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Hymn score of: I once was a stranger - The Lord our righteousness (Robert Murray M'Cheyne/Johannes Thomas Rüegg)

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,
Jehovah Tsidkenu!
  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.

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