Rest For The Laboring

   (No. 1322)




   "Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I
   willgiveyou rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek
   and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My
   yoke is easy, and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30.

   [The Tabernacle was on this night thrown open to strangers, all the
   regular congregation kindly vacating their seats.]

   Our Lord had just been declaring the Doctrine of Election, thanking the
   heavenly Father that He had chosen babes, though He had passed by the
   wise and prudent. It is very instructive that, close upon the heels of
   that mysterious doctrine, should come the gracious invitation of my
   text--as much as if the Lord Jesus would say to His disciples, "Let no
   views of predestination ever keep you back from proclaiming fully My
   Gospel to every creature." And as if He would say to the unconverted,
   "Do not be discouraged by the Doctrine of Election. Never let it be a
   stumbling block in your way, for when My lips have said, 'I thank You,
   O Father, that You have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and
   revealed them unto babes,' I also proceed to speak to you in the
   deepest sincerity of heart and say, "Come unto Me, all you that labor
   and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

   I shall notice at the outset who it is that makes so large a promise
   and gives so free an invitation. There are many quack doctors in the
   world and each one of these cries up his own medicine. Who is this Man
   who calls us so earnestly and promises rest so confidently? Is He an
   impostor, too? Will He play us false? Does He boast beyond His ability?
   Ah, it cannot be thought so, for this Man, this marvelous Man who
   promises rest to those who come to Him, is also God! He is the Son of
   the Highest as well as the son of Mary! He is Son of the Eternal as
   well as Son of Man and He has power, because of His Divine Nature, to
   accomplish whatever He promises to perform!

   As a Man, the Lord Jesus was noted for His truthfulness. From His lips
   there never fell an equivocation. He never boasted beyond His ability
   or led men to expect from Him what He could not render. Why should He
   deceive? He had no selfish end to serve or ambition to gratify. Did He
   not come to tell men the Truths of God? It was His errand and He did it
   thoroughly. Believe Him, then! As you are persuaded of the truthfulness
   of His Character, accept His teaching. And as you believe in His
   Deity--if you do believe, and I trust you do--believe in His ability to
   save and at once trust your soul in His hands! If He is a mere
   pretender, do not come to Him. But if, indeed, you believe my Lord and
   Master to be faithful and true, I beseech you attend, at once, to His

   Where is He now? He is not here, for He is risen. But since He spoke
   these words, He has lost no power to save, but in a certain sense has
   gained in ability--for since He uttered those words He has died the
   death of the Cross by which He obtained power to put away the sins of
   men! He has also risen from the grave, no more to die, and He has gone
   up into Glory with all power given unto Him in Heaven and in earth. He
   is King of kings and Lord of lords! And it is in His name and by His
   authority that we proclaim to you the Gospel of Christ, according to
   His Words, recorded by the evangelist Mark--"All power is given unto Me
   in Heaven and in earth: go you, therefore, and teach all nations,
   baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy

   It is an enthroned Redeemer who tonight invites you! See that you
   refuse not Him that speaks. He is able to save them to the uttermost
   that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercession
   for them. Therefore doubt not His power to save you, but come to Him at
   once and find rest unto your souls. Jesus being the speaker, and His
   authority and ability being both clear, we shall now come to dissect
   the words and may God grant that as we do so, the Spirit of God may use
   every syllable and press His Truth home upon our hearts!

   And, first, I notice here a character which, dear Friends, I think
   describes you as the laboring and the heavy laden. Secondly, I notice a
   blessing which invites you--"I will give you rest." Thirdly, I notice a
   direction which will guide you--"Come unto Me: take My yoke upon you:
   learn of Me." And, fourthly, I notice an argument which I trust may
   persuade you--"I am meek and lowly in heart. My yoke is easy, and My
   burden is light."

   I. First, then, here is a character which, no doubt, describes a
   considerable number of those here assembled--"ALL YOU THAT LABOR AND
   ARE HEAVY LADEN." The words look as if there were a great many such
   persons--"all you," and, indeed, so there are, for laboring and
   burden-bearing are the common lot of the sons of Adam. Laborers and
   loaded ones constitute the great mass of mankind--and the Lord Jesus
   invites them all without exception--high or low, learned or illiterate,
   moral or depraved, old or young--"all that labor and are heavy laden"
   are comprehended in His


   Some have ventured to say that this describes a certain spiritual
   character, but I fail to see any words to mark the spirituality of the
   persons. Certainly I see not a syllable to limit the text to that
   sense. Brothers and Sisters, it is not our right either to add to or to
   take from the Word of God knowingly, and as there is no indication,
   here, that these words are to be limited in their meaning, we shall not
   dare to invent a limit! Where God puts no bolt or bar, woe unto those
   who shall set up barriers of their own. We shall read our text in the
   broadest conceivable sense, for it is most like the spirit of the
   Gospel to do so. It says--"all you that labor," and if you labor, it
   includes you! It says--"all you that are heavy laden," and if you are
   heavy laden it includes you, and God forbid that we should shut you

   No, God be thanked that no man can shut you out if you are willing and
   obedient, and come to Christ accepting His invitation and obeying His
   command. To you, then, do we speak, "all you that labor." You who work
   so hard to earn a crust that your limbs are weary with your daily
   toil--come to Jesus! And if He gives you no rest for your bodies, yet
   to your souls He will! Yes, even for your physical toil, He is your
   best hope, for His righteous and loving teaching will yet alter the
   constitution of the body politic, till the day shall come when no man
   shall need to toil excessively to earn his share of the common food
   which the great Father gives for all His creatures!

   If ever rest from oppression and from excessive labor shall become the
   joyful lot of mankind, it will be found when the Son of David shall
   reign from pole to pole and from the river even to the ends of the
   earth! And come, you that labor with mental labor--you that are
   straining your minds and exhausting your spirits--you who pine and pant
   after repose for your souls, but find it not! Perhaps you are laboring
   to enter into rest by formal religion--trying to save yourselves by
   rites and ceremonies--by attendance on this service and on that, making
   your life a pious slavery that you may find salvation by the outward
   ordinances of worship. There is no salvation there! You weary
   yourselves with searching for a shadow! You seek for the living among
   the dead!

   Why do you spend your labor for that which satisfies not? Turn your
   thoughts another way! If you come to Christ you shall cease from the
   bondage of an external and formal religion! You shall find a finished
   righteousness and a complete salvation ready to your hand! O you that
   are trying, by your good works, to save yourselves and doing no good
   works all the while--for how can that be good which you do with the
   sole view of benefiting yourselves? That selfish virtue which only
   seeks its own--is that virtue? Can that commend itself to God? I know
   how you wear your fingers to the bone to spin a garment of your own
   righteousness, which, if it were spun, would be no more substantial
   than a spider's web and no more lasting than the fading autumn leaves!

   Why do you not cease from this fruitless toil? O you that hope for
   salvation by the works of the Law, it is to you that Jesus speaks! And
   He says, "Come to Me, and I will give you rest." And He can do it, too!
   He can, at once, give you a spotless righteousness! He can array you
   from head to foot with the garments of salvation! On the spot He can
   give you both of these, and so give you rest, you laboring ones! Some
   of you are laboring after happiness. You think to find it in
   gain--hoarding up your pence and your pounds and seeking for rest in
   the abundance of your beloved wealth. Ah, you will never have enough
   till you get Christ! And when you have Him, you will be full to the

   Contentment is the peculiar jewel of the beloved of the Lord Jesus. All
   the Indies could not fill a human heart--the soul is insatiable till it
   finds the Savior--and then it leans on His bosom and enters into
   perfect peace. Perhaps, young man, you are laboring after fame. You
   despise gold, but you pant to obtain a great name! Alas, ambition's
   ways are very weary and he who climbs the loftiest peak of honor finds
   that it is a slippery place where rest is quite unknown. Young brother,
   take a friend's advice and care no longer for man's praise, for it is
   mere wind. If you would rise to a great name,

   become a Christian, for the name of Christ is the name above every name
   and it is bliss to be hidden beneath it, and overshadowed by it!

   Christ will not make you great among men, but He will make you so
   little in your own esteem that the lowest place at His table will more
   than satisfy you! He will give you rest from that delirious dream of
   ambition and yet fire you with a higher ambition than ever! What is it
   you are laboring for? Is it after knowledge? I commend you. It is a
   good possession and a choice treasure. Search for it as for silver. But
   all the knowledge that is to be had from the zenith to the center of
   the earth will never satisfy your understanding till you know Christ
   and are found in Him! He can give rest to your soul in that respect by
   giving you the knowledge of God and a sense of His love. Whatever it is
   you labor after, come to Jesus, and He will give you rest.

   But the text speaks of some as, "heavy laden." They are not merely
   struggling and striving, but they are burdened. They have a load to
   carry and it is to these that Jesus says, "I will give you rest." Some
   carry a load of sin. I mean not all of you. Some of you think, perhaps,
   that you have no sin. But there are others who know that they have
   sinned. In the memory of the past they are full of fear and looking, in
   the present, to their own condition and position. They feel uneasy and
   unhappy. Their grief has nothing to do with the house or with the
   barn--it is with their own selves that their burden begins and ends. "I
   have sinned," they say, "and how can I be forgiven?" This is the load
   they carry.

   Some carry a load of sorrow on the back of this load of sin--a daily
   fretting, worrying sorrow from which they cannot escape--to such Jesus
   beckons and He says, "I will take your sins from you, forgive you, and
   make you whiter than snow. I will take your sorrows from you, too, or,
   if the sorrow abides with you, I will make you so content to bear it
   that you shall thank God for the cross that you carry and glory in your
   infirmity because the power of Christ does rest upon you." Loaded,
   then, with sin or sorrow, come to Jesus and He will give you rest!

   Or, possibly, the load may be that of daily care. You are continually
   crying, "What shall I eat? What shall I drink? With what shall I be
   clothed?" Oh what heavy hearts tread our streets! How many are scantily
   fed and scarcely clothed! What myriads go down Cheapside unhappy
   because they can see no provision for their most common needs! Even to
   these, Jesus says, "Come to Me, and I will give you rest." He teaches
   the sweet art of casting our cares on Him who cares for us. He shows us
   that, "man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that
   proceeds out of the mouth of God shall man live." He has a way of
   making us content with little, till a dinner of herbs, with His Grace
   to season them, becomes a greater dainty than the stalled ox of the
   rich man! Come to Him, you poverty-stricken, and He will teach you the
   science of joying and rejoicing under all circumstances! Even in a
   cottage with scanty comfort, He will give you rest and true riches.

   Or, the burden may happen to be one of doubt. You, perhaps, feel as if
   you can believe nothing and are uncertain about everything. This, also,
   is a crushing load to a thoughtful spirit. I, too, know what that
   means, for I have seen the firm mountains of my youth moved from their
   foundations and cast into a sea of questioning. I, too, have been
   loaded down with difficulties and skepticisms. From that burden I am
   delivered, for in that day in which I believed on Jesus-- the Man, the
   God--and cast myself at His dear feet to be His servant and believe His
   Words and trust in Him, then did the reeling earth stand still and
   Heaven no longer fled away! I saw Jesus and in Him I found the pole of
   faith, the basis of belief! Believe in Jesus and you will meet with a
   blessed rest of mind and thought such as earth cannot afford
   elsewhere-- a rest that shall be the prelude to the everlasting rest in
   Heaven where they know even as they are known!

   So Jesus cries aloud tonight, to you who labor and to you who are
   loaded down with mighty burdens! He cries, and I beseech you have
   regard to the cry! Are you weary of life, young man? Christ will give
   you a new life and teach you how to rejoice in Him always! Are you
   disappointed? Has the world given you a slap in the face where you
   looked for a kiss? Come to my Lord! He will give new hopes that shall
   never be disappointed, for he that believes in Him shall not be
   ashamed, world without end! Are you vexed with everybody and most of
   all with yourself? Jesus can teach you love and put you at your ease
   again. Does someone fret and tease you from day to day? Come to my
   Master and the vexations of the world shall gall you no longer. You
   shall reckon that these light afflictions, which are but for a moment,
   are not worthy to be compared with the Glory which shall be revealed in

   Do you despair? Are you ready to fling yourself away? Do you wish that
   there was no hereafter? And if you were sure there is none, would you
   speedily make your own quietus? Would you afford short shrift to your
   soul and end this mortal

   life at once? Ah, do not do it! There are brighter days before you,
   since Jesus has met you and new life will begin if you will come to my
   Master and sit at His feet! I will give you a hymn to sing, which shall
   grow sweeter every day you live--

   "Happy day, happy day, When Jesus washed my sins away! He taught me how
   to watch and pray, And live rejoicing every day, Happy day, happy day,
   When Jesus washed my sins away!" I have spoken enough upon the
   character, which, I think, comprehends many here--"All you that labor
   and are heavy laden." I know how well it suited me once upon a time and
   how glad I was to answer to the call of the text.

   II. Now, secondly, the text speaks of A BLESSING WHICH INVITES YOU.
   "Come unto Me," says Jesus, "and I will give you rest." "Rest! Rest!
   Rest!" I could keep on ringing that silver bell all the evening--"Rest!
   Rest! REST!" "You gentlemen of England who live at home at ease," you
   scarcely know the music of that word! The sons of toil, the mariners
   tossed upon the sea, the warriors in the battle, the men who labor deep
   in the mines--these know, as you do not, how sweet this music sounds!

   Rest! Rest! Rest! Rest for the weary body is the outward emblem of that
   inward blessing which Jesus Christ holds up, tonight, before the eyes
   of all laboring and heavy-laden souls. Rest--rest which He will give,
   which He will give at once--rest to the conscience. The conscience,
   tossed to and fro under a sense of sin, has no peace. But when Jesus is
   revealed as bleeding and suffering in the sinner's place, and making
   full atonement for human guilt, then the conscience grows quiet. As
   Noah's dove lighted upon the ark, so conscience lights on Christ and
   rests there forever! No sin of yours shall trouble you when you have
   seen how it troubled Christ--how He took it on His shoulders and bore
   it up to the Cross--and then flung it into the depths of the sea, never
   to be mentioned against you anymore forever!

   Jesus gives rest to the mind as well as to the conscience. As I have
   said, the mind wanders to and fro, lost in endless mazes. It must
   believe something, but it knows not what. He who is the greatest
   unbeliever, generally believes the most-- only he believes a lie.
   Incredulity and credulity are strangely near of kin, for he that
   believes not in God generally believes in himself, or believes in
   whatever his own dreams may shape. But he that takes Christ and rests
   upon Him, finds his mind no more disturbed--his thoughts rest, his
   judgment becomes satisfied, his brain is quiet. Rest to the heart, too,
   is given by Jesus. Oh, there are choice and tender spirits in this
   world that need, above all things, something to love! These too often
   choose an earthly object and lean on that reed till it breaks or turns
   into a piercing spear.

   O hearts that pine for love, here is a Beloved for you whom you may
   love as much as you will or can--and yet never be guilty of idolatry,
   nor ever meet with treachery! O broken heart, He will heal you! O
   tender heart, He will delight you! The love of Jesus is the wine of
   Heaven and he that drinks it is filled with bliss! Jesus can give rest
   to the palpitating heart. You sons of desolation, hasten here!
   Daughters of despondency, gather to this call! He can give rest, too,
   to your energies. O you whose unabated strength seeks a worthy field of
   labor, do you enquire, "What shall we pursue?" You want to be up and
   doing, but you have not found an object worthy of you. Oh, but if you
   follow after Jesus and, in the love of God and in the love of man, cast
   aside selfishness, desiring only to be obedient to the great Father's
   will and to bring your fellow men into a gracious state, then shall you
   find a noble and restful life! If you are willing to give up life,
   itself, for God's Glory as Jesus did--for you cannot well be His
   disciple if you do not--then shall you find perfect rest unto your

   As for your fears and forecasts which now are troubled--He will turn
   them into hopes of endless glory! Dark forebodings of a future, you
   know not what--the sound of an awful sea whose surf beats upon an
   invisible shore, and whose billows resound with sound of storm and
   everlasting tempest--from all this you shall be delivered! Jesus will
   give you rest from every fear. If you will come to Jesus you shall
   obtain rest in all ways--the rest of your entire manhood, rest such as
   shall unload you of your burdens and ease you of your labors--this is
   the rest which Jesus promises you!

   "Alas," cries one, "I wish I could attain rest. That is the one thing
   necessary to me. I should then become strong and happy. My mind would
   become clear and I should be able to fight the battle of life if I
   could but obtain rest." Yes, but you cannot have it unless you come to
   Christ. Not Heaven, itself, could give you peace apart from Christ, nor
   can the grave's deep slumbers rest you unless you sleep in Him! Rest!
   Neither Heaven nor earth, nor sea and Hades--none of

   them can afford you any trace of it until you come to the Incarnate
   God, Christ Jesus, and bow at His feet. Then you shall find rest to
   your souls, but not till then!

   III. This brings me, next, to say that the text presents A DIRECTION TO

   HEAVY-LADEN SOUL IN THE PURSUIT OF REST. I shall be sure to have your
   very deep attention to the directions which Jesus gives, for you all
   need to find rest. Oh, may the Divine Spirit now lead you into the way
   of peace! If you follow our Lord's directions and do not find rest,
   then His Word is not true. But His Word is true! I invite you to try it
   and urge you, at once, to accept His guidance and leadership.

   The first direction is, "Come unto Me." "Come unto Me," He said, "and I
   will give you rest." Mark, it is not coming to a sacrament. It is not
   coming to a Church, or coming to a doctrine. It is coming to a Person
   which is set before you-- "Come unto Me." You are to come to God in
   human flesh, the Deity, Himself, dwelling among us, and taking our
   nature upon Himself. You are to come to Him. He does not bid you do
   anything or bring anything! He does not command you to prepare
   yourself, or advise you to wait. He bids you come--come as you
   are--come now--come alone--come to Him and to Him, only!

   Nobody here needs me to say that we cannot go to Christ, as to bodily
   going, for in His own actual Person He is in Heaven and we are here
   below. The coming to Him is mental and spiritual. Just as we may come
   in spirit to some great poet whom we never saw, or approach some
   renowned teacher whose voice we have never heard, so may we come in
   thought, in meditation, to Jesus, whom our eyes have never beheld! We
   are to come to Him in some such fashion as the following words
   describe--I believe what God has revealed concerning You, O You
   wondrous Person. I believe that You are God and Man. I believe that You
   have died for human sin. I believe that You are able to save, and I
   think of You and meditate upon You daily. "I believe You to be the
   Savior, and I trust You to save me. I am troubled and You say, 'I will
   give you rest.' I trust You to give me peace and I mean to follow Your
   directions till I find it. I ask You to give me Your Spirit that I may
   enter into Your rest. As much as lies in me I come to You! Oh, draw me
   while I come! Lord, I believe! Help You my unbelief!"

   Now, mark, it is not merely to His teaching, or to His Commandments, or
   to His Church that you are to approach--it is to HIM that you are to
   come! Not merely to reading the Scriptures or to offering prayer, for
   if you put your trust in reading the Bible, or in a prayer, you have
   stopped short of the true basis of salvation. It is to HIM--a real
   Person--a Man and yet God--One who died and yet ever lives that you
   must draw near. You are to trust Him! The more you know of Him by the
   reading of His Word, the better you will be able to come. But, still,
   it is neither Bible reading, nor praying, nor Chapel attendance, nor
   Church attendance, nor anything else that you can do that will save
   you, unless you come to HIM! This you can do if you are on the sea
   where the Sabbath bell never sounds. This you can do in a desert where
   there are no meetings of God's people. This you can do on the sick bed
   when you cannot stir a limb. You can go to Jesus by the help of His
   blessed Spirit and you can say, "Lord, I believe in You." That is the
   first thing, "Come unto Me, and I will give you rest."

   The next command is, "Take My yoke upon you." "Come," and then, "take."
   That is to say, no man is saved by merely trusting himself with Christ,
   unless that trusting is of a living and practical kind. I sometimes
   explain this to my people as I will explain it to you. A celebrated
   doctor visits you, when you are very ill, and he says to you, "Do you
   trust me?" You reply, "Yes, Sir, wholly." "Well," he says, "if you
   trust me completely and give your case over into my hands, I believe
   that I shall see you through this sickness." You assure him of your
   implicit faith in him and then he begins to question you. "What do you
   eat?" He lifts up his hands in horror and he exclaims, "Why, my good
   man, you eat the very thing which feeds your sickness--you must not
   touch that anymore, however much you like it--you must have simpler
   food and a more harmless diet." "Then," he says, "I will send you a
   little medicine which you will take every three hours, according to the
   prescription. You are sure you trust me?" "Yes." "Then all will be

   He comes back in a few days and he says. "You seem worse, my Friend. I
   fear that your disease has taken a stronger hold upon you than before.
   I do not understand how matters have taken this turn. Are you trusting
   me?" "Yes, doctor, trusting you entirely." "Well, what have you been
   eating?" And then you tell him that you have been eating just what you
   used to eat and you have broken all his rules as to food. "Now," he
   says, "I see why you are worse. You are not trusting me. Have you
   regularly taken my medicine?" He looks at the bottle upon the table.
   "Why, you have not taken a single dose!" "No, Sir, I tasted it and I
   did not like it, and so I left it alone." "How is this?" says the
   doctor, very much

   grieved. "My Friend, you said that you trusted me implicitly." "Yes,
   Sir, so I do." "But I say you do not," he says, "and I will leave you.
   I insist upon it that I will not be responsible for your health if you
   mock me with such a pretended faith! If you believed me, you would have
   done as I told you."

   Now, Jesus Christ never sent me or any other minister to preach to you
   and say, "Only believe, and you may live as you like, and yet be
   saved." Such preaching would be a lie! It is true that we say, "Only
   believe," but that, "Only believe" must be such a believing that you do
   what Jesus bids you! Jesus has not promised to save you in your sins,
   but from your sins, just as a physician does not pretend to heal a man
   while he feeds his disease and refuses the remedy--he only promises
   that he will benefit him if the faith which he expects him to exercise
   shows itself to be a practical and real faith. Beware of a liar's
   faith! And that is a liar's faith which you pretend to get at revival
   meetings if you then go and live just as you did before--

   "Faith must obey her Maker's will As well as trust His Grace. A
   gracious God is jealous still, For His own holiness."

   So Christ says, "Take My yoke." That is, "If you will be saved by Me I
   must be your Master and you must be My servant. You cannot have Me for
   a Savior if you do not accept Me for a Lawgiver and Commander. If you
   will not do as I bid you, neither shall you find rest for your souls."
   Then there is a third direction and I pray you notice each one of these
   words, for failure about any one of them may cause you to miss peace. I
   remember when I was seeking the Lord, that before I came to peace, I
   was made willing to be or to do anything the Lord Jesus chose to bid me
   do or be. Are you in such a state? Then listen, for Jesus says, "Learn
   of Me." That is to say, at first you do not know all His will and,
   perhaps, you will do wrong--but then that will be in ignorance--and He
   will graciously wink at your fault.

   But He says, "Be My disciple. Be My scholar. Come and learn at My
   feet." Christ will not be your Savior if He is not to be your Teacher.
   He will teach you very much, at first, and a great deal more as you go
   on. And it is essential to your salvation that you have a teachable
   spirit even as a little child. You must be willing to drink in what
   Christ pours out for you. The promise is to those who are willing to
   become learners. This is the Gospel, but it is not often preached as it
   should be--"Go you into all the world, and disciple all nations," or,
   "make disciples of all nations." Now, what are disciples but learners?
   You must be willing to be a learner and say, "As I learn I will do, and
   as I am taught I will practice, trusting You, O Jesus, to save me all
   the while. Not trusting to my doing or my learning, but trusting alone
   to You. Yes, both doing and learning because I trust You. Because You
   are all my hope, therefore will I do as You bid me, if you, O Lord,
   will help me."

   Come, young men, I am glad to see so many of you present here, this
   evening. It is a good thing that you bear Christ's yoke in your youth.
   You must have some master, you know, and you will either be your own
   master--and you cannot have a worse--or you will get the devil for your
   master, or you will get the world for a master, and either of these
   will make dreadful drudges of you! But if you take Christ for your
   Master, oh, then it is that you will find Him to be your Savior, and
   you shall enter at once into rest! And that rest will grow, for, if you
   notice, my text first says, "I will give you rest," and then it says,
   "you shall find rest." That is to say, you shall find for yourselves a
   deeper and more profound enjoyment of life as you understand more fully
   the Divine will and obtain more Grace to put it into practice. This is
   the sum and substance of the Gospel.

   Yield, Sinner! Yield! Yield to Jesus! O you proud Sinners, come and bow
   before my Lord! Down with your weapons of rebellion! Lower the crest of
   your pride! Unbuckle the harness of your self-glorying and say, "Jesus,
   Master, only save me from the guilt and power of sin and I will bless
   You forever and ever, and rejoice to obey You as long as I live." Now,
   what I have said is no fiction of mine! I have not altered my Master's
   conditions, or imported anything into the text that is not there. There
   it stands. "Come unto Me: take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me."

   IV. Now the last thing--and I will not detain you much longer, is THE

   DO SO. And that argument is this--First, the Master you are to serve is
   "meek and lowly in heart." I confess there are some men whom I could
   not serve. They are proud, austere, domineering. One might sooner eat
   his flesh from the bone than serve such tyrants. There have been
   despots in the world whom to serve was degradation. But when you look
   at Jesus Christ, whose whole Being is love, gentleness, meekness,
   lowliness--oh, there are some of us who feel that His shoe laces we are
   not worthy to unloose!

   We would count it Heaven to be permitted to kiss His feet, or wash them
   with our tears, for He is such a glorious One that His beauty attracts
   us to Him. He holds us spellbound by His wondrous Character and we
   count it not slavery, but perfect liberty, to wear His yoke and carry
   His Cross! Have you never heard how He has been served by His
   disciples? Why, they have gladly given up their lives for Him! Let
   Bonner's Coalhole and the Lollards' Tower and the stakes that stood at
   Smithfield tell how men have loved Him! They so loved Him that they
   sang in the dark dungeon and made it light with their joys! They
   clapped their hands in the fires, glad to be consumed that they might
   bear testimony for Him!

   Have you never heard of old Polycarp, when they bid him deny his
   Master, saying, "Eighty and six years have I served Him and He never
   did me a displeasure! How can I, now, blaspheme my King that saved me?"
   Oh, He has bred such enthusiasm in His followers that neither the
   gridiron of St. Lawrence nor the wild bulls of Blandina have been able
   to prevent the saints from glorying in His name! They would have gone
   through Hell, itself, to serve Him, if it had been possible! His love
   has had such power over them--whatever we have to suffer for Him, He
   suffers with us! Alexander was a great master of men and one of the
   reasons why all his soldiers loved him so enthusiastically was that, if
   they were upon a long march, Alexander did not ride, but marched along
   in the heat and dust with the common soldiers. And when the day was hot
   and they brought His Majesty water, he put it aside, and said, "The
   sick soldiers need it more than I. I will not drink till every soldier
   has a draught."

   So is it with Christ! In all our afflictions, He is afflicted and He
   will not have joy until He gives joy to His people! Yes, He has done
   more than Alexander, for He emptied Himself of all His glories and gave
   Himself to die upon the Cross and consummated the redemption of His
   people by His own agonies. Who would not follow One whose footprints
   show that He was crucified for His followers? Who would not rally to
   His banner, when you see that His hand which upholds it was pierced
   with nails that He might redeem us from Hell? On which of His disciples
   has He ever looked unkindly? Which of His redeemed has He ever cast
   away? To which of those that love Him has He ever been unjust or
   ungenerous? Therefore I charge you all--and all His saints speak in me
   while I speak--take His yoke upon you and learn of Him, for He is meek
   and lowly in heart.

   In the last place, that which Jesus Christ asks you to do is no hard
   thing. As He is not severe, Himself, so His commands are not hard, for
   He says, "My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." True, there are
   some things which you now delight in of which Christ will say, "Have no
   more to do with them," but He will only forbid you those things which
   injure you, and He will put something better in their place. He may
   call you to duties which will try you, but, then, He will give you such
   consolations that they will cease to be trials. In fact, the
   difficulties of following Christ are delightful to His hearty
   followers! They love difficulties that they may show the sincerity of
   their confidence in their Leader.

   Oh, my beloved Friends, the service of the Lord Jesus Christ is no
   bondage! There are no chains to wear! There are no prisons to lie in,
   or, if there are any, they are not of His making but are the devices of
   His enemies. Christ's ways are ways of pleasantness and all His paths
   are peace. He calls you to that which is right, true, honest, loving,
   tender, heavenly. Who would not be willing to be called to this? He
   asks you only to give up that which is evil and displeasing in His
   sight, degrading to your own mind, and which stops the channels of
   peace and happiness to your soul. Above all, it is no hard thing,
   surely, to believe in Him.

   "Oh," says one, "that is just the point. Sometimes I cannot feel that
   Christ could forgive me." No, and do you know why? It is because you do
   not think enough of HIM and think too much of yourself. If you sit down
   and think of your sin, you will soon feel as if pardon were impossible
   but, when you turn and think of Him, you will see, at once, how readily
   He is able to forgive! There is an homely illustration which I often
   use, and I cannot think of a better, I must use it now. If you were to
   go, tomorrow, up and down London, right along from end to end, there
   would be quite a journey for you. Twelve, 14, 15, perhaps 20 miles you
   could go and scarcely see a break in the houses. I would have you
   traverse the main roads and then go down the cross streets, lanes,
   alleys, and courts.

   After you had had a day of it you would say, "Dear, dear me, what a
   mass of people! How do they live?" And if you were nervous, you might
   very soon come to feel, "I am afraid, one of these days, London will be
   starved. Here are nearly four millions of people! Lebanon would not be
   sufficient to find them cattle, nor Carmel and Sharon to supply them
   with sheep for a single week! They will certainly be starved." I can
   imagine your becoming seriously apprehensive of a famine. Well, then,
   next Monday morning we will have a fast horse and we will go up to
   Copenhagen Fields and see the live cat-

   tle. And then we will drive to Smithfield, and see the carcasses. And
   next we will go round to the markets and see where the fish and the
   vegetables are sold.

   And when we have finished our tour of observation--which will take us
   at least two or three hours early in the morning--as you get out of the
   Hansom Cab, I know what you will say to me. You will change your tone
   and say, "I am no longer afraid of the people's starving, but I am more
   afraid of the meat being wasted! I cannot think where all the people
   come from to eat all this! I am astonished to see such a mass of food!
   I should not wonder if tons of it should be spoiled. There cannot be
   people enough to eat it all." Your mind has suffered that sudden change
   because you have changed your point of consideration!

   So now, if you think of sin, sin will seem a monstrous thing that never
   can be put away. And when you have reached that point, it is time to
   think of the blood which cleanses us from it. Think of sin till it bows
   you down, but do not think of it so as to despair! Turn your eyes to
   Calvary's bloody tree and see, there, the Son of God in agonies of body
   and soul, pouring out His life for sinners! May the Holy Spirit give
   you a quick eye for the sufferings of Jesus. Oh, I have sometimes
   looked at Christ in that way till I have said, "The sin of a world
   might readily be put away! Yes, Master, and if every star that decks
   the heavens were a world, and every world were as full of sinners as
   this earth is, yet, surely, no grander redemption for them all would be
   needed than your august Sacrifice, O mighty Son of God!"

   John Hyatt, when he lay dying, was asked by one of his friends, "Mr.
   Hyatt, can you trust Jesus with your soul now?" And the good man
   answered, "Trust Him with one soul? I could trust Him with a million
   souls, if I had them!" That is how I feel when I think of the death of
   my Lord Jesus, and it is what I want you who are troubled in spirit to
   feel. As you see Him wounded, bleeding, dying on the cursed tree,
   Sinners, may you find your hearts believing that He suffered thus for
   you. And, as you do believe it, you will find rest unto your souls. May
   God give that rest to every one of you tonight, for Christ's sake.