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OR, SPIRITUAL SONGS, ,

IN SIX PARTS. I. The BELIEVER'S ESPOUSALS. II. The BELIEVER'S JOINTURE. III. The BELIEVER'S RIDDLE. IV. The BELIEVER's LODGING.

V. The BELIEVER'S SOLILOQUY.
VI. The BELIEVER'S PRINCIPLES,

CONCERNING
CREATION and REDEMPTION,
Law and GOSPEL,
JUSTIFICATION and SANCTIFICATION,
Faith and SENSE,
HEAVEN and EARTH,

By the late REVEREND
Mr. RA L P H E R S K I NE,
Minister of the Gospel at Dunfermline.

THE TWENTY-FOURTH EDITION.
In which the Holy Scriptures are fully extended.

To which is now prefixed, An Account of the Author's Life and Writings. Mira canam, fed vera canam. Buch. Pf. lxxviii.

EDINBURGH:

PRINTED FOR JAMES AND ANDREW DUNCAN,

BOOKSELLERS, GLASGOW.

M, DCC, XCIII.

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If the number of editions of any performance be a mark of public approbation, Mr. ERSKINE'S GOSPEL SONNETS have a claim to that distinction, and they may be ranked amongst those of general esteem and usefulness; few books have been so often printed in the saine space of time.

The present edition, it is hoped, will be found no less worthy of public encouragement, than those that have gone before it, as considerable attention has been paid to the correcting, by comparing it with former editions; and every thing is to be found here that has appeared in the most approved copies of the Gofpel Sonnets.

Mr. Ekskine's Poems, as Dr. BRADBURY says, are greatly to be esteemed; and above all, for that which animates the whole, the favour of divine and experimental knowledge.

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OETICAL compositions, it will readily be admitted,

are of a very actient original : and very early specimens of this kind of writing are yet to be found on record, both in facred † and profane history,– Writings in poely have many

peculiar excellencies in them, and particular advantages atAtending them : and when men, endued with poetical talents, y employ them on subjects of real importance, the sparkling

and flowery images, the magnificent and lofty expressions, and the striking figures and rhetorical embellishments, add fuch a native grandeur dignity, and majesty to the subject, that the mind is not only truly elevated, the attention gained, the affections moved, and devotion excited; but the memory

is gradually prepared to retain and be benefited by them, on account of the beautiful and elegant manner in which the various topics are elucidated.

No lubject is more interesting, or can be a filter theme, for ihese vetled with a poetical genuis, than these of an evangelical nature, eithier directly founded upon some particular portion of facred writ, or drawn from it, ty just and neceffery consequence. No writings, for justness of sentiment; and lum blimity of file, can equal or compare with these of divine in {piration: and though the mysteries of Christianity, and the wonders of our holy religion, stand in no need of gay trimings and poetical embellishments to let them off, yet fuch is the fuperior excellency of inspired poefy, that the brightest and

poetry in

+ See the Song of Moses at the Red Sea, Exod. xv, 1,-21. This Song is the most ancient and fublime piece of the world: the images are natural; the arrangement of its ideas is beautiful; and the strain of piety which breathes through the whole is truely evangelical:

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