Sometimes the grace of God penetrates into unlikely places. Edward Mote’s parents were hostile to religion, but while still a boy Edward became a Christian through the influence of a cabinetmaker to whom he was apprenticed. As a man, he became a skilled cabinetmaker with a successful business of his own.
Regardless of the claims of his business on his time, Mote always found time to worship God. He was especially interested in Christian music, and one day felt inspired on the way to work to write down a verse that came to his mind. Before the day was finished, he had completed four verses. His new hymn began with the words, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”
Not long thereafter, Mote visited a friend whose wife was ill. It was a Sunday, and the friend mentioned that he and his wife liked to observe Sunday by singing a hymn, reading a scripture, and having prayer together. Mote had a copy of his hymn in his pocket, so they sang it. The friend’s wife was so taken with the hymn that she requested a copy for herself. Encouraged by her interest, Mote had copies printed—and soon found himself the author of a beloved hymn.
At age 55, Mote responded to a call to the ministry. He served out the rest of his life—more than two decades— as the pastor of a Baptist Church in Horsham, Sussex, England.
Mote may have written other hymns during his lifetime, but this is the only one in common use today.
— Copyright 2007, Richard Niell Donovan