Come unto Me!
James Smith, 1859
That man is a sinner, is universally admitted; and that a sinner needs a Savior, is generally allowed. You, therefore, my dear reader, whoever you may be — are a sinner! You have . . .
broken God's holy law,
incurred God's just displeasure,
and deserve punishment at His hands!
The law threatens every sinner with the punishment
of eternal death — and dooms the sinning soul . . .
to be separated from God,
to be deprived of all comfort and hope,
and to be punished with everlasting destruction.
From this sentence of the law, from this doom of the sinner — there is no escaping but by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. No one can save but Jesus, because He alone can render the obedience which the law required, and pay the penalty which the law inflicted. He came into the world on purpose to do, and to suffer all that was necessary — in order that sinners may be fully, freely, and everlastingly saved. And, blessed be his holy name — what He came to do — He did; and having done it, he ascended to His Father, and was invested with unlimited power, and put in possession of all blessings — that He might save sinners. Now, therefore, He is able to save any one, and every one who seeks to be saved by Him; and He is not only able — but He is willing, and, therefore, He says, "Come unto me — and I will give you rest."
The way in which Jesus saves, is by placing to the account of the sinner — all that He did and suffered — and so his sins are justly pardoned, and his soul is honorably saved. The blood of Jesus atones for all the believer's sins; and the obedience of Jesus justifies the believer's person. As the believer's substitute — Jesus lived, labored, and died; and as the believer's sacrifice — He made a full, perfect, and everlasting atonement for all his sins. The sinner believing in Jesus, trusting in Jesus, relying on Jesus — then what Jesus did, is taken as if he had done it, and what Jesus suffered, is taken as if he had suffered it. Thus the debts the believer had contracted, are paid, and the obedience required at his hands, is rendered.
In addition to this, Jesus having procured the Holy Spirit, confers Him upon every one who comes to Him for salvation — in order that his nature may be sanctified, and made fit for Heaven.
Thus Jesus did all for the sinner, which a Substitute could do when here on earth. And now he gives the Holy Spirit, to do all in the sinner, which is requisite to his enjoying eternal life. The work of Christ for us is our justification or title to eternal life; and the work of the Spirit in us, is our sanctification or fitness for everlasting glory.
Christ, therefore, is a complete Savior — saving all who believe in Him, from all the penal consequences of sin, both in this world and in that which is to come.
Jesus, as a Savior, as invested with unlimited authority, as possessed of all blessings, as having all things under His feet — invites you to come to Him. It is His words which we echo, it is in His name which we speak, it is by His authority that we call to you when we say, "Come to Jesus!"
You may be weary and heavy laden; you may be thirsting for happiness, and only meeting with disappointment; you may see yourself as one of the vilest of sinners; you may be filled with fear and dread — but just as you are — you are invited to come to Jesus. He asks nothing of you. He expects nothing from you. He is prepared to confer every blessing upon you. No recommendation is necessary. No preparation is needful.
Just as you are — come to Jesus.
For all that you need — come to Jesus.
With all that troubles you — come to Jesus.
Away from all that depresses or distresses you — come to Jesus.
He delights in mercy. He rejoices to save sinners! He
considers Himself honored when the vile and worthless come to
trust in His blood, and seek salvation at His hands. You have every
encouragement to come — but no excuse for staying away. Every holy
being in the universe would commend you for coming to Jesus; and universal
nature would unite to condemn you for your folly, if you stay away. Jesus
has . . .
all that you need,
all that you can desire,
all that you can enjoy!
And He is prepared to bestow all upon you — the moment you sincerely come to Him!
Come then to Jesus! Do not go to your own works. Do not labor for life — but listen to the loving expostulation, "Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you!" You are not called upon to work, or required to suffer — but only to come to Jesus, and be fully and forever blessed. Let me then most earnestly, most heartily, most affectionately — beseech you to come to Jesus; and come at once, and come just as you are, and come for immediate salvation!
Come to Jesus for the pardon of all your sins — and you will soon know the blessedness of the man whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered, and to whom the Lord will not impute iniquity.
Come to Jesus for a righteousness in which you can stand justified and fearless before God; and you will soon enjoy the possession of that righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all those who believe.
Come to Jesus for the Holy Spirit, and you will soon receive the Spirit of adoption, which in your heart will cry, "Abba, Father!"
Come to Jesus for wisdom, and He will make you wise unto salvation, and wise to escape dangers, manage your troubles, and glorify God in the day of visitation!
Come to Jesus for strength, and He will strengthen you with strength in your soul, so that you shall be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.
Come to Jesus for deliverance, and He will deliver you in six troubles, yes, in seven — no evil shall touch you.
Come to Jesus for redemption, and He will ransom you from the power of the grave, and give you a complete and glorious victory over the last enemy, death.
Come to Jesus for all that is necessary to save you, and to make you perfect — and you shall find yourself complete in Him, and be filled with all the fullness of God.
Come to Jesus in health, and He will teach you to enjoy and improve it.
Come to Jesus in sickness, and He will enable you to endure it, and raise you above it.
Come to Jesus all through life, and He will make all things work together for your good.
Come to Jesus in death, and he will make you more than a conqueror over it.
Come to Jesus every day, and many times in the day — and so your life will be holy, and useful, and happy.
Reader, be decided, and come to Christ. Be decided, and make sure of a saving interest in Christ. Be decided, and profess Christ. Be decided, and act for Christ. How many, how very many there are at this day, who are undecided. They have just enough to do with religion to inspire us with a feeble hope; but they have so much to do with the world, and are so like the world — that their conduct fills us with fear. We cannot positively say that they are for Christ; and to say that they are against Christ — we dare not. But we must stand in doubt of them.
O, beloved, do not halt between two opinions. Do not try to serve both God and Mammon. Do not seek to unite Christ with the world — it cannot be done; you must be one thing or another soon, and we beseech you to come to the point at once. Jesus himself says, "I wish you were either hot or cold." Jesus will be found to be decidedly for us — or decidedly against us. And He wishes us to be decidedly for Him — or decidedly against Him.
His charge against His ancient people was, "Their heart is divided — now shall they be found faulty." Oh, how many have divided hearts now? They are not all for the world, nor all for Christ; but they try to balance their opposing claims. But it will not do, for God's Word declares that "the friendship of the world, is enmity with God; if any man will be the friend of the world, he is the enemy of God." Therefore, says the Apostle John, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world; for if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in. him."
When an eminent Christian was lying on her death-bed, being visited by a young friend, who was in a hopeful state, she said to her, "Be decided, dear — don't be half-and-half." We echo her words, and to everyone who reads these pages, we say, "Be decided, friend — don't be half-and-half." For your own sake — be decided, for you cannot be happy, you will not be holy — unless you are. Without firm decision, you cannot claim God's promises; you cannot receive grace from Jesus; you cannot do battle with the world; nor can you overcome Satan. Without firm decision, you cannot pray in faith, walk with God, or adorn the doctrines of God our Savior.
Be decided — for the sake of others. Indecision throws a stumbling block in the way of the world, discourages seeking souls, and grieves the truly godly. It unfits you to work for God, and invariably brings dishonor on the cause of God.
Be decided — for the Lord's sake. He commands you to decide, and He is dishonored by you every moment that you remain in an undecided state. If, therefore, you have any regard to your own comfort, if you have any concern for the happiness of others, if you wish to please, or to honor God — then be decided. Be decided in your own mind, and carry out your decision in your conduct. Be a thorough Christian, for the times in which we live call for such. Worldly men are thorough, infidels are thorough, and professed Christians of all men, ought to be thorough.
Come to Jesus for grace — if you have none; and come to Him for more — if you have a little, so that you may become decidedly devoted to Him, and to His cause. He deserves it at your hands, there was nothing like indecision about Him, when he undertook your cause. He was not half-and-half, when He obeyed the law for you, nor when He died in your stead. He is worthy, therefore, of your full commitment. Make His Word the rule of your life in all things, in the workshop, behind the counter, in the business, in the market; in buying, in selling, in exchanging, in all that you do — make the Word of Christ your rule, and take the conduct of Christ for your example. Let not the practice of the trade, supercede the precepts of Jesus — but consider yourselves always and everywhere bound to do just as the law of Christ directs you.
Unite yourself with God's people, and walk with them in love; seeking to promote their holiness, and looking to them to promote yours. Let the injunction of the Apostle guide you, while the gracious promise annexed thereto encourages you, "Come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." "Be separate" — be distinct from the world. Be distinguishable in the world. By your holy conduct, by your Christlike spirit, by your strict integrity — let all men be able to discern that you have another spirit in you.
Do not be borderers, living as it were, on the margin that separates the world from the church; but come right out of the world, and right into the church — that there may be no room to question to whom you belong. "Don't be half-and-half." Ask not, with how little religion you may be saved — but how much you can obtain. Ask not how nearly you may resemble the world, and yet be a Christian — but seek to have as much Christianity as possible — to be as much like Christ as you can be. Set up a high standard, and endeavor to reach it. Take the New Testament for your rule — and endeavor to walk by it. Let the Lord Jesus be your pattern — and strive by all means to copy it.
Once more, reader, Jesus calls to you, and says, "Come unto Me — and I will give you rest." If, therefore, you do not have rest, there is something wrong, Jesus never breaks His Word. He never fails the soul that sincerely seeks Him.
Come, O come unto Him, He is the foundation on which you must build for eternity — if you would be safe. He is the ark in which you must find shelter — if you would escape the last terrible conflagration. He is the hiding-place to which you must repair — if you escape the sword of divine justice! In Jesus, and in Jesus only — is there safety, rest and peace!
Come, O come to Jesus, for He still calls you. Sweetly,
lovingly, He calls you, and says, "Come, and . . .
I will provide for all your cares,
I will meet for you all your claims,
I will supply all your needs,
I will soothe you in all your sorrows,
I will help you to bear, or remove from you — all your burdens,
I will enrich you at once, and forever,
I will save you with an everlasting salvation!"
What more can Jesus do, to induce you to come? What more could Jesus have done, to encourage you to come? Come, O come then, nor delay any longer. Will you come? Shall it be the first thing you do after reading these lines, to come to Jesus? Will you decide for Jesus? Will you be a thorough, whole-hearted, decided disciple of Jesus? If so, all will be well, and well with you forever!
Come, you weary sinners, come,
All who groan to bear your load,
Jesus calls His wanderers home,
Hasten to your pardoning God!