alien righteousness

“The sweetest part of Christ is oft conceal’d”

From anti-evangelic aphorisms;

A legal spirit may be justly nam’d

The fertile womb of ev’ry error damn’d.

Hence Pop’ry, so nat’ral since the fall,

Makes legal works like saviours merit all;…

Hence dare Arminians too, with brazen face,

Give man’s free-will the throne of God’s free grace;

Whose self-exalting tenets clearly shew

Great ignorance of law and gospel too…

Christ is not preach’d in truth, but in disguise,

If his bright glory half absconded lies.

When gospel-soldiers, that divide the word,

Scarce brandish any but the legal sword.

While Christ the author of the law they press,

More than the end of it for righteousness;

Christ as a seeker of our service trace,

More than a giver of enabling grace.

With legal spade the gospel-field he delves,

Who thus drives sinners in unto themselves;

Halving the truth that should be all reveal’d,

The sweetest part of Christ is oft conceal’d.

Ralph Erskine an 18th century Scottish Presbyterian and Minister

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