Edward Mote

21 January 1797–13 November 1874

EDWARD MOTE was born in Upper Thames Street, London, Jan. 21st, 1797, and, to use his own words, “re-born in Tottenham Court Chapel, under John Hyatt, in 1813. My parents having no fear of God, I went to a school where no Bible was allowed; so that I was totally ignorant of the word of life when I entered that place of worship; but though I knew not the letter of the law, the Holy Ghost brought the spiritual contents of it into my conscience that morning. For two years that dart was in my liver, till extracted by Calvary’s blood, under a sermon by Mr. Bennett, of Birmingham, who was on a visit to London, one Good Friday morning, from ‘The Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all,’ and from that auspicious hour to the present, precious blood has been the solace of my mind.” His hymns were first published in 1836, and entitled, Hymns of Praise.

by John Gadsby
Memoirs of the Principal Hymn-Writers (1870)

The author of “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness” was born in Upper Thames Street, London, January 21, 1797. His parents kept a public-house, and he  went astray, he tells us, from his youth. “My Sabbaths,” he says, “were spent in the streets at play. So ignorant was I that I did not know there was a God.” At length he was apprenticed to a cabinet maker. During his apprenticeship, it is thought, he was in the habit of visiting several places of worship, since among his papers was found an account of his hearing, in 1813, to his eternal good, a somewhat celebrated preacher of that day. Rev. John Hyatt, one of Lady Huntingdon’s adherents, who at that time preached at Tottenham Court-road Chapel, and the Tabernacle, Moorfields. Not long after, he joined the church of which Alexander Fletcher, author of “Family Devotions,” was pastor; but not finding satisfaction in his ministry, he united with the church under the pastoral charge of Rev. John Bayley, by whom he was baptized November 1, 1815. After one or two other changes, he  removed to Southwark, where he engaged in his business as a cabinet maker, at the  same time employing his pen as a writer for the press.

In 1852, he became pastor of the Baptist church at Horsham, Sussex, where his ministry was greatly blessed in the conversion of souls. He was so largely instrumental in securing the house of worship occupied by the church that the members, from a feeling of gratitude, proposed to make the property his own; but he refused the gift, 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.” He was never prevented from preaching by illness, or any other cause, for a single Lord's-day.

In June, 1873, his health began to fail, and he was unable to study and prepare his sermons as he had been wont to do. He then called a meeting of the church, and made known to his brethren his inability to retain his position as pastor longer. He continued, however, to aid the church by securing supplies, and was present, also, at the public ministrations of the word. In the summer of the following year his health still further declined, and he said to those about him, “I think I am going to heaven”; and again,  “Nearing port.” To one he said, “The truths I have preached I am now living  upon; and they will do to die upon.” The day before he died he spoke of the “precious blood, precious blood, which takes away all our sins; it is this makes peace with God.” November 13, 1874, he peacefully passed to his rest and reward, and a few days later he was buried in the little graveyard in the rear of Rehoboth chapel, Horsham, amid the tears of those to whom he had so lovingly ministered.

by Henry S. Burrage
Baptist Hymn Writers and Their Hymns (1888)

Featured Hymns:

My hope is built on nothing less

Collections of Hymns:

Hymns of Praise: A New Selection of Gospel Hymns

1st ed. (1836): WorldCat
2nd ed. (1843): WorldCat
3rd ed. (1853): Google Books

Related Resources:

Josiah Miller, “Edward Mote,” Singers and Songs of the Church, 2nd ed. (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1869), p. 448: Archive.org

John Gadsby, “Edward Mote,” Memoirs of the Principal Hymn-Writers & Compilers of the 17th, 18th, & 19th Centuries, 4th ed. (London, 1870): p. 99: HathiTrust

Henry S. Burrage, “Edward Mote,” Baptist Hymn Writers and Their Hymns (Portland, ME: Brown Thurston & Company, 1888), pp. 155-159.

W.R. Stevenson, “Edward Mote,” ed. John Julian, A Dictionary of Hymnology (London, 1892), p. 771: Google Books

J.R. Watson, “Edward Mote,” Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology:

Edward Mote at Hymnary.org: