Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:24
Words: Nikolaus L. von Zinzendorf, 1739 (Christi Blut und Gerechtigkeit). First published in the eighth appendix to his Das Gesang-Buch der Gemeine in Herrn-Huth. Translated from German to English by John Wesley, Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1740. The original German had 33 verses, which Wesley pared to 24.
In 1739, when the Count was making a sea voyage from Saint Thomas, West Indies, he wrote this remarkable hymn. Although as a boy he was educated in pietistic teachings, he is said to have been converted by seeing the famous painting, Ecce Homo, which hangs in the Düsseldorf Gallery and pictures the bowed head of Christ, crowned with thorns. Perhaps he still cherished in his memory that vision of the Man of Sorrows, when in this hymn he wrote of theholy, meek, unspotted Lamb,Who died for me, e’en me t’ atone.
Price, p. 57
Jesu, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress:
’Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
Bold shall I stand in Thy great day;
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully through these absolved I am
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.
The deadly writing now I see
Nailed with Thy body to the tree:
Torn with the nails that pierced Thy hands,
The old covenant no longer stands.
Though, signed and written with my blood,
As hell’s foundations sure it stood,
Thine hath washed out the crimson stains,
And white as snow my soul remains.
Satan, thy due reward survey;
The Lord of Life why didst thou slay?
To tear the prey out of thy teeth;
To spoil the realms of hell and death.
The holy, the unspotted Lamb,
Who from the Father’s bosom came,
Who died, for me, even me, to atone,
Now for my Lord and God I own.
Lord, I believe the precious blood
Which at the mercy-seat of God
For ever doth for sinners plead,
For me, even for my soul, was shed.
Lord, I believe, were sinners more
Than sands upon the ocean-shore,
For all Thou hast the ransom given,
Purchased for all peace, life, and Heaven.
Lord, I believe the price is paid,
For every soul the atonement made;
And every soul Thy grace may prove,
Loved with an everlasting love.
Carnal, and sold to sin, no more
I am; hell’s tyranny is o’er:
The immortal seed remains within,
And, born of God, I cannot sin.
Yet naught whereof to boast I have;
All, all Thy mercy freely gave;
No works, no righteousness are mine;
All is Thy work, and only Thine.
When from the dust of death I rise
To claim my mansion in the skies,
Even then, this shall be all my plea,
Jesus hath lived, hath died for me.
Thus Abraham, the friend of God,
Thus all heaven’s armies bought with blood,
Savior of sinners Thee proclaim;
Sinners, of whom the chief I am.
Naked from Satan did I flee,
To Thee, my Lord, and put on Thee:
And thus adorned, I wait the word,
He comes: arise, and meet thy Lord.
This spotless robe the same appears
When ruined nature sinks in years:
No age can change its constant hue;
Thy blood preserves it ever new.
When Thou shalt call in that great day
For my account, thus will I say:
“Thanks to my gracious Lord, if aught
Of good I did, glad I it wrought:
“And while I felt Thy blood within
Cleansing my soul from every sin,
Purging each fierce and foul desire;
I joyed in the refining fire.
If pride, desire, wrath stirred anew,
Swift to my sure resort I flew:
See there my Lord upon the tree!
Hell heard: instant my soul was free.
Then shall Heaven’s hosts with loud acclaim
Give praise and glory to the Lamb,
Who bore our sins, and by His blood
Hath made us kings and priests to God.
O ye, who joy to feed His sheep,
Ever in your remembrance keep,
Empty they are, and void of God,
Till brought to the atoning blood.
Jesu, be endless praise to Thee,
Whose boundless mercy hath for me,
For me, and all Thy hands have made,
An everlasting ransom paid.
Ah, give me now, all-gracious Lord,
With power to speak Thy quickening word;
That all who to Thy wounds will flee
May find eternal life in Thee.
Thou God of power, Thou God of love,
Let the whole world Thy mercy prove:
Now let Thy word o’er all prevail;
Now take the spoils of death and hell.
O, let the dead now hear Thy voice;
Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice;
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesu, Thy blood and righteousness!