Jesus Thy Blood and Righteousness
Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf (1700-1760)
Jesus, 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 absolved through these I am
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.
The holy, meek, unspotted Lamb,
Who from the Father’s bosom came,
Who died for me, e’en me to atone,
Now for my Lord and God I own.
Lord, I believe Thy precious blood,
Which, at the mercy seat of God,
Forever doth for sinners plead,
For me, e’en for my soul, was shed.
Lord, I believe were sinners more
Than sands upon the ocean shore,
Thou hast for all a ransom paid,
For all a full atonement made.
When from the dust of death I rise
To claim my mansion in the skies,
Ev’n then this shall be all my plea,
Jesus hath lived, hath died, for me.
This spotless robe the same appears,
When ruined nature sinks in years;
No age can change its glorious hue,
The robe of Christ is ever new.
Jesus, the endless praise to Thee,
Whose boundless mercy hath for me—
For me a full atonement made,
An everlasting ransom paid.
O let the dead now hear Thy voice;
Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice;
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness.
Translated by John Wesley (1703-1791)
Aren’t those lyrics fantastic? It’s called a “Hymn” . Yes – do you know that people get together and sing such things in Church? What’s that? Church? Well, it’s where people gather to worship. Worship ? Um… it’s sort of like celebrating the goodness of our creator, our sustainer, our Savior and God.
GOD? Well you could say He is…. OK never mind.
I need to talk about Imperial Count Von Zinzendorf now.
Nicolaus Von Zinzendorf wrote this beautiful hymn which Charles Wesley translated into English. Zinzendorf was a benefactor to the Moravian community and eventually joined them.
Upon completion of legal studies at Wittenberg, Zinzendorf took a post as Councilor to the Elector of Saxony. While serving in this position, he purchased a large estate and offered it for use as a home for religious refugees. The largest refugee group to settle on his estate was the Moravians, believers who traced their roots back to fifteenth-century followers of John Hus. The Moravians’ history was one of frequent persecution and ridicule because of their religious zeal and enthusiasm. Between 1722 and 1729, about 300 Moravians emigrated to Zinzendorf’s estate, establishing a religious community called Herrnhut. Zinzendorf himself became a Moravian minister and bishop.
Wesley met some Moravians on the boat returning to England from Georgia. He was challenged by the faith they displayed during rough seas, and it caused him to question his own religious profession. I learned today, however, that it was not always a love-feast between the Wesleyans and the Moravians.
Thank you Count Von Z. and Charles Wesley for bringing us this eternal poetry.