Heart Religion Profession... or Possession?

Mid all the opinions, contention and strife, Concerning repentance, salvation and life; That ring from the pulpit and teem from the press, There’s this consolation, we’re not left to guess.

For Jesus assures us in language quite plain, We cannot be saved unless BORN AGAIN; The work of the creature, however he live, A fitness for Heaven, no sinner can give.

The heart must be changed, the mind be renewed, An appetite given for heavenly food; Desires be implanted that never can die, And needs made apparent, that God must supply.

This change is effected by power divine, For none but JEHOVAH the soul can incline; Though some men assert with a positive air, That all that is needed, is reading and prayer.

While others more subtle their notions impart, And tell all their hearers, Christ knocks at the heart; And urge them to open, that He may come in, Or He may be offended and ne’er knock again.

And then there are others who differ from these, Who study and strive all their hearers to please; Though in what they say, we see nothing to blame, But in what they DON’T say, is of what we complain.

But a "Thus Saith the LORD," concludes the debate, The vile from the precious, God’s servants must take; The work of the flesh and the spirit describe, That the living may know that they are alive.

For the mind may be right and the heart may be wrong, The soul sadly lacking redemption’s sweet song; No change is sufficient but that of the heart, To cause the transgressor from sin to depart.

The tears of an Esau, the prayers of a Saul, The repentance of Judas will very short fall; A Cain may be sorry, a Pharaoh confess, And all this arise from the work of the flesh.

But REGENERATION cuts wide open the HEART, Dissecting the sinner in every part; And raises him up in the image of God, To show forth the praises of Jesus the Lord.

- T. Biddle (Extract from Gospel Magazine, 1843)