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The Solid Rock

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 every 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,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

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

This hymn of grace was written by Edward Mote. He was born on January 21, 1797, London, England. He died on November 13, 1874, Horsham, Sussex, England.

The story of this hymn was accounted by Edward Mote himself in his letter to the Gospel Herald:

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 hymnbook 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.

The name of Edward Mote may not rank with other famous hymn writers such as Fanny J. Crosby, B. B. McKinney or Ira Sankey. However, his life testimony is one that should inspire all Christians.

Edward was not brought up in a godly home. He did not have the advantage of early exposure and upbringing according to the Holy Scriptures. In fact, his parents managed a pub in London. The often neglected young Edward spent most of his Sundays playing in the streets of the city. About his childhood, he had this to say: "So ignorant was I that I did not know that there was a God."

Eventually Edward heard the Good News, and was baptized at the age of 18. He was apprenticed to become a cabinetmaker, of which career he remained for 37 years. This hymn "The Solid Rock" was penned while he was still making cabinets. One morning in 1834, as he was walking to work, it entered his mind to write a hymn. By the time, he got to work, he had the chorus. He wrote four more verses over the course of that day.

At the age of 55, he became the pastor of a Baptist church in Horsham, Sussex. For the next 21 years, Edward did not miss a Sunday ministering the Word in the pulpit. He was so well-loved by his congregation that they offered him the prestigious title to the church building, but he said:

I do not want the chapel, I only want the pulpit; and when I cease to preach Christ, then turn me out of that.

He eventually resigned from this pastoral duties in 1873 due to ill health. He died on the following year, at the age of 77.

The message of this hymn proclaims that Christ's righteousness is our only requirement for salvation. He is the Solid Rock on which we stand! Penned by a son of some objectionable pub owners in London, this hymn has become one of the most beloved gospel hymns in the Church today. It is truly a hymn of His unchanging grace.

Please view a pictorial presentation of this hymn:
The Solid Rock

Compiled On:
13 June 2005