In vain we lavish out our lives
To gather empty wind,
The choicest blessings earth can yield
Will starve a hungry mind.
Come, and the Lord shall feed our souls
With more substantial meat,
With such as saints in glory love,
With such as angels eat.
Our God will every want supply,
And fill our hearts with peace;
He gives by covenant and by oath
The riches of his grace.
Come, and he'll cleanse our spotted souls,
And wash away our stains,
In the dear fountain that his Son
Pour'd from his dying veins.
[Our guilt shall vanish all away,
Though black as hell before;
Our sins shall sink beneath the sea,
And shall be found no more.
And lest pollution should o'erspread
Our inward powers again,
His Spirit shall bedew our souls
Like purifying rain.]
Our heart, that flinty stubborn thing,
That terrors cannot move,
That fears no threatenings of his wrath,
Shall be dissolv'd by love.
Or he can take the flint away
That would not be refin'd,
And from the treasures of his grace
Bestow a softer mind.
There shall his sacred Spirit dwell,
And deep engrave his law,
And every motion of our souls
To swift obedience draw.
Thus will he pour salvation down,
And we shall render praise;
We the dear people of his love,
And He our God of grace.
"I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I
will give you a heart of flesh." Ezek. 36:26. The old heart is a
stone, cold as a stone, dead as a stone, hard as a stone; but I will
take away the stone, and give a heart of flesh.
A heart of flesh is a soft and tender heart; flesh can feel; any
thing that is contrary to it puts it to pain. Sin makes it smart; it cannot
kick but it is against the pricks; by its rebellion and resistance against
the Lord, it receives a wound; it cannot hit but it hurts itself. A soft
hand gets nothing by striking a hedge of thorns. A soft heart, when it hath
been meddling with sin, is sure to smart for it. It can neither escape the
pain, nor yet endure it; and what it cannot bear, it will take warning to avoid.
Flesh will bleed. A soft heart will mourn and, melt and grieve when hard
hearts are moved at nothing. Flesh will yield. It is apt to receive impressions.
The power of God will awe it; his justice alarm it; his mercy melt it; his holiness
humble it, and leave his stamp and image upon it. And as the attributes, so the
word and works of God will make sign upon it. Who sets a seal upon a stone;
or what print will it receive? upon the wax, the print will abide. God speaks
once and twice, but man, hardened man will not regard it. Neither his word nor
his rod, neither his speaking nor his smiting will make any impression on such hearts.
It is the heart of flesh that hears and yields. And with such hearts the Lord delights
to be dealing. "The heart of this people is waxed gross," Acts 28:27; they will not
hear, they will not understand; and the next word is, Away to the Gentiles, they
will hear. He will no more write his law on tables of stone: he will write in flesh;
there the impression will take, and go the deeper and therefore, wherever he
intends to write, he prepares his tablet—makes this stone flesh, and then
engraves upon it.....