THE SOLID ROCK                                                                           written in 1834

The Story

            Many of the British hymnwriters were children of ministers or were from middle- or upper-class families. Not Edward Mote.

Edward’s parents managed a pub in London. Edward said of his childhood, “My Sundays were spent in the streets; so ignorant was I that I did not know there was a God.” He was eventually apprenticed to a cabinetmaker who took him to church, where he heard the gospel message for the first time. Edward was converted and baptized at 18 years old, became a successful cabinetmaker in a London suburb (the job he worked for 37 years) and was active in his local church.

Edward wrote this hymn – based on the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders – while he was working as a cabinetmaker. The chorus came to his mind as he was walking to work, and later in the day the verses came to him. The following Sunday afternoon, he visited the dying wife of a close friend. Edward didn’t know what to say to her, so he quoted the 4 verses of the hymn he’d just written. At the end of each verse, he quoted these words, “On Christ, the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.”

2 years later he published the hymn and titled it, “The Immutable Basis of a Sinner’s Hope”. That title would eventually be shortened – sometimes called “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less”, but it would still be a hymn that combines deep theology and personal experience.

In his 50s, Edward became pastor of the Rehoboth Baptist Church in West Sussex, where he pastored for 26 years. When he died, in 1874, he was buried in the church yard of that church.

The Song

Read this song and, today, make it your own song of testimony in tough times!

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.

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

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

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

His oath, His covenant, and blood support me in the whelming flood;
when every earthly prop gives way, He then is all my Hope and Stay.

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

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

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

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