I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 11:19
Words: Isaac Watts, Horæ Lyricæ, 1706–09, Book 1, pages 43–47.
Music: Aber William H. Monk, in Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1875 (🔊 pdf nwc).
Alas, my aching heart!
Here the keen torment lies;
It racks my waking hours with smart,
And frights my slumbering eyes.
Guilt will be hid no more,
My griefs take vent apace,
The crimes that blot my conscience o’er
Flush crimson in my face.
My sorrows like a flood
Impatient of restraint
Into Thy bosom, O my God,
Pour out a long complaint.
This impious heart of mine
Could once defy the Lord,
Could rush with violence on to sin
In presence of Thy sword.
As often have I stood
A rebel to the skies,
The calls, the tenders of a God,
And mercy’s loudest cries.
He offers all His grace,
And all His heaven to me;
Offers! But ’tis to senseless brass
That can nor feel nor see.
Jesus the Savior stands
To court me from above,
And looks and spreads His wounded hands,
And shows the prints of love.
But I, a stupid fool,
How long have I withstood
The blessings purchased with His soul,
And paid for all in blood?
The heav’nly Dove came down
And tendered me His wings,
To mount me upward to a crown
And bright immortal things.
Lord, I’m ashamed to say
That I refused Thy Dove,
And sent Thy Spirit grieved away
To His own realms of love.
Nor all Thine heav’nly charms,
Nor Thy revenging hand
Could force me to lay down my arms,
And bow to Thy command.
Lord, ’tis against Thy face
My sins like arrows rise,
And yet, and yet, O matchless grace
Thy thunder silent lies.
O shall I never feel
The meltings of Thy love?
Am I of such hell-hardened steel
That mercy cannot move?
Now for one powerful glance
Dear Savior, from Thy face!
This rebel heart no more withstands,
But sinks beneath Thy grace.
O’ercome by dying love I fall,
And at Thy cross I lie;
I throw my flesh, my soul, my all,
And weep, and love, and die.
Rise, says the Prince of mercy,
With joy and pity in His eyes:
“Rise and behold My wounded veins;
Here flows the blood to wash thy stains.
See, My great Father’s reconciled,
He said, and lo, the Father smiled;
The joyful cherubs clapped their wings,
And sounded grace on all their strings.