Scripture Verse

Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:24


William Gardiner (1770–1853)
British Museum

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.

Music: Ger­ma­ny, Sac­red Me­lo­dies, by Will­iam Gar­di­ner, 1815 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Nikolaus L. von Zinzendorf (1700–1760)

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 the ho­ly, 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!