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Such persons, then, tolling and borne down beneath the burden of the ceremonial law, are here invited to the Saviour. But he had reference likewise to all men, Jew and Gentile, in every nation and age, who are burdened with sin. All such are invited to him, with the promise that he will give them rest, rest from their labor, and relief from their load. They wear the galling yoke of sin and Satan, and he bids them take his yoke upon them. Wearing the yoke of another is an expression very often employed in Scripture as all will remember to denote subjection to him. The figure is taken, of course, from beasts of burden, as oxen; being applied thence to all who are the laboring servants of a master.

Jesus is then bidding those who have been the "servants of sin," to obey him from the heart and be his servants; those who have been subject to Satan, to take him instead as their King. The gospel is frequently and properly represented as something to be learned; men need to be taught the way of salvation. Thus we read that God "will have all men to be saved, and to come to a knowledge of the truth. And when he says, "For I am meek and lowly in heart," the Saviour means to show that he is fitted to be a Teacher, that so all may come and learn of him.

Come Unto Me

In order that a Teacher may win the hearts of his pupils, and thereby the better make them love to learn and love what they do learn, he must unite to other qualities a certain mildness, and gentleness, and kindliness. Such men, other things being equal, are always most beloved and most successful. There are some men who by their affection and gentleness seem able to win at once the love of a child.

And when our blessed Saviour bids men learn of him, he encourages the timid and fearful to come to him, by telling them that he is meek and lowly in heart, mild and loving and gentle, that he will be kind to them, and they need not fear. He would not be rough and overbearing and haughty as were the Doctors, the teachers of the law, he is not imperious and domineering and severe like many who have since professed to teach his doctrines: he is humble and affectionate, condescending and kind.

We may learn from these words the character of the lessons, as well as of the Teacher. It is the knowledge of himself that he will give; and as he is meek and lowly, i.

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Still the chief intent of this clause would seem to be what was mentioned first, namely to recommend himself as disposed to be kind and affectionate to all who might come to learn of him. To appreciate fully the expressiveness of this figure, one must imagine himself bearing a heavy burden, a weight such as he can hardly sustain, and that after bearing it till he is almost crushed to the ground, he throws it off, and rests.

There are few things so delightful as this rest to one who has been heavy laden. And then suppose the burden is clinging to you, bound with cords you cannot sever, though you are bowed down under the load and vainly striving to throw it off, and that as you labor thus and are heavy laden, one offers if you come to him to loose the bonds and take away the burden, and let you rest-how sweet would be the thought!

But it is impossible that men should be without subjection to some higher power; by our very nature we look up to some Being that is above us. All who are not subject to God, are the subjects of Satan: and they who wish to be delivered from the dominion of the Evil One, must find such deliverance in having God himself for their King, as he intended they should when he made them.

Accordingly, when the Saviour offers to give rest, he bids them take his yoke upon them, and learn of him, and they shall find rest unto their souls. And then he concludes the invitation by encouraging them to believe that this exchange will be good and pleasant; they labor under the galling yoke of Satan, and are heavy laden with the grievous burdens of sin, but his yoke is easy.

This burden is light. Such, I think, is the meaning of the various passages of this invitation, which, familiar as it is, I may read again: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Having endeavored thus to explain the language of the text, I wish to say something upon two subjects connected with it, 1 who they are that are here invited to come and 2 what is meant by coming to Jesus.

The invitations of the gospel are addressed to all; the gospel is to be preached to every creature. God commandeth all men everywhere to repent, he promises that whosoever believeth on Jesus shall not perish, but have everlasting life, and "whosoever will," is invited to take of the water of life, freely.


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The purposes of Him who inhabiteth eternity, and who seeth the end from the beginning, will all be fulfilled. Those purposes we cannot declare, that God will have i. And it is worth observing that the gospel invitations, while they extend to all, are so varied. The same bountiful and gracious Being who suits the blessings of his providence to our various wants, does also adapt the invitations of his mercy to the varied characters and conditions of men. Are men enemies to God? Have they hearts harder than the nether millstone?

Are they dancing gaily, or rushing madly, along the way that leads to death? Are they thirsty? And are they burdened with sin and sinfulness? It is those who are "bowed down beneath a load of sin," that are here especially invited to come to Jesus. Sin is great and grievous burden: and no man can ever see it as it is and feel it in its weight without wishing to be relieved of it.

My hearers, are there not many among you who have often felt this-who have often felt heavy laden with the load of your transgressions, and the burden of your sinfulness? Are there not those among you who feel this now? If you do not all feel so, it is because your perceptions are blunted, you do not see things as they are. You have been servants of sin for a long time-have you not found it a hard master? You have been wearing the yoke of Satan lo! How many things you have done at his bidding that you knew to be wrong?

How often you have stifled the voice of your conscience, and listened to the suggestions of the Tempter! How often you have toiled to gratify sinful desires and passions, and found that still the craving, aching void was left unfilled! What has sin done for the world and for you that you should desire it? It brought death into the world, and all our woe. It has filled the earth with suffering and sorrow. It has made it needful that Jesus, the only-begotten Son of God, should suffer and die, to make atonement for it.

It has brought upon you much of unhappiness now, and many most fearful apprehensions for the future. By your sins you have incurred the just anger of Him that made you-already they rise mountain high, and yet still you go on in your sinfulness, accumulating more and more, heaping up wrath against the day of wrath. You shudder when you think of death, you tremble when you think of God, for you know well that you are not prepared to die, that you cannot meet your Maker and Judge in peace. And not only has sin brought on you all these sufferings and fears, but you cannot rid yourself of it.

You have bowed your neck to the yoke, and now you cannot free yourself from it. Never did any old man of the sea cling so closely upon the shoulders of the deluded traveler, as the hideous form of sin clings to you, and you cannot shake it off, struggle as you may. No poisoned garment of ancient fable ever adhered so closely to him that wore it, sending death through all his frame, as does the garment of iniquity. Sum it up again-what has sin done for you?

It has made you unhappy, filling you with craving, unsatisfied desires, it has made you captive, and bound you with cords you cannot burst, it has brought upon you the indignation and wrath of Almighty God, which you cannot expiate. Is it not then a burden, of which you would like to be relieved? If so, hear the Saviour's own invitation, and come to him.

He will take off the heavy load that crushes you, and you shall find rest to your souls. He will intercede in your behalf before God, he will take away your guilt by the sacrifice he has offered, he will "wash you thoroughly from your iniquity, and cleanse you from your sin. Do you fear that God is angry with you, and will not hear your prayer? It is true. Line-By-Line Order:.

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