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  • Writer's pictureDr. Roger D Duke


“The Story Behind the Hymn”

“The Solid Rock”


“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less Than Jesus Blood and Righteousness”

Lyrics by Edward Mote / Music by William Bradbury

“The Story”

Edward Mote was born January 21, 1797 of very poor parents. They were unconverted and would not even allow a Bible in their inn. When grown, he became a cabinet maker and carpenter by trade. One morning as he labored as a craftsman, the words, “on Christ the solid rock I stand/all other ground is sinking sand” came to him. By the end of the day he had worked out some of the stanzas. He immediately wrote them down.[1]

Later, on the Lord’s Day he encountered one Brother King who informed Mote of his sickly wife. She was nigh unto death. He asked Mote to make a sick call to see her. The couple’s usual custom before service was to sing a hymn, read a section of Scripture, and engage in prayer. But they could not find the hymnbook.

Mote had a portion of this hymn in his pocket. They sang it and Mr. King’s wife loved it. Mote later recounted how, “I went home and by the fireside composed the last two verses, wrote the whole off, and took them to Sis. 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.” [2] The rest as they say is history! Now you know “The Story Behind the Hymn!”



Verse One:

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 Verse Two:

When darkness seems to hide His face I rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil Verse Three:

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 Verse Four:

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 Refrain:

On Christ the solid Rock I stand All other ground is sinking sand All other ground is sinking sand [3]

[1] Robert J. Morgan, Then Sings My Soul-Special Edition (Nashville: Word Publishing Co., 2010), 172-173.

[2] Ebid.

[3] Ibid, 172.

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