You may recall that last Sunday morning we greeted you here with a server outage; this Sunday morning we’re back on course with an entry (number 94 already!) to my regular series, “Then Sings My Soul: The Hymns of My Youth.” This week we add one from Edward Mote. Mote was born January 21, 1797 in London, England and died November 13, 1874 in Horsham, Sussex, in England. His early career was in the cabinetry business, but he eventually became a Baptist pastor and served 26 years at Horsham in Sussex, where he was buried. He was apparently so well loved that his congregation offered him 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.”
Personally, I find that pastors who have had a previous career in the regular, workaday world are better able to relate to those in their care, and in addition to theological training, a prior career is not a bad prerequisite for full-time ministry. But I digress.
Edward Mote penned the words to “The Solid Rock” sometime around 1834, and it was set to music by William B. Bradbury in 1863. My recollection of the hymn includes an updated arrangement that I quite liked as well as the familiar tune — and the somewhat discredited (more info) Mike Warnke singing, “My hope is based on nothing less than Scofield’s notes and Scripture Press.”
But still — it’s the words which harbour the profundity in this case. Go ahead and chew on them a while, letting them sink in. I love the third verse particularly, and those who recall singing this in a congregational setting may note a slightly louder version of the chorus was almost inevitable after the fourth and final verse. Which, I figure, is as it should be.
The Solid Rock
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
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.
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.