I Once Was a Stranger to Grace

Representative Text

1 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, my Saviour, seemed nothing to me.

2 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, Thou only my Saviour must be.

Source: International Song Service: with Bright Gems from fifty authors, for Sunday-schools, gospel meetings, missionary and young people's societies, prayer-meetings, etc. #243

Author: Robert Murray M'Cheyne

McCheyne, Robert Murray, son of Adam McCheyne, W. S., was b. at Edinburgh, May 21, 1813, and educated at Edinburgh University. In 1835 he became Assistant at Larbert,near Stirling, and was ordained in 1836 Minister of St. Peter's Established Church, Dundee. In 1839 he went to Palestine as one of the Mission of Enquiry to the Jews from the Church of Scotland. He d. at Dundee, March 25, 1843. His hymns, a few of which were written in Palestine, appeared in his Songs of Zion to cheer and guide Pilgrims on their way to the New Jerusalem, By the late Rev. B. M. McCheyne....Dundee, W. Middleton, 1843. These hymns were reprinted in his Memoir and Remains, edited by Dr. Andrew A. Bonar, 1844. The Songs as reprinted in 1844 number 14, and date from… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: I once was a stranger To grace and to God
Title: I Once Was a Stranger to Grace
Author: Robert Murray M'Cheyne
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Notes

I once was a stranger to grace and to God. R. M. McCheyne. [The Lord our Righteousness.] Appeared in the Scottish Christian Herald, March, 1836, in 7 stanzas of 8 lines, and entitled "Jehovah Tsidkenu," "The Lord our Righteousness—The watchword of the Reformation," and signed "Larbert. . . R. McC." In 1844 it was included by A. Bonar in his Memoir & Remains of McCheyne, p. 582, and dated "November, 18, 1834." Its use, especially in America, is extensive.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Tune

GORDON (Gordon)

In 1870 Featherstone's text came to the attention of Adoniram J. Gordon (b. New Hampton, NH, 1836; d. Boston, MA, 1895), an evangelical preacher who was compiling a new Baptist hymnal. Because he was unhappy with the existing melody for this text, Gordon composed this tune; as he wrote, "in a moment…

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Timeline

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The Cyber Hymnal #3025
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The Cyber Hymnal #3025

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