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Background

The Hymns and Hymn Writers of The Church
Charles S. Nutter & Wilbur F. Tillett, 1911

The Believer’s Triumph” is the title of this hymn in Wesley’s Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1740, where it has twenty-four stanzas. We have above the first, second, sixth, seventh, and eighth stanzas. In the third line of the second stanza the author wrote: “Fully through these absolved I am.” In the first line of the third stanza he wrote: “The holy, the unspotted Lamb.” Instead of the last two lines of the fifth stanza given above he wrote:

For all thou hast the ransom given,
Purchased for all peace, life, and heaven.

These alterations and improvements were made by Wesley himself for the collection which he prepared in 1779 and published in 1780.

The German original, beginning “Christi Blut und Gerechtigkeit,” was written in 1739 by Zinzendorf during his voyage from St. Thomas, in the West Indies, and was published in an appendix to the Herrrnhut Collection, that same year. It is thirty-three stanzas, four lines each; Wesley’s translation therefore omits nine stanzas.

This is regarded by many as the finest of all Wesley’s translations from the German. The language of the first stanza has been criticized by some as favoring imputed righteousness, but this criticism is unwarranted— at least so far as the faith of John Wesley is concerned. It is perhaps impossible to frame in poetry a more satisfactory statement of the Methodist doctrine of atonement than that found in the fourth and fifth stanzas of this hymn. If the Christian doctrine of the atonement, unlimited in its power both intensively and extensively, is recognized as the greatest and most vital of all doctrines, then this hymn, which gives such splendid expression to this fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith, is entitled to be classed as one of the greatest hymns ever written.

#HymnalShort NameTitleAuthorTuneComposerVerses
771The Methodist Hymn-Book, 1904MHB04Jesu, Be Endless Praise to TheeCount Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf (1700-1760) from Herrnhut Collection, Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791) from Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1740ConfidenceWilliam Moore, 18354
288The Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer, Third Edition, 1890THC90Jesu, Thy Blood and RighteousnessFrom the German, Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791)OxfordSir John Stainer (1840-1901)4
370The Methodist Hymn-Book, 1904MHB04Jesu, Thy Blood and RighteousnessCount Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf (1700-1760) from Herrnhut Collection, Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791) from Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1740PentecostRev. William Boyd (1847-1928)6
190Wesley’s Hymns and New Supplement, 1877WHS77Jesu, Thy Blood and RighteousnessCount Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf (1700-1760), Translation by Rev. John Wesley, 1739WebbeSamuel Webbe (1740-1816)11
260Church Hymnal (Ireland), 1891ICH95Jesus, Thy Blood and RighteousnessCount Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf, 1739, Translation by Rev. John Wesley, 1740, First stanza by Paul Eber (1511-1569)HesperusHenry Baker, 18545
300bChurch Praise, 1907CP07Jesus, Thy Blood and RighteousnessCount Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf (1700-1760), Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791)Winchester New (Dir, dir, Jehovah, will ich singen)Musikalisches Handbuch, Hamburg, 16905
300aChurch Praise, 1907CP07Jesus, Thy Blood and RighteousnessCount Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf (1700-1760), Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791)ElyBishop Thomas Turton (1780-1864)5
238Hymnal of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1878HME78Jesus, Thy Blood and RighteousnessCount Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf (1700-1760), Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791)WareGeorge Kingsley (1811-1884)5
072Methodist Hymn and Tune Book, 1918MHT18Jesus, Thy Blood and RighteousnessCount Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf (1700-1760), Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791)OmbersleyWilliam H. Gladstone (1840-1891)6
480The Church Hymnal, 1879CHR79Jesus, Thy Blood and RighteousnessCount Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf, 1739, Translation by Rev. John Wesley, 1740Grace ChurchIgnace J. Pleyel (1757-1831)4
196The Church Hymnary (Scotland), 1898TCH98Jesus, Thy Blood and RighteousnessNicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760) Paul Eber (1511-1569), Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791)OxfordSir John Stainer (1840-1901)4
148The Methodist Hymnal, 1905TMH05Jesus, Thy Blood and RighteousnessCount Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf (1700-1760), Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791)MalvernLowell Mason (1792-1872)5
247The New Psalms and Hymns, 1901NPH01Jesus, Thy Blood and RighteousnessCount Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf (1700-1760), Translation by Rev. John Wesley, 1739Grace ChurchArranged by William Gardiner, 1815, from Ignace Pleyel6
130bThe Presbyterian Book of Praise, 1897PBP97Jesus, Thy Blood and RighteousnessRev. John Wesley (1703-1791) from Count Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf (1700-1760)SoldauArranged from a German Chorale by Henry E. Dibdin (1813-1866)5
130aThe Presbyterian Book of Praise, 1897PBP97Jesus, Thy Blood and RighteousnessRev. John Wesley (1703-1791) from Count Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf (1700-1760)WarehamWilliam Knapp (circa 1699-1768)5
133The Presbyterian Hymnal, 1874TPH74Jesus, Thy Blood and RighteousnessTranslation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791)AshwellLowell Mason (1792-1872)6
375Congregational Hymnary, 1916CH16Jesus, Thy Robe of RighteousnessCount Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf (1700-1760), Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791), alteredAngels’ HymnOrlando Gibbons (1583-1625)5

The texts from any two of the above sources (assuming two or more exist) can be selected to appear below side by side by selecting the source name from the drop-down lists. The Short Name abbreviations following the titles are shown in the table above:

1Jesu, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
Midst flaming worlds in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
2Bold 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.
3The holy, meek, 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.
4Lord, I believe Thy precious blood,
Which at the mercy-seat of God
Forever doth for sinners plead,
For me, even for my soul, was shed.
5Lord, I believe, were sinners more
Than sands upon the ocean shore,
Thou hast for all a ransom paid,
For all a full atonement made.
6When 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.
7Thus 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.
8Jesu, be endless praise to Thee,
Whose boundless mercy hath for me,
For me and all Thy hands have made,
An everlasting ransom paid.
9Ah! Give to all Thy servants, Lord,
With power to speak Thy gracious word,
That all who to Thy wounds will flee,
May find eternal life in Thee.
10Thou 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.
11O let the dead now hear Thy voice,
Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice,
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesu, Thy blood and righteousness!
1Jesus, Thy robe and righteousness
My beauty is, my glorious dress;
’Midst flaming worlds, in this arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
2Bold shall I stand in Thy great day;
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully through Thee absolved I am
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.
3When from the dust of death I rise
To claim my mansion in the skies,
E’en then shall this be all my plea,
Jesus hath lived, hath died, for me.
4Jesus, be endless praise to Thee,
Whose boundless mercy hath for me–
For me– a full atonement made,
An everlasting ransom paid.
5O let the dead now hear Thy voice;
Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice;
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesus, the Lord our righteousness. Amen.
BookReferenceBible Text
Genesis4:4And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
Leviticus1:4And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.
2 Samuel14:14For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him.
Job9:33Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.
Job33:24Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.
Psalm85:10Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Isaiah61:10I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
Jeremiah23:6In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
John1:18No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
John5:25Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
John14:1-61 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John14:6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Romans3:24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Romans8:1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Romans8:32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Romans8:33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
Romans10:4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
1 Corinthians2:2For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Galatians3:27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Galatians6:14But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Ephesians1:7In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Ephesians2:5-85 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Colossians1:20And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
1 Timothy2:5,65 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
Hebrews9:12Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Hebrews9:14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Hebrews12:24And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things that that of Abel.
1 Peter1:18,1918 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1 Peter1:19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1 John4:17,1817 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
Revelation3:5He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.