An Invitation — Will You Accept It?

"Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."—Matt. 11:2828Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28).
WHAT gracious loving words are these that fall from the lips of the One who spake as "never man spake!”
Well might the multitudes throng about Him and wonder at the “gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth." Sweetest sounds that ever greeted the ear of lost and ruined man are these, and while we listen we bow in adoration, for “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them." Reader, who else would act to-words you thus? Where will you turn and find another such invitation as this? Where is the one who would offer you all happiness, all joy, all glory, in exchange for all misery, all sorrow, all woe? Where the love that would endure for you the agonies of the most awful of deaths in order to bring you every blessing in your heart. Your conscience, your experience, your Bible, your God tell you—NOWHERE, EXCEPT IN JESUS.
His is the heart that yearns over, and His the voice that invites thee to-day. For He is the same gracious loving One, now in the glory, as then upon earth. Let me call attention to His words, and may God the Holy Ghost bring them home to many a heart and conscience in irresistible power!
Think, first, WHO it was that uttered those wondrous words. The One who was with God, and who was God, from all eternity—the eternal Son of the Father. He had " come from off the throne eternal " down into this world of sin and sorrow, had made Himself of no reputation, was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and at this time had just been refused even by those cities wherein He had done most of His mighty works. Thus only had poor fallen man responded to the grace that for their sakes had brought Him so low—heartlessly, wickedly, hatefully, they had treated Him, and does He retaliate? Does He sweep the whole apostate race in an instant, into an eternal hell? Oh, the wonders of grace! He turns round there and then and offers, yea freely offers, even to those in the midst of whom He had not where to lay His head—rest. Oh, sinner! thou halt not let Him rest His head on thy bosom, yet He invites thee to rest thy head; yea, thy heart on His For see, secondly, to WHOM the invitation goes out It is not to the righteous. It is not to the self-satisfied. It is not to the whole.
No, it is to sinners. “ALL ye that labor and are heavy laden," who are these? Ah I those who have felt it will tell you there is no burden, no heavy load, like the load of sin upon the awakened conscience. What sorrow it brings what distress! what dread and fear! what a burden! Is the reader one of those who is carrying about daily this awful load of unforgiven sin? You long to get rid of it, don't you? and yet you can't tell how? Oh! beloved friend, look to Jesus! Hear His word! "Come unto me." “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out." "ALL ye that labor "—does not that mean you? Can you doubt any longer that the invitation is for yourself? Up then at once, and accept it. Delay not a moment, lest it might be too late, but come now, now, NOW.
But just think, thirdly, of the way in which He takes away the load of sin. Look to the Cross, reader. See Him there. What is He doing? “His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree "(1 Peter 2:2424Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:24))." The Lord hath laid on Hint the iniquity of us all.” (Isa. 53:66All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)). Do you believe God, dear friend? What then has become of the load of your sins? Why the moment you believe, God says they are gone, washed away in Christ's precious blood, removed as far as the east is from the west, cast behind God's back, sunk into the depths of the sea, to be remembered no more. “By Him (Jesus) all that believe are justified from all things (Acts 13:3939And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. (Acts 13:39).) Do not you see it? Will not you make it your own,
"All thy sins were laid upon Him,
Jesus bore them on the tree,
God who knew them laid them on Him,
And, believing, thou art free.”
The moment you believe, the burden is gone. For Jesus has said, “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:2424Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24)).
Do come, then, to Jesus now, simply believing, and you will be able to sing:
“Happy day! Happy day
When Jesus washed my sins away.”
Because, look (in the fourth place) at the terms of the invitation. Come—that is all you have to do, and then? "I will GIVE." Here works, merits, worthiness, are all excluded. There is no place for them beside this blessed gospel word “GIVE." Again and again the heart of God finds expression in it. "God GAVE his Son.” "If thou knewest the GIFT of God." “I will GIVE him rest." “The GIFT of God is eternal life." “I will GIVE unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.”
Oh, sinner, let the blessed gospel, in all its fullness and freeness, enter with its life-giving, peace-giving sounds into thy sinful heart, dispelling the mists and chills that have ruled there so long, and filling thee with those glory-rays of warmth, of salvation, from the very throne, the very heart of God.. See that heart telling itself out in these words, inviting thee to come and empty thyself out in His presence, that He may fill thee. Again I say, what an exchange! He will take from thee—but it is thy sins, and He will give thee pardon for them. He will take that heavy load and give thee relief; those doubts and fears, and give thee assurance; those filthy rags of self-righteousness, and clothe thee instead in the “best robe of heaven, the righteousness of God. He will take from thee the fear of death and the dread of judgment, and give thee instead the present possession of everlasting life, and the sure and certain hope of everlasting glory. He will save thee from the pit of hell, and fit thee for the courts of heaven.
What will He not do for the sinner that trusts Him? What is there not included in that lovely word REST? I close here, for everything is here. Doubts, fears, sins, all gone; forever gone, completely gone. “Perfect love casteth out fear." It could not be rest otherwise; and in the place of doubts and fears and sins, I have a purged conscience, a relieved heart, a saved soul, sins forgiven, eternal life, justification from all things, peace with God, and a title to heaven. Then I see that I belong to Jesus, I am one of His sheep, I can never perish. I am one with Him, a member of His body, a joint heir with Him. What a place, and what a portion for a poor, hell deserving sinner! “In the ages to come God will show the exceeding riches of His grace in His “kindness towards us through Christ Jesus." Yes, it is indeed rest—rest for the weary—thus to have come to Jesus and believed on Him, and received all these blessings.
“Art thou weary?
Art thou languid?
Art thou sore distressed?
Come to Me, saith Christ, and coming,
Be at rest,”
Oh, friend, accept the invitation, obey the call. For the day is rapidly approaching when it will no longer be sent forth. But the word will be instead, “Because I have called and ye refused. I also will laugh at your calamity.
H. P. A. G.