Augustus Montague Toplady (1740–1778),
Anglicandivine, was born at Farnham, Surrey, and educated at Westminster and Trinity College, Dublin.
Although originally a follower of
John Wesley, in 1758 he adopted strong
Calvinistopinions. He was ordained in the Anglican church in 1762 and became vicar of Harpford with Fenn-Ottery, Devon, in 1766. In 1768 he exchanged to the living of Broadhembury, Devon.
He is chiefly known as a writer of
hymnsand poems, including "Rock of Ages", and the collections entitled
Poems on Sacred Subjects(Dublin, 1759) and
Psalms and Hymns for Public and Private Worship(London, 1776). His best prose work is the
Historic Proof of the Doctrinal Calvinism of the Church of England(London, 1774).
"Some comments by Wesley upon Toplady's presentation of Calvinism led to a controversy which was carried on with much bitterness on both sides. Toplady wrote a venomous Letter to Mr Wesley (1770), and Wesley repeated his comments in
The Consequence Proved(1771), whereupon Toplady replied with increased acridity in
More Work for Mr Wesley(1772)." (
From 1775 to 1778, having obtained leave of non-residence at Broadhembury, he lived in London, and ministered at a Calvinist church in Orange Street.
The Complete Works of Augustus Toplady: 1740-1778. Sprinkle Publications, 2003.