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"THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS"
(The watchword of the Reformers.)
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.
I oft read with pleasure, to sooth or engage,
Isaiah's wild measure and John's simple page;
But e'en when they pictured the blood-sprinkled tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu seem'd nothing to me.
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 nail'd to the tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu - 'twas nothing to me.
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.
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.
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 breast-plate and shield!
Even 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, 1884.