Ralph Erskine Poems >>
The Believer's Espousals : Chapter VI.
An Exhortation to all that are out of Christ; in order to their closing the match with him: containing also motives and directions.
Reader, into thine hands these lines are giv'n,
But not without the providence of Heav'n;
Or to advance thy bliss, if thou art wise,
Or aggravate thy woe, if thou despise.
For thee, for thee, perhaps, th' omniscient ken
Has form'd the counsel here, and led the pen.
The writer then does thy attention plead,
In his great name that gave thee eyes to read.
Conviction offered to Sinners, especially such as are wedded strictly to the Law, or Self-Righteous, that they may see the need of Christ's Righteousness.
If never yet thou didst fair Jesus wed,
Nor yield thy heart to be his marriage-bed,
But hitherto art wedded to the law,
Which never could thy chain'd affections draw
From brutish lusts, and sordid lover's charms;
Lo! thou art yet in Satan's folded arms.
Hell's pow'r invisible, thy soul retains
His captive slave, lock'd up in massy chains.
O! sinner then, as thou regard'st thy life,
Seek, seek with ardent care and earnest strife,
To be the glorious Lamb's betrothed wife.
For base co-rivals never let him lose
Thy heart, his bed of conjugal repose,
Wed Christ alone, and with severe remorse,
From other mates, pursue a clean divorce;
For they thy ruin seek by fraud or force.
As lurking serpents in the shady bow'rs
Conceal their malice under spreading flow'rs;
So thy deceitful lusts, with cruel spite,
Hide gastly dangers under gay delight.
Art thou a legal zealot, soft or rude,
Renounce thy nat'ral and acquired good.
As base deceitful lusts may work thy smart,
So may deceitful frames upon thy heart:
Seeming good motions may in some be found,
Much joy in hearing like the stony ground;
Much sorrow too in praying, as appears
In Esau's careful suit with rueful tears.
Touching the law, they blameless may appear,
From spurious views most specious virtues bear:
Nor merely be devout in men's esteem,
But prove to be sincerely, what they seem;
Friends to the holy law in heart and life,
Suers of heav'n with utmost legal strife;
Yet still, with innate pride so rankly spic'd,
Converted but to duties, not to Christ;
That publicans and harlots heav'n obtain
Before a crew so righteous and so vain.
Sooner will those shake off their vicious dress,
Than these blind zelots will their righteousness,
Who judge they have (which fortifies their pride)
The law of God itself upon their side.
Old nature, new brush'd up with legal pains,
Such strict attachment to the law retains;
No means, no motives can to Jesus draw
Vain souls so doubly wedded to the law.
But wouldst the glorious Prince in marriage have?
Know that thy nat'ral husband cannot save.
Thy best essays to pay the legal rent,
Can never in the least the law content.
Didst thou in pray'rs employ the morning-light,
In tears and groans the watches of the night,
Pass thy whole life in close devotion o'er?
'Tis nothing to the law still craving more.
There's no proportion 'twixt its high commands,
And puny works from thy polluted hands;
Perfection is the least that it demands.
Wouldst enter into life, then keep the law;
But keep it perfectly without a flaw,
It won't have less, nor will abate at last
A drop of vengeance for the sin that's past.
Tell, sinful mortal, is thy stock so large,
As duly can defray this double charge?
"Why these are mere impossibles," (say'st thou.)
Yea, truly so they are; and therefore now,
That down thy legal confidence may fall,
The law's black doom home to thy bosom call.
"Lo! I (the divine law) demand no less
Than perfect everlasting righteousness;
But thou hast fail'd, and lost thy strength to DO:
Therefore I doom thee to eternal woe;
In prison close to be shut up for ay,
Ere I be baffled with thy partial pay.
Thou always didst and dost my precepts break,
I therefore curse thee to the burning lake.
In God, the great Lawgiver's glorious name,
I judge thy soul to everlasting shame."
No flesh can by the law be justified;
Yet dearest thou thy legal duties plead?
As Paul appeal'd to Caesar, wilt thou so,
Unto the law? then to it shalt thou go,
And find it doom thee to eternal woe.
What! would ye have us plung'd in deep despair?
Amen; yea, God himself would have you there,
His will it is that you despair of life,
And safety by the law, or legal strife;
That cleanly thence divorc'd at any rate,
His fairest Son may have a faithful mate.
Till this law-sentence pass within your breast,
You'll never wed the law-discharging Priest.
You'll prize not heav'n till he through hell you draw;
Nor love the gospel till you know the law.
Know then, the divine law most perfect, cares
For none of thy imperfect legal wares;
Dooms thee to vengeance for thy sinful state,
As well as sinful actions, small or great.
If any sin can be accounted small,
To hell it dooms thy soul for one and all.
For sins of nature, practice, heart, and way,
Damnation-rent it summons thee to pay.
Yea, not for sin alone, which is thy shame,
But for thy boasted service too, so lame,
The law adjudges thee and hell to meet,
Because thy righteousness is incomplete.
As tow'ring flames burn up the wither'd flags,
So will the fiery law thy filthy rags.
Direction given, with reference to the right use of the means, that we rest not on these instead of Christ, the glorious Husband; in whom our help lies.
Adam, where art thou? Soul, where art thou now?
Oh! art thou saying, Sir, what shall I do?
I dare not use that proud self-raising strain;
Go help yourself, and God will help you then.
Nay, rather know, O Isr'el, that thou hast
Destroy'd thyself, and canst not in the least
From sin nor wrath thyself the captive free;
Thy help (says Jesus) only lies in me.
Heav'n's oracles direct to him alone;
Full help is laid upon this mighty One.
In him, in him complete salvation dwells;
He's God the helper, and there is none else.
Fig-leaves won't hide thee from the fiery show'r,
'Tis he alone that saves by price and pow'r.
Must we do nothing then (will mockers say)
But rest in sloth till Heav'n the help convey?
Pray, stop a little, sinner, don't abuse
God's awful word, that charges thee to use
Means, ordinances, which he's pleas'd to place,
As precious channels of his pow'rful grace.
Restless improve all these, until from Heav'n
The whole salvation needful thus be given.
Wait in this path, according to his call,
On him whose pow'r alone affecteth all.
Wouldst thou him wed, in duties wait, I say:
But marry not thy duties by the way.
Thou'lt wofully come short of saving grace,
If duties only be thy resting place.
Nay, go a little further through them all,
To him whose office is to save from thrall.
Thus in a gospel-manner hopeful wait,
Striving to enter by the narrow gate:
So strait and narrow, that it won't admit
The bunch upon thy back to enter it.
Not only bulky lusts may cease to press,
But ev'n the bunch of boasted righteousness.
Many, as in the sacred page we see,
Shall strive to enter, but unable be:
Because, mistaking this new way of life,
They push a legal, not a gospel-strife:
As if their duties did Jehovah bind,
Because 'tis written, Seek and ye shall find.
Perverted scripture does their error fence,
They read the letter, but neglect the sense.
While to the word no gospel-gloss they give,
Their seek and find's the same with do and live.
Hence would they a connection native place
Between their moral pains and saving grace:
Their nat'ral poor essays they judge, won't miss
In justice, to infer eternal bliss.
Thus commentaries on the word they make,
Which to their ruin, are a grand mistake:
For, though the legal bias in their breast,
They scripture to their own destruction wrest.
Why, if we seek we get, they gather hence:
Which is not truth, save in the scripture-sence.
There, Jesus deals with friends, and elsewhere saith.
Those seekers only speed that ask in faith.
The prayer of the wicked is abhorr'd,
As an abomination to the Lord.
Their suits are sins, but their neglect's no less,
Which can't their guilt diminish, but increase.
They ought, like beggars, lie in grace's way;
Hence, Peter taught the sorcerer to pray:
For though mere nat'ral men's address or pray'rs
Can no acceptance gain as works of theirs.
Nor have, as their performance, any sway,
Yet as a divine ordinance they may.
But spotless truth has bound itself to grant
The suit of none but the believing saint.
In Jesus persons once accepted, do
Acceptance find, in him, for duties too.
For he, whose Son they do in marriage take,
Is bound to hear them for their Husband's sake.
But let no Christless soul at pray'r appear,
As if Jehovah were oblig'd to hear:
But use the means, because a sov'reign God
May come with alms, in this his wonted road.
He wills thee to frequent kind wisdom's gate,
To read, hear, meditate, to pray and wait;
Thy spirit then be on these duties bent,
As gospel means, but not as legal rent.
From these don't thy salvation hope nor claim,
But from Jehovah in the use of them.
The beggar's spirit never was so dull,
While waiting at the gate call'd Beautiful,
To hope for succour from the temple-gate,
At which he daily did so careful wait;
But from the rich and charitable sort,
Who to the temple daily made resort,
Means, ordinances, are the comely gate,
At which kind Heav'n has bid us constant wait:
Not that from these we have our alms, but from
The lib'ral God, who there is wont to come.
If either we these means shall dare neglect,
Or yet from these th' enriching bliss expect,
We from the glory of the King defalk,
We move not regular in duties road,
But base, invert them to an idol-god.
Seek then, if gospel means you would essay,
Through grace to use them in a gospel-way:
Not deaming that your duties are the price
Of divine favour, or of paradise;
Nor that your best efforts employ'd in these
Are fit exploits your awful Judge to please.
Why, thus you basely idolize your trash,
And make it with the blood of Jesus clash.
You'd buy the blessing with your vile refuse,
And so his precious righteousness abuse.
What! buy his gifts with filthy lumber? nay:
Whoever offers this must hear him say,
"The money perish with thy soul for ay."
Duties are means, which to the marriage-bed
Should chastely lead us like a chamber-maid;
But if with her instead of Christ we match,
We not our safety but our ruin hatch.
To Caesar, what is Caesar's shou'd be giv'n;
But Caesar must not have what's due to Heav'n;
So duties should have duty's room, 'tis true,
But nothing of the glorious Husband's due.
While means the debt of close attendance crave,
Our whole dependence God alone must have.
If duties, tears, our conscience pacify,
They with the blood of Christ presume to vie.
Means are his vassels; shall we without grudge
Discard the master, and espouse the drudge?
The hypocrite, the legalist does sin,
To live on duties, not on Christ therein.
He only feeds on empty dishes, plates,
Who dotes on means, but at the manna frets.
Let never means content thy soul at all,
Without the Husband, who is All in All.
Cry daily for the happy marriage hour;
To thee belongs the mean, to him the pow'r.
A Call to Believe in Jesus Christ, with some Hints at the act and object of Faith.
Friend, is the question on thy heart engraved,
What shall I do to be for ever sav'd?
Lo! here's a living rock to build upon;
Believe in Jesus; and on him alone
For righteousness and strength, thine anchor drop,
Renouncing all thy former legal hope.
"Believe! (say you) I can no more believe,
Than keep the law of works, the DO and LIVE."
True; and it were thy mercy, didst thou see
Thine utter want of all ability.
New cov'nant graces he alone can grant,
Whom God has giv'n to be the covenant;
Ev'n Jesus, whom the sacred letters call
Faith's object, author, finisher, and all:
In him alone, not in thy act of faith,
Thy soul believing full salvation hath.
In this new cov'nant judge not faith to hold
The room of perfect doing in the old.
Faith is not giv'n to be the fed'ral price
Of other blessings, or of paradise;
But Heav'n by giving this, strikes out a door
At which is carried in still more and more.
No sinner must upon his faith lay stress,
As if it were a perfect righteousness.
God ne'er assign'd unto it such a place;
'Tis but at best a bankrupt begging grace.
Its object makes its fame to fly abroad,
So close it grips the righteousness of God;
Which righteousness receiv'd, is (without strife)
The true condition of eternal life.
But still, say you, pow'r to believe I miss.
You may; but know you what believing is?
Faith lies not in your building up a tow'r
Of some great action, by your proper pow'r;
For Heaven well knows, that by the killing fall,
No pow'r, no will remains in man at all
For acts divinely good; till sov'reign grace
By pow'rful drawing virtue, turn the chase.
Hence none believe in Jesus as they ought,
'Till once they first believe they can do nought,
Nor are sufficient e'en to form a thought.
They're conscious, in the right believing hour,
Of human weakness, and of divine pow'r
Faith acts not in the sense of strength, and might,
But in the sense of weakness acts outright.
It is (no boasting arm of pow'r, or length)
But weakness acting on almighty strength.
It is the pow'rless, helpless sinner's flight
Into the open arms of saving might:
'Tis an employing Jesus, to do all
That can within salvation's compass fall;
To be the agent kind in ev'ry thing
Belonging to a prophet, priest, and king;
To teach, to pardon, sanctify, and save,
And nothing to the creature's pow'r to leave.
Faith makes us joyfully content, that he
Our Head, our Husband, and our All should be;
Our righteousness and strength, our stock and store,
Our fund for food, and raiment, grace and glore.
It makes the creature down to nothing fall,
Content that Christ alone be all in all.
The plan of grace is faith's delightful view
With which it closes, both as good and true;
Unto the truth, the mind's assent is full,
Unto the good, a free consenting will.
The Holy Spirit here the agent chief,
Creates this faith, and dashes unbelief.
That very God who calls us to believe,
The very faith he seeks, must also give.
Why calls he then? say you. Pray, man, be wise;
Why did he call dead Lazarus to rise?
Because the orders in their bosom bear
Almighty pow'r, to make the carcase hear.
But Heav'n may not this mighty pow'r display.
Most true: Yet still thou art oblig'd t' obey.
But God is not at all oblig'd to stretch
His saving arm to such a sinful wretch.
All who within salvation-rolls have place,
Are sav'd by a prerogative of grace;
But vessels all that shall with wrath be cramm'd,
Are by an act of holy justice damn'd.
Take then, dear soul, as from a friendly heart,
The counsel which the following lines impart.
An Advice to sinners, to apply to the sovereign mercy of God, as it is discovered through Christ, to the highest honour of justice, and other divine attributes, in order to further their faith in him unto salvation.
Go, friend, and at Jehovah's footstool bow;
Thou know'st not what a sov'reign God may do.
Confess, if he commiserate thy case,
'Twill be an act of pow'rful sov'reign grace.
Sequestrate carefully some solemn hours,
To shew thy grand concern in secret pow'rs.
Then in th' ensuing strain to God impart,
And pour into his bosom all thy heart.
"O glorious, gracious, pow'rful, sov'reign Lord,
Thy help unto a sinful worm afford;
Who from my wretched birth to this sad hour
Have still been destitute of will and pow'r
To close with glorious Christ; yea, fill'd with spite
At thy fair darling, and thy saints delight,
Resisting all his grace with all my might.
Come, Lord, and sap my enmity's strong tow'r;
O haste the marriage-day, the day of pow'r:
That sweetly, by resistless grace inclin'd,
My once reluctant, be a willing mind.
Thou spak'st to being ev'ry thing we see,
When thy almighty word said, Let it be.
Nothings to beings in a moment pass:
Let there be light, thou saidst; and so it was.
A pow'rful word like this, a mighty call,
Must say, Let there be faith, and then it shall.
Thou seek's my faith and flight from sin and guilt;
Give what thou seek'st, Lord; then seek what thou wilt.
What good can issue from a root so ill!
This heart of mine's a wicked lump of hell;
'Twill all thy common motion's still resist,
Unless with special drawing virtue blest.
Thou call'st, but with the call thy pow'r convey;
Command me to believe, and I'll obey,
Nor any more thy gracious call gainsay.
Command, O Lord, effectually command,
And grant I be not able to withstand;
Then, pow'rless I will stretch the wither'd hand.
I to thy favour can pretend no claim,
But what is borrow'd from thy glorious name;
Which though most justly thou mayst glorify,
In damning such a guilty wretch as I,
A bunny, fitted for the burning fire
Of thine incensed everlasting ire;
Yet, Lord, since now I hear thy glorious Son,
In favour of a race that was undone,
Did in thy name, by thy authority,
Once to the full stern justice satisfy;
And paid more glorious tribute thereunto
Than hell and all its torments e'er can do.
Since my salvation through his blood can raise
A revenue to justice' highest praise,
Higher than rents, which hell for ever pays;
These to tremendous justice never bring
A satisfaction, equal and condign.
But Jesus, our once dying Lord, performs
What never could by ever dying worms:
Since thus thy threat'ning law is honour'd more
Than e'er my sins affronted it before:
Since justice stern may greater glory win,
By justifying in thy darling Son,
Than by condemning ev'n the rebel me;
To this device of wisdom, lo! I flee.
Let justice, Lord, according to thy will,
Be glorify'd with glory great and full;
Not now in hell where justice' petty pay
Is but extorted parcels minc'd for ay:
But glorify'd in Christ, who down has told
The total sum at once in liquid gold.
In lowest hell low praise is only won,
But justice has the highest in thy Son;
The Sun of righteousness that set in red,
To shew the glorious morning would succeed.
In him then save thou me from sin and shame,
And to the highest glorify thy name.
Since this bright scene thy glories all express,
And grace as empress reigns, through righteousness;
Since mercy fair runs in a crimson flood,
And vents through justice-satisfying blood:
Not only then for mercy's sake I sue,
But for the glory of thy justice too.
And since each letter of thy name divine
Has in fair Jesus's face the brightest shine
This glorious Husband be for ever mine.
On this strong argument, so sweet, so blest,
With thy allowance, Lord I must insist.
Great God, since thou allow'st unworthy me
To make thy glorious name my humble plea;
No glory worthy of it wilt thou gain,
By casting me into the burning main.
My feeble back can never suit the load,
That speaks thy name — a sin-avenging God:
Scarce would that name seem a consuming fire
Upon a worm unworthy of thine ire.
But see the worthy Lamb, thy chosen Priest,
With justice' burning-glass against his breast,
Contracting all the beams of 'venging wrath,
As in their centre, till he burn to death.
Vengeance can never be so much proclaim'd,
By scatter'd beams, among the millions damn'd.
Then, Lord, in him me to the utmost save,
And thou shalt glory to the highest have:
Glory to wisdom, that contrived so well!
Glory to pow'r, that bore and bury'd hell!
Glory to holiness, which sin defac'd
With sinless service, now divinely grac'd!
Glory to justice' sword, that flaming stood,
Now drunk to pleasure with atoning blood!
Glory to truth, that now in scarlet clad,
Has seal'd both threats and promises with red!
Glory to mercy, now in purple streams,
So sweetly gliding through the divine flames
Of other once offended, now exalted names!
Each attribute conspires, with joint embrace,
To shew its sparkling rays in Jesus' face;
And thus to deck the crown of matchless grace.
But to thy name in hell ne'er can accrue
The thousandth part of this, great revenue!
O ravishing contrivance! light that blinds
Cherubic gazers, and seraphic minds.
They pry into the deep, and love to learn
What yet should vastly more be my concern.
Lord, once my hope most reasonless could dream
Of heav'n, without regard to thy great name:
But here is laid my lasting hope to found,
A highly rational, a divine ground.
'Tis reasonable, I expect thou'lt take
The way that most will for thine honour make.
Is this the plan? Lord, let me build my claim
To life, on this high glory of thy name.
Nor let my faithless heart or think, or say,
That all this glory shall be thrown away
In my perdition; which will never raise
To thy great name so vast a rent of praise.
O then a rebel into favour take:
Lord, shield and save me for thy glory's sake.
My endless ruin is not worth the cost,
That so much glory be for ever lost.
I'll of the greatest sinner bear the shame,
To bring the greatest honour to thy name.
Small loss, though I should perish endless days,
But thousand pities grace should lose the praise.
O hear, Jehovah, get the glory then,
And to my supplication say, Amen."
The terrible Doom of unbelievers, and rejecters of Christ, or despisers of the gospel.
Thus, sinner, into Jesus' bosom flee,
Then there is hope in Isra'l sure for thee.
Slight not the call, as running by in rhime,
Lest thou repent for ay, if not in time,
'Tis most unlawful to contemn and shun
All wholesome counsels that in metre run;
Since the prince fountains of the sacred writ
Much heav'nly truth in holy rhimes transmit.
If this don't please, yet hence it is no crime
To verify the word, and preach in rhime.
But in whatever mould the doctrine lies,
Some erring minds will gospel-truth despise
Without remede, till Heav'n anoint their eyes.
These lines pretend no conqu'ring art nor skill,
But shew, in weak attempts, a strong good-will
To mortify all native legal pride,
And court the Lamb of God a virgin bride.
If he thy conjunct match he never giv'n,
Thou'rt doom'd to hell, as sure as God's in heav'n,
If gospel-grace and goodness don't thee draw,
Thou art condemn'd already by the law.
Yea, hence damnation deep will doubly brace,
If still thy heart contemn redeeming grace.
No argument from fear or hope will move,
Or draw thy heart, if not the bond of love:
Nor flowing joys, nor flaming terrors chase
To Christ the hav'n, without the gales of grace.
O slighter then of grace's joyful sound,
Thou'rt over to the wrathful ocean bound
Anon, thou'lt sink into the gulf of woes,
Whene'er thy wasting hours are at a close:
Thy false old legal hope will then be lost,
And with thy wretched soul give up the ghost.
Then farewell God and Christ, and grace and glore,
Undone thou art, undone for evermore;
For ever sinking underneath the load
And pressure of a sin-revenging God.
The sacred awful text asserts, To fall
Into his living hands is fearful thrall;
When no more sacrifice for sin remains,
But ever-living wrath, and lasting chains;
Heav'n still upholding life in dreadful death,
Still throwing down hot thunderbolts of wrath,
As full of terror, and, as manifold
As finite vessels of his wrath can hold.
Then, then we may suppose the wretch to cry,
"Oh! if this damning God would let me die,
And not torment me to eternity!
Why from the silent womb of stupid earth,
Did Heav'n awake, and push me into birth?
Curs'd be the day that ever gave me life;
Means of my cruel parents, man and wife,
Means of my being, instruments of woe:
For now I'm damn'd, I'm damn'd, and always so!
Curs'd be the day that ever made me hear
The gospel-call, which brought salvation near.
The endless sound of slighted mercy's bell
Has, in mine ears, the most tormenting knell
Of offer'd grace, I vain repent the loss,
The joyful sound with horror recognosce.
The hollow vault reverberates the sound;
This killing echo strikes the deepest wound,
And with too late remorse does now confound.
Into the dungeon of despair I'm lock'd,
The once open door of hope for ever block'd:
Hopeless, I sink into the dark abyss,
Banish'd for ever from eternal bliss.
In boiling waves of vengeance must I lie?
O could I curse this dreadful God, and die!
Infinite years in torment shall I spend,
And never, never, never at an end!
Ah! must I live in torturing despair
As many years as atoms in the air?
When these are spent, as many thousands more
As grains of sand that crowd the ebbing shore?
When these are done, as many yet behind
As leaves of forest shaken with the wind?
When these are gone, as many to ensue
As stems of grass on hills and dales that grew?
When these run out, as many on the march
As starry lamps that gild the spangled arch?
When these expire, as many millions more
As moments in the millions past before?
When all these doleful years are spent in pain,
And multiply'd by myriads again,
Till numbers drown the thought; could I suppose
That then my wretched years were at a close,
This would afford some case: But, ah! I shiver
To think upon the dreadful sound, for ever!
The burning gulf, where I blaspheming lie,
Is time no more, but vast eternity.
The growing torment I endure for sin,
Through ages all, is always to begin.
How did I but a grain of pleasure sow,
To reap an harvest of immortal woe?
Bound to the bottom of the burning main,
Gnawing my chains, I wish for death in vain.
Just doom! since I that bear th' eternal load,
Contemn'd the dying Son of God.
Oh! if the God that curs'd me to the lash,
Would bless me back to nothing with a dash!
But hopeless I the just avenger hate,
Blaspheme the wrathful God, and curse my fate."
To these this word of terror I direct,
Who now the great salvation dare neglect:
To all the Christ-despising multitude,
That trample on the great Redeemer's blood;
That see no beauty in his glorious face,
But slight his offers, and refuse his grace.
A messenger of wrath to none I am,
But those that hate to wed the worthy Lamb.
For though the smallest sins, if small can be,
Will plunge the Christless soul in misery,
Yet, lo! the greatest that to mortals cleave,
Shan't damn the souls in Jesus, that believe;
Because, they on the very method fall
That well can make amends to God for all.
Whereas proud souls, though unbelief, won't let
The glorious God a reparation get
Of all his honour, in his darling Son,
For all the great dishonours they have done.
A faithless soul the glorious God bereaves
Of all the satisfaction that he craves;
Hence under divine hottest fury lies,
And with a double vengeance justly dies.
The blackest part of Tophet is their place,
Who slight the tenders of redeeming grace.
That sacrilegious monster, Unbelief,
So hard'ned 'gainst remorse and pious grief,
Robs God of all the glory of his names,
And ev'ry divine attribute defames.
It loudly calls the truth of God a lie;
The God of truth a liar: Horrid cry!
Doubts and denies his precious words of grace,
Spits venom in the royal Suitor's face.
This monster cannot cease all sin to hatch,
Because it proudly mars the happy match.
As each law-wedded soul is join'd to sin,
And destitute of holiness within;
So all that wed the law, must wed the curse,
Which rent they scorn to pay with Christ's full purse.
They clear may read their dreadful doom in brief,
Whose fester'd sore is final unbelief:
Though to the law their life exactly fram'd,
For zealous acts and passions too were fam'd:
Yet, lo! He that believes not, shall be damn'd.
But now 'tis proper, on the other side
With words of comfort to address the bride.
She in her glorious Husband does possess
Adorning grace, acquitting righteousness:
And hence to her pertain the golden mines
Of comfort, open'd in the following lines.
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