Hymn: My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less

Words: Edward Mote, 1834

Music: Solid Rock, William B. Bradbury, 1863

My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less was once mistakenly attributed to someone other than Edward Mote. In 1834, Mote had it in mind to write a hymn about the “gracious experience of a Christian”. The chorus came to him first, and then the verses. He had them written on a paper in his pocket when a parishioner, Mr. King, asked him to call on his wife, who was on her deathbed. He did, and when the couple’s hymnbook could not be found, Mote produced the verses he was working on. The Kings were so comforted by the hymn that Mote went home, completed it, and printed copies for distribution. This included an unsigned copy which went to a magazine, and it was later published in an edition of hymns put out by a Brother Rees. Other hymnbooks followed, attributing the hymn to Rees, until the mistake was corrected.

Edward Mote (1797-1874) started his career in the cabinetry business but eventually became a Baptist minister, serving 26 years at Horsham, Sussex. When his devoted congregation offered him the title to the church building, 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.”

William Batchelder Bradbury (1816-1868) loved music from an early age, but did not have the opportunity to study it in earnest until age 17. After training, he taught singing and music in various places and finally turned his attention to teaching children in 1841, and his delight was in providing music for Sunday School. He composed dozens of tunes, including He Leadeth Me; Jesus Loves Me; and Jesus Paid It All (to which he also wrote the lyrics).

Hymn Lyric Video (Embed video here)

My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less
Words: Edward Mote, 1834

Music: Solid Rock, William B. Bradbury, 1863

Verse 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.


On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Verse 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.

Verse 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.

Verse 4
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.