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Ver. My present views of thee fo far

Exceed the former fort,
As demonstration ocular,

Exceeds a bare report.
Hence, conscious-stings, like arrows smart,

Deep in my bofom stick;
And self-displeasure strikes my heart,

And wounds me to the quick. 6 For now myself I lothie and hate.;

With Thame my face I vail ;
And all my errors paft, of late,

In dust and ashes wail.
grew impatient of the rod,

Nor can I answer why
I clear'd myself, and censur'd God,

O what a beast was I!
Unwise I curs'd the very day

In which thou gav'st me birth ;
And challeng'd rash thy sov'reign sway,

And government on earth.
Lo! then, my brutish ignorance,

I through thy grace repent;
My passion, pride, and arrogance,

With tears I now resent.
How base and blinded have I been,

That set myself so high!
"But having now thy glory feen,

I low before thee ly.
At mercy's feet I'll hopeful Itay :

For never was the case,
That one was lost, who prostrate lay

Before the throne of grace.

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PAR T. III.
P Ꭲ

A NEW VERSION OF THE

SONG of SOLOMON.

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PRE FACE. After I had written a Paraphrase on the Song of Solomon, which has

been published fourteen years ago, I had no design of printing any thing else upon this book ; but when the motion was made of turning all the Scripture Songs into common metre, for the same use with the Psalms of David, I was also urged to make a short Version like. wise of this song, as near as possible to the text f. This talk I undertook, not without some reluctance, knowing how much the spiritual matter of this Book is represented by such homely metaphors as would be very hard to express barely, in such a manner as to be fenced against the abuse of carnal minds: on this account, though I have now studied as little of a paraphrase, or explication, as I could; yet, in several places, where I thought the meaning might be most ready to be misinterpreted, or not so obvious, I have formed the Version with such short interwoven glosses upon some of the texts, as may tend to enlighten the metaphor a little, and make the main intent thereof appear, in a way that I apprehended to be leaft liable

to abuse. I have seen some Versions of this Book in common metre, that could

very litile contribute to my assistance in this, unlets it was to make me see what might be avoided or amended, according to my view. Only Mr. Mason's Verfion was more acceptable to me, than any other I have seen, and therefore I have, in several verses here and there taken what help it, together with his and my own paraphrase, could afford me, in a suitableness to iny taste, or the form into which I chose to put it. So that after consulting the labours, in versifying this Book of the Song, you have here the plaincst version I could

conceive within norrow and contracted bounds. As to what may be further necessary, in a prefatory way, I refer

the reader to the Preface which is prefixed to the Paraphrase on this Book : the main difference between the present and the for• The first edition of the parap'ırale was published, Anno 1738.

+ The Song of Solomon, being an intire book of Scripture, this Short Version of it was at first published by itself, (as formerly observed, p. 424.) as was also that upon the book of Lamentations, before the rest of the Scripture Songs, which were afterwards published together. Along with the first edition of this Version, the Author allowed his Parapiirase on this book of the Song to be re-printed, that whosoever inclined for a more full explication thereof, than this Short Version could give, might, if they pleased, turn over to the Paraphrase. See it printed above, p. 317,–422.

See this Preface printed above, p. 310,—316.

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mer Editions , is in the fourth and seventh chapters, which were before in long metre, but now are turned to the faine common metre with the rest, because I have been told, that this latter kind was more

acceptable to some than the other. That the church and people of God may be edified by these works, is

the carnest prayer of their servant, and yours in Chrift, Dunfermline,

RALPH ERSKINER 1752.

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CH A P. I.
The Churcb's Love unto Christ, and bis Esteem for ber;

with ibeir mutual Congratulations of each orber.

I

[The Title.)
Ver. THIS Song of Solomon

the wise
As penman fam'd belongs;
And, justly for its sacred rile,
Is nam'd, the Song of Songs.

[The Churcb's Words. ]
2 With kisses of thy mouth divine,

O let me favour'd be :
For better than the richest wine

Thy love appears to me.
3 Thy name like ointment sweet pour'd out

Doth all perfuines excell;
Hence virgin-souls, the sacred rout

Of saints, do love thee well.
4 O draw me with thy loving cord;

We will run after thee :
Lo! to his chambers deck’d, my Lord,

The King hath handed me.
In thee we'll joy; this love of thine

We'll mind, with more delight
Than all the blessings of the vine :

Thou’rt lov'd by the upright.
5 O Salem's race, Im black v'ergrown,

As tents of Kedar were ;
But comely too by grace I own,

As Soi'mon's curtains fair.

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• Viz. of the large paraphrase.

Ver. View not my scorch'd and fun-burnt face.; .6 No beauty there you'll see :

My mother churches angry race

Have roughly dealt with me.
Their hate and envy made me trudge,

Their vineyards to inspect ;
And while at theirs I was a drudge,

Mine own I did neglect.
7 But thou, my foul's beloved One,

O tell me I request !
Where feedest thou, and where at noon

Mak'st thou thy flick to rest :
For why should I with forrow fain'd,

As one led off the way,
Ming Hocks of thy companions feign'd
Be left to go aftray?

[Christ's Words.]
8 Know'st thou not, fairest of fair brides?

Go trace the feet of saints,
The focks fair steps, and feed thy kids

Beside the shepherds tents.
9 My love, I have, to hold thee out

Gainst foes that would thee wrong,
Made thee like Pharaoh's flately rout,

Of chariot-horses strong.
20 Great comeliness thy drefs bespeaks ;

The graces all thee deck;
Rare jewel-rows adorn thy cheeks,

And golden chains thy neck.
4.1 My Father working still with me,

We will with pow'r divine,
More golden borders make for thee,

With Ituds of Silver fine.

[The Church's Words.)
12 Lo! while the King of Zion crowna,

Sits at his table head,
My spikenard, flowing, doth around

Its grateful odour {pread,

:Ver. Like as of myrrh a bundle, lo! -13 My well-beloved Guest

Shall, all the night of sin and wo,

Within my bosum rest. 14 In vineyards fair of Engedi

Are camphire clusters fweet;
Much more is my Belov'd to me,
When he and I do meet.

[Cbrist's Words.]
15 Lo! thou art fair ; lo ! thou, my love,

Art fair, without disguise ;
The beauties of the modeft dove
Are in thy graceful eyes.

[Tbe Church's Words.]
16 Nay, my Belov'd, who, me to screen,

Thy beauty puts on me,
Thrice fair art thou ; yea, what a green

And flow'ry bed have we ! 17 The royal house of our repair

Hath beams of cedar strong,
With cypress galleries ; and there
In flate we walk along.

CH A P. II.
The mutual Love of CHRIST and ibe Courcb, with

ber Hope and Calling; ord Christ's Care of berig
with the Profesion of ber Faith and Hope.

[Cbrif's Words.]
I AM the rofe of Sharon fair

,

; The lily of the valley, there

To grace the lowest ground.
3 Among the daughters in the throng

My love, whom grace adorns,
Shines as the lily does among
The rugged hurtful thorns.

[T be Cburch's Words.]
3 As th' apple tree does far excel

Trees of the common wood;
So my Belov'd surpasseth all

The Sons of noblest blood.

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