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Jehovah Tsidkenu

    (The watchword of the Reformers.)

    I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
    I knew not my danger, nor felt not my load;
    Though friends spoke with rapture of Christ on the tree,
    Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.

    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.

    Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll,
    I wept when the waters went over His soul;
    Yet thought not that my sin had nailed to the tree,
    Jehovah Tsidkenu ‘twas nothing to me.

    When free grace awoke me, by light from on high,
    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 breastplate and shield!

    While 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.
      —Robert Murray McCheyne
      November 18, 1834