1. 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.
2. When darkness veils his lovely face, I rest on his unchanging grace; In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.
3. 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.
4. 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.
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand; All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand.Edward Mote, 1834
THE HYMN WRITER
Edward Mote (1797-1874) was born in Upper Thames Street, London, to parents who owned and operated a pub. Since they left Edward to do whatever he pleased on the streets of London and as he went to a school that did not allow Bibles, he was completely ignorant of who God is, or even that he exists. Upon visiting a church when he was 16, the Holy Spirit began to work on his heart, exposing his sin and showing him his need for Christ. Two years later, Mote heard the gospel in its entirety and came to saving faith in Jesus. In 1852, he became pastor of a Baptist church in Horsham, Sussex, where his ministry yielded many souls for God’s Kingdom. When his congregation offered him the church building/property as a gift, he responded, “I do not want the chapel, I only want the pulpit; and when I cease to preach Christ, then turn me out of that.”
Edward’s most well-known hymn was headed with “The Immutable Basis of a Sinner’s Hope” and was written in the following occasion:
“One morning it came unto 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 the 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, and visited her every day after tea, while she lived (five or six days); and never had more heavenly converse with a saint of God than in those heavenly, heart-replenishing visits, we mutually rejoiced in the great things of God.
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.”
It appears that there was some confusion about whether Mote was the song’s true author, which is why he had written such a thorough explanation of the song’s origin above. None now doubt his authorship. Mote resigned from pastoring in 1873 after his health began to fail and died in November of 1874.
HOW WE DO HYMN OF THE MONTH
If you are new to this community, welcome! It is a great time to join in and make family worship a priority if you haven’t already. You may or may not be familiar with this hymn. Either way, we invite you to spend this month meditating on its truths.
To get you started, we’ve provided free printable lyrics, music and copywork — all found here!
Also, you can find fresh versions of the hymn on our YouTube channel that you and your family can sing along with. There are loads of fresh versions of our favorite hymns on our hymn of the month playlist.
When we began singing hymns with our littles about 10 years ago, we kept it simple… We prayed and sang one hymn together every night at bedtime for a whole month. Everyone’s family rhythm is different, so we welcome you to gather up your families, for just a few minutes each day, to sing, discuss and memorize this hymn (following your daily time in the Scriptures and in prayer) whether it is first thing in the morning, or around the dinner table or before bedtime – whatever works best for your family. You can let us know how it’s going by posting either a video or a photo on Instagram. Just tag it with #happyhymnody! As always, if you have any questions or if you’d like to share your heart with us, please don’t hesitate to reach out! God bless you all this month as you worship and follow Jesus together as a family!
With so much love,
ABC Scripture card pictured is by Pip & J Papery.