Ralph Erskine (1685-1752): Erskine was a Scottish churchman. His works consist of sermons, poetical paraphrases and gospel sonnets. The Gospel Sonnets have frequently appeared separately. His Life and Diary, edited by the Rev. D Fraser, was published in 1834.
By faith I unseen Being see,
Forth lower beings call,
And say to nothing, Let it be;
And nothing hatches all.
By faith I know the worlds were made
By God’s great word of might;
How soon, Let there be light, he said,
That moment there was light.
By faith I soar and force my flight
Through all the clouds of sense;
I see the glories out of sight,
With brightest evidence.
By faith I mount the azure sky,
And from the lofty sphere,
The earth a little mote espy,
Unworthy of my care.
By faith I see the unseen things
Hid from all mortal eyes;
Proud reason stretching all its wings,
Beneath me flutt’ring lies.
By faith I build my lasting hope
On righteousness divine;
Nor can I sink with such a prop,
Whatever storms combine.
By faith my works, my righteousness,
And duties all I own
But loss and dung; and lay my stress
On what my Lord has done.
By faith I overcome the world,
And all its hurtful charms;
I’m in the heav’nly chariot hurl’d
Through all opposing harms.
By faith I have a conqu’ring pow’r
To tread upon my foes,
To triumph in a dying hour,
And banish all my woes.
By faith in midst of wrongs I’m right,
In sad decays I thrive:
In weakness I am strong in might,
In death I am alive.
By faith I stand when deep I fall,
In darkness I have light;
Nor dare I doubt and question all
When all is out of sight.
By faith I trust a pardon free,
Which puzzles flesh and blood;
To think that God can justify,
Where yet he sees no good.
By faith I keep my Lord’s commands,
To verify my trust;
I purify my heart and hands,
And mortify my lust.
By faith my melting soul repents,
When pierced Christ appears;
My heart in grateful praises vents,
Mine eyes in joyful tears.
By faith I can the mountains vast
Of sin and guilt remove;
And them into the ocean cast
The sea of blood and love.
By faith I see Jehovah high,
Upon a throne of grace;
I see him lay his vengeance by,
And smile in Jesus’face.
By faith I hope to see the Sun,
The light of grace that lent:
His everlasting circles run
In glory’s firmament.
By faith I’m more than conqueror,
Ev’n though I nothing can;
Because I set Jehovah’s pow’r
Before me in the van.
By faith I counterplot my foes,
Nor need their ambush fear;
Because my life-guard also goes
Behind me in the rear.
By faith I walk, I run, I fly,
By faith I suffer thrall;
By faith I’m fit to live and die,
By faith I can do all.