Christ My Song - 35
I once was a stranger - The Lord our righteousness
(Robert Murray M'Cheyne/Johannes Thomas Rüegg)
Jehovah Tsidkenu. "The Lord our righteousness."
(The watchword of the Reformers.)
1. I once was a stranger
to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger,
and felt not my load;
though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.
2. I oft read with pleasure,
to soothe or engage,
Isaiah's wild measure
and John's simple page;
but e'en when they pictured the blood-sprinkled tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu seemed nothing to me.
3. Like tears from the daughters
of Zion that roll,
I wept when the waters
went over his soul
yet thought not that my sins had nailed to the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu – 't was nothing to me.
4. When free grace awoke me,
by light from on high,
then legal fears shook me,
I trembled to die;
no refuge, no safety in self could I see –
Jehovah Tsidkenu my Saviour must be.
5. My terrors all vanished
before the sweet name;
my guilty fears banished,
with boldness I came
to drink at the fountain, life-giving and free –
Jehovah Tsidkenu is all things to me.
6. Jehovah Tsidkenu!
my treasure and boast,
I ne'er can be lost;
in thee I shall conquer
by flood and by field –
my cable, my anchor,
my breastplate and shield!
7. E'en treading the valley,
the shadow of death,
this "watchword" shall rally
my faltering breath;
for while from life's fever my God sets me free,
Jehovah Tsidkenu my death-song shall be.
November 18, 1834.
Robert Murray M'Cheyne, in: Andrew A. Bonar: Memoir and Remains
of the Rev. Robert Murray M'Cheyne, 1881, 574-575: Songs of Zion 2.