Ralph Erskine’s poems

Wow. How about a Reformed Presbyterian preacher who uses poetry to make fun of, and refute, false doctrine? Such a man was Ralph Erskine (1685-1752). But on the White Horse Inn last week, Michael Horton quoted one of his more mainstream poems, a selection from his Gospel Sonnets entitled “Redemption in Christ.” Here is a selection; the complete poem is in Section II of this page at Reformation Ink.

The second Adam, sov’reign Lord of all,
Did, by his Father’s authorizing call,
From bosom of eternal love descend,
To save the guilty race that him offend;
To treat an everlasting peace with those,
Who were, and ever would have been his foes.
His errand, never-ending life to give
To them, whose malice would not let him live;
To make a match with rebels, and espouse
The brat which at his love her spite avows.
Himself he humbled, to depress her pride,
And make his mortal foe his loving bride.
But, ere there marriage can be solemniz’d,
All lets must be remov’d, all parties pleas’d.
Law-righteousness requir’d, must be procur’d,
Law-vengeance threatned, must be full endur’d,
Stern justice must have credit by the match,
Sweet mercy by the heart the bride must catch.
Poor Bankrupt! all her debt must first be paid,
Her former husband in the grave be laid:
Her present Lover must be at the cost,
To save and ransom to the uttermost.

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