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THE INVITATION OF THE SAVIOUR.
ST. MATTHEW XI. 28.
"COME UNTO ME, ALL YE THAT LABOUR AND ARE HEAVY LADEN, AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST."
THERE appears to be in the very construction of the human mind, a peculiar adaptation to the overtures of affection. and kindness; so that while we almost instinctively recoil from the language of harshness, our feelings are often subdued into acquiescence, even before our reason is convinced, when we are solicited by the voice of tenderness and mercy.
That powerful and gracious Being, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is intimately acquainted with all these peculiarities of our nature, had been, in the chapter from which the text is taken, upbraiding the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not. Listen for a moment to His solemn denunciations,-"Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell; for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for
Such was the language of Him, who was love itself, who never broke the bruised reed, or quenched the smoking flax; who never willingly inflicted pain for one single moment upon any human being. We are not therefore surprised, that glad to turn his thoughts from so distressing a subject as the irrevocable condemnation of any of his creatures, rejoicing to point out a refuge from the impending storm, and to exchange the language of threatening for the message of salvation and peace, he turns to those around him, and exclaims, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
It was necessary thus briefly to call to our recollection the former part of our Lord's conversation, that we might enter more fully into the additional value which these words derive from their locality, and from the circumstances under which they were spoken.
1 St. Matt. xi. 21-24.
2 See Isaiah xlii. 3.