Ralph Erskine, Gospel Sonnets
Faith and repentance may be taught,
And yet no gospel-tidings brought;
If as mere duties these we press,
And not as parts of promis’d bless.
If only precepts we present,
Though urg’d with strongest argument,
We leave the wak’ned sinner’s hope
In darkness of despair to grope.
The man whom legal precepts chase.
As yet estrang’d to sov’reign grace,
Mistaking evangelic charms,
As if they stood on legal terms.
Looks to himself, though dead in sin,
For grounds of faith and hope within:
Hence fears and fetters grow and swell,
Since nought’s within but sin and hell.
But faith that looks to promis’d grace,
Clean out of self the soul will chase,
To Christ for righteousness and strength,
And finds the joyful rest at length.