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 (1685-1752)