought the fight, the battle won:
Lo, our Sun’s eclipse is o’er,
Lo, He sets in blood no more!
- Lives again our glorious King;
Where, O death, is now thy sting?
Dying, He our souls did save;
Where’s thy victory, O grave?
- Risen with Him, we upwards move,
Seek by faith the things above;
Still pursue and kiss the Son,
Seated on His Father’s throne.
- May we die to things below,
Scarce a thought on earth bestow!
Joined to Him we soon shall shine,
All immortal, all divine.
- Hail, The Lord of earth and heaven!
Praise to Thee by both be given;
Thee we greet triumphant now;
Hail, the resurrection Thou!
- King of glory, soul of bliss,
Everlasting life is this;
Thee to know, Thy power to prove,
Thus to sing, and thus to love!
- Come, Desire of nations, come!
Fix in us Thy humble home:
Come, Almighty to redeem,
Rise with healing in Thy beam!
- Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore:
Us into a temple raise,
Built for Thy eternal praise.
- Adam’s likeness, Lord, deface,
Stamp Thy image in its place;
Second Adam, from above,
Seal us with Thy Spirit’s love.
- Thee, the unholy cannot see!
Make, O make us meet for Thee!
Now to us Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart!
Augustus Montague Toplady (1740-1778), was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Dublin, he was converted through a Methodist lay preacher, took Anglican orders in 1762, and later became vicar of Broadhembury, Devon. In 1775 he assumed the pastorate of the French Calvinist chapel in London. He was a powerful preacher and a vigourous Calvinist, bitterly opposed to John Wesley. He wrote the Historic Proof of the Doctrinal Calvinism of the Church of England (2 vols., 1774) and The Church of England Vindicated from the Charge of Arminianism (1769). His fame rests, however, on his hymns, e.g., “A debtor to mercy alone”; “A sovereign Protector I have”; “From whence this fear and unbelief?”; and especially “Rock of Ages”….