The Rock That Is Higher Than I

Representative Text

1 Encompassed with clouds of distress,
And tempted all hope to resign,
I pant for the light of thy face,
That I in thy beauty may shine.
Disheartened with waiting so long,
I sink at thy feet with my load;
All plaintive I pour out my song,
And stretch forth my hands unto God.

2 [Shine, Lord, and my terror shall cease;
The blood of atonement apply;
And lead me to Jesus for peace,
The Rock that is higher than I.
Speak, Saviour, for sweet is thy voice;
Thy presence is fair to behold;
I thirst for thy Spirit, with cries
And groanings that cannot be told.]

3 If sometimes I strive, as I mourn,
My hold of thy promise to keep,
The billows more fiercely return,
And plunge me again in the deep.
While harassed and cast from thy sight,
The tempter suggests with a roar,
“The Lord has forsaken thee quite;
Thy God will be gracious no more.”

4 Yet, Lord, if thy love has designed
No covenant blessing for me,
Ah! tell me, how is it I find
Some sweetness in waiting for thee?
Almighty to rescue thou art,
Thy grace is immortal and free;
Lord, succour and comfort my heart,
And make me live wholly to thee.

Source: A Selection of Hymns for Public Worship. In four parts (10th ed.) (Gadsby's Hymns) #293

Author: Augustus Toplady

Toplady, Augustus Montague, the author of "Rock of Ages," was born at Farnham, Surrey, November 4, 1740. His father was an officer in the British army. His mother was a woman of remarkable piety. He prepared for the university at Westminster School, and subsequently was graduated at Trinity College, Dublin. While on a visit in Ireland in his sixteenth year he was awakened and converted at a service held in a barn in Codymain. The text was Ephesians ii. 13: "But now, in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." The preacher was an illiterate but warm-hearted layman named Morris. Concerning this experience Toplady wrote: "Strange that I, who had so long sat under the means of grace in England, should b… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Encompassed with clouds of distress
Title: The Rock That Is Higher Than I
Author: Augustus Toplady
Meter: D
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Encompass'd with clouds of distress. A. M. Toplady. [The struggles of Faith.] No. 18 of Toplady's series of hymns in the Gospel Magazine, Feb., 1772, in 4 stanzas of 8 lines. Although not included in his Psalms & Hymns, 1776, it is given in several modern hymn-books, as Spurgeon's Our Own Hymn Book 1866, and others. Also in the Sedgwick reprint of Toplady's Hymns, 1860. [William T. Brooke]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The tune most commonly known as CONTRAST is a German folk tune. In American shape-note tradition the tune is known as GREEN FIELDS or GREENFIELDS. J. S. Bach quoted it in his "Peasant Cantata," but he did not compose it. It has also been misattributed to Maria DeFleury and to Lewis Edson. Edson wrot…

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The Cyber Hymnal #12076
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The Cyber Hymnal #12076

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