When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. Luke 11:21–22
Words: John Newton, Olney Hymns (London: W. Oliver, 1779), Book 1, number 101.
The castle taken.
The castle of the human heart
Strong in its native sin,
Is guarded well, in every part,
By him who dwells within.
For Satan there, in arms, resides,
And calls the place his own;
With care against assaults provides,
And rules, as on a throne.
Each traitor thought on him, as chief,
In blind obedience waits;
And pride, self-will, and unbelief,
Are posted at the gates.
Thus Satan for a season reigns,
And keeps his goods in peace;
The soul is pleased to wear his chains,
Nor wishes a release.
But Jesus, stronger far than he,
In His appointed hour
Appears, to set His people free
From the usurper’s power.
This heart I bought with blood, He says,
And now it shall be Mine.
His voice the strong one armed dismays,
He knows he must resign.
In spite of unbelief and pride,
And self, and Satan’s art;
The gates of brass fly open wide,
And Jesus wins the heart.
The rebel soul that once withstood
The Savior’s kindest call;
Rejoices now, by grace subdued,
To serve Him with her all.