Mysteries About the Saint’s Work and Warfare – Ralph Erskine

Mysteries About the Saint’s Work and Warfare
Sins, Sorrows and Joys

The work is great I’m called unto,
Yet nothing’s left for me to do;
Hence for my work heav’n had prepared
No wages, yet a great reward.

To works, but not to working dead;
From sin, but not from sinning freed.
I clear myself from no offence
Yet wash my hands in innocence.

My Father’s anger burns like fire,
Without a spark of furious ire;
Though still my sins displeasing be,
Yet still I know He’s pleased with me.

Triumphing is my constant trade,
Who yet am often captive led;
My bloody war does never cease,
Yet I maintain a stable peace.

My foes assaulting conquer me,
Yet never obtain the victory;
For all my battles lost or won,
Were gained before they were begun

I’m still at ease, and still oppressed;
Have constant trouble, constant rest;
Both clear and cloudy, free and bound;
Both dead and living, lost and found.

Sin for my good does work and win;
Yet ’tis not good for me to sin.
My pleasure issues from my pain;
My losses still increase my gain.

I’m healed even when my plagues abound,
Covered with dust even when I’m crowned;
As low as death, when living high;
Nor shall I live, yet cannot die,

For all my sins my heart is sad
Since God’s dishonored; yet I’m glad
Though once I was a slave to sin,
Since God does thereby honor win.

My sins are ever in His eye,
Yet He beholds no sin in me,
His mind that keeps them all in store,
Will yet remember them no more.

Because my sins are great, I feel
Great fears of heavy wrath; yet still
For mercy seek, for pardon wait,
Because my sins are very great.

I hope when plunged into despair,
I tremble when I have no fear.
Pardons dispel my griefs and fears,
And yet dissolve my heart in tears.

Erskine’s Sermons and Practical Works.
Aberdeen: A. King & Company, 1863 VII:177-178.

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