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 >
When languor and disease invade. A. M. Toplady. [Affliction and Death.] In the Lady Huntingdon Collection of Hymns, 1780, there is as No. 238, ”When languor and disease invade,” in 8 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed "Meditation on God's Love," and as No. 263 "Sweet to rejoice in lively hope," in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed "Funeral," the two hymns thus making 14 stanzas of 4 lines. These two hymns, with an additional stanza (x.), were given in the Gospel Magazine, Oct. 1796, as a single poem, with this note appended thereto:—
"This hymn was written for the late Countess of Huntingdon, at her request, when in illness, by the Rev. Mr. Toplady, and kindly given to the publisher as it originally stood, by the Right Hon. Lady Ann Erskine."
From the poem as thus printed we find that No. 238 above was composed of stanzas i.-vii. and xiv., and No. 263 of stanza viii., ix., xi.-xiii. and xv. Stanza x. was not used. The centos from this poem now in common use are:—
1. How blest to rest in lively hope (stanza viii.). In Windle's Met. Psalter and Hymnal
2. Sweet to reflect how grace divine (st. iv.). In some American collections.
3. Sweet to rejoice in lively hope (stanza viii.). In a few American collections.
4. 'Tis sweet to rest in lively hope (stanza viii.). In common use in Great Britain and America.
5. When languor and disease invade (stanza i.). In extensive use in most English-speaking countries.
The full text of the poem is in D. Sedgwick's reprint of Toplady's Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1860.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Display Title: When Languor and Disease InvadeFirst Line: When languor and disease invadeTune Title: ABERDEENAuthor: Augustus M. TopladyMeter: CMSource: Countess of Huntingdon's Collection, 1780, number 238