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Arnold and Toplady Poetry Essay

poet / arnold / poetry / anthem
 

 

Title: Contrasting Arnold and Toplady

Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) English poet and cultural critic worked in the capacity of an inspector of schools. Matthew Arnold was a sage writer, who chastised and instructed his readers on the then contemporary social issues.

Matthew Arnold was completely free from worldliness without the faintest trace of pedantry. Fond of shooting and fishing, he was a lively conversationalist.

His writings often baffled and even annoyed the readers due to apparent contradictions between his frivolous controversy and high seriousness intensified by the melancholy and his critical views as well as plaintive note particular to his poetry.

By contrast, Augustus Montague Toplady (1740 –1778) was an Anglican hymn-writer and clergyman. A major Calvinist opponent to John Wesley, he is mostly remembered as the author of the ‘Rock of Ages’ hymn.

Other three known hymns include ‘A Debtor to Mercy Alone’, ‘Object of My First Desire’, and ‘Deathless Principle, Arise’. The hymns are occasionally sung today, though are less popular compared to ‘Rock of Ages’.

Toplady’s theological principles were Arminian: “There was not a more haughty and violent free-wilier within the compass of the four seas”.

Is there a man, whose daring hand
Can number every grain of sand?
Can count the drops that fill the sea?
And tell how many stars there be?
Who shall presume to comprehend
Infinity that knows no end?

 

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