Tuesday Hymns (on Thursday this week): “A Debtor to Mercy Alone”

(I have had a busy week so Tuesday Hymns is being posted on Thursday.) Augustus Montague Toplady (1740-1778) grew up in England, but eventually relocated to Ireland, where he completed his academic training at Trinity College, in Dublin. His description of his own conversion is a beautiful portrait of God’s Sovereignty in salvation:

Strange that I who had so long sat under the means of grace in England, should be brought right unto God in an obscure part of Ireland, midst a handful of people met in a barn, and by the ministry of one who could hardly spell his own name. Surely it was the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous. The regenerating Spirit breathes not only on whom, but likewise when and where and as He listed.

Toplady’s most popular hymn is Rock of Ages, but my personal favorite is A Debtor to Mercy Alone. It speaks to us of the glorious truth that salvation is of the Lord from start to finish.

 A debtor to mercy alone, of covenant mercy I sing; Nor fear, with Thy righteousness on, my person and off’ring to bring. The terrors of law and of God with me can have nothing to do; My Saviour’s obedience and blood hide all my transgressions from view.

The work which His goodness began, the arm of His strength will complete; His promise is Yea and Amen, and never was forfeited yet. Things future, nor things that are now, nor all things below or above, can make Him His purpose forgo, or sever my soul from His love.

 My name from the palms of His hands eternity will not erase; Impressed on His heart it remains, in marks of indelible grace. Yes, I to the end shall endure, as sure as the earnest is given; More happy, but not more secure, the glorified spirits I heav’n.


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