Augustus Toplady was born in Farnham, Surrey, England in November 1740. He later became a notable Anglican minister and compiled a collection of 418 hymns which included many authors such as Watts, Wesley, other nonconformist writers, and six of his own hymns. His most beloved and famous hymn is “Rock of Ages”, which is still sung in modern-day churches. In his work’s preface, Toplady wisely wrote, “God is the God of Truth, of Holiness, and of Elegance. Whoever therefore has the honor to compose, or to compile, anything that may constitute a part of worship, should keep those particulars constantly in view.” In his last three years of life he spent his remaining time in London, preaching regularly in a French Calvinist chapel.
Matthew Arnold was born in Laleham, Middlesex, England in December 1822. Arnold’s life vastly differed from Toplady’s considering that Arnold was an essayists and not a hymn writer like Toplady. However, he unremittingly wrote poetry in the 1850’s and from the 1860’s until his death Arnold focused primarily on literary and social criticism. Later on in his life he was fortunate enough to gain a full-time position of Inspector of Schools; however this meant that he could only work on his writings in the time his job permitted. Nonetheless, he published outstanding works that became incredibly famous such as “Dover Beach (1867) and Thyrsis (1866). Although Arnold expressed his philosophy that the Victorian Age lacked culture and morality, he didn’t acknowledge the need for salvation and instead said morally sound literature could make religion inane when he penned that religion is nothing more than “morality touched with emotion.”
Arnold lived entirely in the nineteen century and became an Inspector of Schools, poet, essayist, classical scholar, and an educator, whereas Toplady lived in the eighteen century and became a major in the Royal Marines, and was a hymn writer. Although Arnold may be more versed in literature and scholarly works than Toplady, he did not acknowledge his sinful nature and