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Augustus Toplady, “God of Love”

December 4, 2016

God of Love

Augustus Toplady

God of love, whose truth and grace
Reach unbounded as the skies,
Hear thy creature’s feeble praise,
Let my ev’ning sacrifice
Mount as incense to thy throne,
On the merits of thy Son.

Me thy providence has led
Through another busy day:
Over me thy wings were spread,
Chasing sin and death away:
Thou hast been my faithful shield,
Thou my footsteps hast upheld.

Tho’ the sable veil of night
Hides the cheering face of heav’n,
Let me triumph in the sight
Of my guilt in thee forgiv’n.
In my heart the witness feel,
See the great invisible.

I will lay me down to sleep,
Sweetly take my rest in thee,
Ev’ry moment brought a step
Nearer to eternity:
I shall soon from earth ascend,
Quickly reach my journey’s end.

All my sins imputed were
To my dear, incarnate God;
Bury’d in his grave they are,
Drown’d in his atoning blood:
Me thou wilt not now condemn,
Righteous and complete in him.

In the Saviour’s right I claim
All the blessings he hath bought;
For my soul the dying Lamb
Hath a full redemption wrought;
Heaven through his desert is mine;
Christ’s I am, and Christ is mine!

Questions:

  1. What time of day is assumed in this poem? Why is that significant?
  2. What is the sacrifice that the poet wishes to offer?
  3. What works does the poet attribute to God the Father? To God the Son?
  4. What word pictures or images does the poet employ? How would you express the same idea in ordinary prose? Why is the image better than the prose?
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