All other ground is sinking sand…
THE SOLID ROCK
Keith W. Ward
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.
—Edward Mote (1797-1874)
Heard Michael W Smith sing a short part of this song in the new movie watched in church called ‘The Second Chance”. The full version is below. You can also download the simple mp3 to hear how the hymn sounds like.
A little background on the hymn :
The name of Edward Mote does not often rest on the lips of the Church today in the same fashion as Fanny J. Crosby, B. B. McKinney, Ira Sankey, or other greats in hymnody. However, the testimony of his life is one that should inspire all Christians. Mote was not brought up in a godly home and did not have the advantage of early exposure to Scripture. In fact, his parents managed a pub in London and often neglected young Edward, who spent most of his Sundays playing in the city streets. Of his theological upbringing, he said “So ignorant was I that I did not know that there was a God.”
Eventually Mote became exposed to the Word of God, and was baptized at the age of 18. This event, however, did not send Mote immediately into the ministry. He was apprenticed to become a cabinetmaker, a career which he successfully conducted for another 37 years. Eventually, at the age of 55, he became pastor of a Baptist church in Horsham, Sussex, where he did not miss a Sunday in the pulpit for the next 21 years. He resigned from this pastorate in 1873 due to ill health, and died the following year at the age of 77.
It was with this background that Mote wrote the hymn we have today, “The Solid Rock.” It was during his career as a cabinetmaker that the hymn came into being. 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 and two additional verses before he was finished.