Edward Mote wrote just one hymn in his lifetime. From what we know of his life, “My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less” was just as much an anthem of his own testimony as it has become for believers all over the world.
Having grown up knowing nothing of God or His existence, Mote first attended church and became a Christian as a young adult. While still a new believer, he was compelled to try his hand at hymn writing. Thus, Mote wrote from a basic, yet profound understanding of his salvation.
Later that same week, he visited a married couple at the wife’s sickbed. Without a hymnal handy to lead them in a song of worship, Mote produced a folded-up piece of paper upon which he had worked out four verses and a chorus. Together, they sang the hymn now known as “My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less” for the first time, blessed by the truths of God’s Word in the lyrics.
Twenty years later, as a Baptist minister, Mote was instrumental in securing a building for his congregation. As a show of thanks, the congregants offered to put the deed in his name, but Mote refused, saying, “I do not want the chapel. I only want the pulpit; and when I cease to preach Christ, then turn me out of that!” (Dough 72). Mote understood the profound simplicity of what remains secure and what will always be slipping away.
Christ is the sole means of our salvation. Our hope is truly built on nothing less than Jesus.
My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less
Edward Mote; William B. Bradbury
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.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace;
in every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil. [Refrain]
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. [Refrain]
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. [Refrain]
Dough, Whitney J. The Hymnwriters: Our Unknown Friends: A Biographical Guide to British and American Sacred Song. Franklin, TN: Providence House Publishers, 1995.