What is one to make of a man described as ‘strangely compounded, peculiarly constituted, and oddly framed’? It conjures up in the mind an image of Stevenson’s Mr. Hyde, or Shelley’s Frankenstein, or Hugo’s Quasimodo. But such is J. C. Ryle’s (1816-1900) description of Augustus Montague Toplady (1740-1778), author of what has been called the best-loved English hymn. One wonders why someone would bother writing a biography—or reading one—about a strange, peculiar, odd person. Nevertheless, Ryle declared that no account of Christianity in England in the 18th century would be complete without featuring remarkable Toplady.
Douglas Bond teaches English at Covenant High School in Tacoma, Washington, and is a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America. Bond lives with his wife, two daughters, and four sons in Washington state.
"We all know 'Rock of Ages', but if you want to learn about the man behind the hymn, and the grace that made him sing, I highly recommend this new book by Douglas Bond. He does a great job of introducing us to Toplady, an importatn, but often overlooked and misunderstood figure in church history." - Rev. Kevin Twitt, RUF Campus Minister and Founder of Indelible Grace Music
"Douglas Bond has an engaging style of writing that brings his subject to life. This book will open windows of insight in how to stand firm in your faith despite ridicule, poverty, health challenges, and the flood of popular cultural. Inspired to strive for a closer walk with the Lord, I can highly recommend this and other books by Douglas Bond." - Vince Treadway, MM, Director of Music Ministries, First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales, Flordia
"I vivdly recall the sweetness and joy of Toplady's diary when I first read it more than twenty years ago now. Doug Bond has ably captured the man and his faith in this brief bio. Warmly recommended!" - Michael Haykin