How Vast the Benefits Divine

Representative Text

1 How vast the benefits divine
which we in Christ possess!
We are redeemed from sin and shame,
and called to holiness.
'Tis not for works that we have done,
these all to him we owe;
but he of his electing love
salvation doth bestow.

2 To thee, O Lord, alone is due
all glory and renown;
aught to ourselves we dare not take,
or rob thee of thy crown.
Thou wast thyself our Surety
in God's redemption plan;
in thee his grace was given us,
long ere the world began.

3 Safe in the arms of sov'ereign love
we ever shall remain;
nor shall the rage of earth or hell
make thy sure counsel vain.
Not one of all the chosen race
but shall to heav'n attain;
here they will share abounding grace,
and there with Jesus reign.

Source: Trinity Psalter Hymnal #426

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: How vast the benefits divine
Title: How Vast the Benefits Divine
Author: Augustus Toplady (1774)
Meter: D
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Scripture References:
st. 2 = Eph. 1:4

Written by ardent Calvinist Augustus M. Toplady (b. Farnham, Surrey, England, 1740; d. Kensington, London, England, 1778), this text was published in the Gospel Magazine (Dec. 1774). Dewey
Westra (PHH 98) revised Toplady's text in 1931 for the first edition of the Psalter Hymnal (1934).

This teaching text presents in song the essential points of the doctrine of redemption (like 496 but more comprehensively): only in Christ are we saved, for we have no merit of our own. Our redemption was ordained "before the world began" (see election texts referred to in 496), and our salvation ultimately leads to ruling with Christ in his kingdom.

Toplady is primarily known for writing "Rock of Ages" and for being an outspoken Calvinist opponent of John Wesley (PHH 267). After his father's death, Toplady moved with his mother to Ireland, where he studied at Trinity College, Dublin. He experienced a conversion while listening to the Wesleyan Methodist lay preacher James Morris. Ordained in the Church of England in 1762, Toplady served several congregations, including Broadhembury in Devonshire (1770-1775) and the Chapel of the French Calvinists in Leicester Fields, London, from 1775 on. Although converted under the preaching of a Methodist, Toplady became a bitter opponent in sermons and print of John Wesley and his Arminian teaching. Often using scurrilous language, such as "Wesley is guilty of Satanic shamelessness," he pressed his Calvinistic interpretation of the Bible, to which Wesley responded with equal disdain. Toplady wrote 130 hymn texts and produce Poems on Sacred Subjects (1769) and Psalms and Hymns for Public and Private Worship (1776).

Liturgical Use:
With preaching on redemption, probably after the sermon; Lent.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook




ST. MATTHEW was published in the Supplement to the New Version of Psalms by Dr. Brady and Mr. Tate (1708), where it was set to Psalm 33 and noted as a new tune. The editor of the Supplement, William Croft (PHH 149), may be the composer of ST. MATTHEW. One of the longer British psalm tunes, it has a…

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MARTYRDOM was originally an eighteenth-century Scottish folk melody used for the ballad "Helen of Kirkconnel." Hugh Wilson (b. Fenwick, Ayrshire, Scotland, c. 1766; d. Duntocher, Scotland, 1824) adapted MARTYRDOM into a hymn tune in duple meter around 1800. A triple-meter version of the tune was fir…

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Trinity Psalter Hymnal #426

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