Poetic Polemics:: Warnings Against Legalism in the Gospel Sonnets of Ralph Erskine

Thursday, 05 Jul 2007

If God could have lowered his standards, why did Christ have to suffer in our place?
The name Ralph Erskine (1685- 1752) might not sound that familiar to modern ears but, in fact, this minister's literary works were once so treasured that as late as 1879 they were still some of the best-selling religious books in London. (1) Most of Erskine's published material consisted of his sermons, but his most popular selling volume was a collection of feisty poetic discourses entitled the Gospel Sonnets, first published in 1720 and which by 1793 had seen more than twenty editions (including American releases). (2</...

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