Scripture Verse

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28–30

Introduction

portrait
John B. Dykes (1823–1876)

Words: Ho­ra­ti­us Bo­nar, Hymns Orig­in­al and Se­lect­ed 1846.

Music: Vox Di­lec­ti John B. Dykes, 1868 (🔊 pdf nwc). The key change half­way through ac­cents the po­si­tive mes­sage of the last two lines, I came to Je­sus…

Alternate Tunes:

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Horatius Bonar (1808–1889)

Introduction

The last time that Hen­ry W. Beech­er was in his pul­pit—6th March, 1887—he re­mained for some time at the close of the ev­en­ing service list­en­ing to the choir prac­tis­ing, and was evi­dent­ly moved by their ren­der­ing of this hymn.

While sit­ting and list­en­ing he no­ticed two street Ar­abs com­ing in­to the church to enjoy the mu­sic al­so. He came down, and speak­ing to them ten­der­ly he drew them to his heart and kissed them.

Whether this touch of hu­ma­ni­ty was due to the hymn or simp­ly the res­ponse of his deep­ly emo­tion­al na­ture in see­ing two un­for­tu­nates before him, with all their un­de­vel­oped pos­si­bi­li­ties, we can­not say, but of this we are sure, that the last grand ut­ter­ance that he heard in his church was this hymn: I Heard the Voice, etc.

For, a few hours af­ter­wards the sha­dows of the long night fell upon his ethe­re­al spi­rit; the sil­ver cord that bound him with the out­er world was loosed, and though the soul still lin­gered ov­er the mor­tal frame which she had filled with abun­dant life for sev­en­ty-four years, as if loath to de­part, the eyes, the sens­es were all but seal­ed, and the lips on which list­en­ing thou­sands had hung for half a cen­tu­ry were si­lent.

It was fit­ting that he who took such an ac­tive part in the eman­ci­pa­tion of the slave should close his life un­der the in­spi­ra­tion of this ten­der hymn, and take those two street Ar­abs to his heart as rep­re­sent­ing the hu­ma­ni­ty he loved so well!

Morrison, pp. 221–22

Lyrics

I heard the voice of Je­sus say,
Come un­to Me and rest;
Lay down, thou wea­ry one, lay down
Thy head up­on My breast.

I came to Je­sus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad;
I found in Him a rest­ing place,
And He has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Je­sus say,
Behold, I free­ly give
The liv­ing wa­ter; thirs­ty one,
Stoop down, and drink, and live.

I came to Je­sus, and I drank
Of that life giv­ing stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul re­vived,
And now I live in Him.

I heard the voice of Je­sus say,
I am this dark world’s light;
Look un­to Me, thy morn shall rise,
And all thy day be bright.

I looked to Je­sus, and I found
In Him my star, my sun;
And in that light of life I’ll walk,
Till tra­vel­ing days are done.

I heard the voice of Je­sus say,
My Fa­ther’s house above
Has ma­ny man­sions; I’ve a place
Prepared for you in love.

I trust in Je­sus—in that house,
According to His word,
Redeemed by grace, my soul shall live
Forever with the Lord.