My Hope is Built on Nothing Less than Jesus’ Blood & Righteousness

THE SOLID ROCK

Edward Mote, 1797–1874

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:11)

Life with Christ is an endless hope;
without Him a hopeless end.
Unknown

The Bible likens our life to a house. Some homes are built to last while others crumble easily in strong wind or rain. The difference is not in the severity of the storm but in the quality of the foundation upon which the structure is built. The author of this hymn text wisely chose “the solid rock” on which to build his own life, and he rested on Christ’s “unchanging grace” until his homegoing at age 77.

Edward Mote knew nothing about God or the Bible as he grew up in London, England, the child of poor innkeepers. At the age of 16 he was genuinely converted to Christ. Mote later settled in a suburb of London where he became known as a successful cabinet maker and a devoted church layman.

After a time, a Baptist chapel was built in Horsham, Sussex, England, largely because of Edward’s efforts. The grateful church members offered him the deed to the property. He refused it, saying, “I only want the pulpit, and when I cease to preach Christ, then turn me out of that.” Here Mote ministered faithfully until forced to resign because of poor health one year before his death. He commented, “The truths I have been preaching, I am now living upon and they’ll do very well to die upon.”

During his busy life as a minister, Edward Mote wrote more than 150 hymn texts. In 1836 he published a collection titled Hymns of Praise and included “The Solid Rock” in it.

One morn­ing it came into my mind as I went to la­bour, to write an hymn on the ‘Gra­cious Ex­per­i­ence of a Christ­ian.’ As I went up Hol­born I had the chor­us,

‘On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.’

In the day I had four first vers­es com­plete, and wrote them off. On the Sab­bath fol­low­ing I met bro­ther King as I came out of Lisle Street Meet­ing who in­formed me that his wife was ve­ry ill, and asked me to call and see her. I had an ear­ly tea, and called af­ter­wards.

He said that it was his usu­al custom to sing a hymn, read a por­tion, and en­gage in pray­er, be­fore he went to meet­ing. He looked for his hymn-book but could find it no­where. I said, ‘I have some vers­es in my pock­et; if he liked, we would sing them.’ We did, and his wife en­joyed them so much, that af­ter ser­vice he asked me, as a fa­vour, to leave a co­py of them for his wife.

I went home, and by the fire­side com­posed the last two vers­es, wrote the whole off, and took them to sis­ter King…As these vers­es so met the dy­ing wo­man’s case, my at­ten­tion to them was the more ar­rest­ed, and I had a thou­sand print­ed for dis­tr­ibu­tion. I sent one to the Spir­it­u­al Mag­a­zine, with­out my ini­tials, which ap­peared some time af­ter this. Bro­ther Rees, of Crown Street, So­ho, brought out an edi­tion of hymns [1836], and this hymn was in it. Da­vid Den­ham in­tro­duced it [1837] with Rees’ name, and others af­ter Your in­sert­ing this brief out­line may in fu­ture shield me from the charge of stealth, and be a vin­di­ca­tion of truth­ful­ness in my con­nect­ion with the Church of God.

Edward Mote
Let­ter to the Gos­pel Her­ald

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
in ev’ry high and stormy gale
my anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
support me in the whelming flood;
when all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in Him be found,
dressed in His righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne.

Refrain: On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand
—all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.

For Today: Matthew 7:24-27; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 5:1–5; Hebrews 6:17–20


Taken from: Osbeck, K. W. (1990). Amazing grace : 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions. Includes indexes. (187). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications.; Cyberhymnal.com

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