Lead is lead still, whatever stamp it beareth
A change of form is a very different thing from a change of substance. You may cast lead into the shape of a shilling, but you cannot make silver of it. Now, the only change which can save us is a thorough transformation of nature, and this is as clearly beyond human power as the turning of lead into silver.
When we see a great moral improvement in any man we ought to be glad, and to admire the power of conscience; but if the man’s heart remains the same, the alteration is only casting a lump of lead into a pretty form. When the man’s nature and disposition are radically altered, we may then exclaim, “This is the finger of God”—this is transmuting lead into silver; “Ye must be born again”: nothing less will suffice.
“Lord, grant that I may truly know this change. If I am mistaken and have never been regenerated, be pleased to exercise thy gracious power upon me now, for Jesus’ sake.”
—Charles H. Spurgeon
Adapted from Illustrations and Meditations: Flowers from a Puritan’s Garden (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1883).