By Ralph Erskine
SECTION III. – The deeply humbled soul RELIEVED with some saving discoveries of CHRIST the Redeemer.
WHEN thus the wounded bride perceives full well,
Herself the vilest sinner out of hell,
The blackest monster in the universe;
Pensive, if clouds of wo shall e’er disperse;
When in her breast Heaven’s wrath so fiercely glows,
‘Twixt fear and guilt, her bones have no repose.
When flowing billows of amazing dread
Swell to a deluge o’er her sinking head;
When nothing in her heart is found to dwell,
But horrid Atheism, enmity, and hell;
When endless death and ruin seems at hand,
And yet she cannot, for her soul, command
A sigh to ease it, or a gracious thought,
Though heaven could at this petty rate be bought;
When darkness and confusion overcloud,
And unto black despair temptations crowd;
When wholly without strength to move or stir,
And not a star by night appears to her:
But she, while to the brim her troubles flow,
Stands, trembling, on the utmost brink of woe.
Ah! weary case! But, lo! in this sad plight,
The sun arises with surprising light.
The darkest midnight is his usual time
Of rising, and appearing in his prime.
To shew the hills from whence salvation springs,
And chase the gloomy shade with golden wings,
The glorious husband now unveils his face,
And shews his glory full of truth and grace: (1)
Presents unto the bride, in that dark hour,
Himself a Saviour, both by price and power:
A mighty Helper to redeem the lost,
Relieve and ransom to the uttermost; (2)
To seek the vagrant sheep to deserts driven,
And save from lowest hell to highest heaven.
Her doleful case he sees, his bowels move,
And make her time of need his time of love; (3)
He shews, to prove himself her mighty shield,
His name is JESUS, by his Father sealed: (4)
A name with attributes engraved within,
To save from every attribute of sin.
With wisdom sin’s great folly to expose,
And righteousness its chain of guilt to loose,
Sanctification to subdue its sway,
Redemption all its woful brood to slay. (5)
Each golden letter of his glorious name
Bears full deliverance both from sin and shame.
Yea not privation bare from sin and woe,
But thence all positive salvations flow,
To make her wise, just, holy, happy too.
He now appears a match exactly meet
To make her every way in him complete,
In whom the fulness of the Godhead dwells, (6)
That she may boast in him, and nothing else.
In gospel lines she now perceives the dawn
Of Jesus’ love, with bloody pencil drawn;
How God in him is infinitely pleased,
And Heaven-avenging fury wholly appeased:
Law-precepts magnified by her beloved,
And every let to stop the match removed,
Now in her view her prison gates break ope,
Wide to the wall flies up the door of hope;
And now she sees with pleasure unexpressed
For shattered barks a happy shore of rest.
(1) John i. 14.
(2) Heb. vii. 25.
(3) Ezek. xvi. 6, 8.
(4) Matt. i. 21.
(5) 1 Cor. i. 30.
(6) Col. ii. 9, 10.