1 When all the virtues of the wood,
Impartially we trace;
The apple tree, as rare, and good,
First claims the highest place:
Beauteous, and rare, it stands admir'd,
Amongst a thousand trees;
Its fragrance, fruit, and shade desir'd,
To quicken, feed, and please.
2 Just so, excelling heav'n and earth,
Is my beloved seen
Amongst the sons of royal birth,
The sons of God or men:
Above them all he stands alone,
Pre-eminent and rare;
The Father's first begotten Son,
None may with him compare.
3 He as the man of God's right hand,
Is all perfection seen;
Whilst angels charg'd with folly stand,
And heav'n's declar'd unclean.
When blasted ev'ry tree beside,
Still he affords a shade;
A safe asylum for his bride,
Which love eternal made.
4 His fragrant name our hearts shall cheer,
As ointments poured forth;
More than the names which angels bear
Or men of highest worth.
Unsav'ry all the sons we prove,
Their worth no more can see;
The fragrance of eternal love
Comes forth, dear Lamb, from thee.
5 Thy fruits, thy wisdom, love and pow'r,
Are pefect evermore;
Whilst all beside are green and sour,
Or rotten at the core.
Live thou, of all the sons admir'd,
The only just and good;
As stands the apple tree desir'd,
In the unfruitful wood.
James Relly was born about 1722 at Jeffreston, Pembrokeshire, Wales, and died in 1778. He was converted to Christianity during the Great Awakening ushered in by George Whitefield. He worked under George Whitefield as a Calvinistic Methodist preacher and missionary. However, Whitefield and Relly separated ways over Relly's seemingly universalist teaching that all humanity was elect (i.e. saved) when Christ took the punishment for all sin when he died. He also departed from both the Calvinists and Methodists by taking the doctrine of Justification further, in teaching that believers no longer sin and the Law's sole purpose is to condemn humanity and point them to Christ.
He was the mentor of John Murray, the founder of the Universalist Ch… Go to person page >