Scripture Verse

Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28


Richard W. Adams

Words: Ri­chard W. Ad­ams, 2009.

Music: Mc­A­fee Cle­land B. Mc­A­fee, 1903 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you have a larg­er pho­to of Mc­Afee, would you ?

Cleland B. McAfee


For sev­er­al days, Cle­land Mc­A­fee’s haunt­ing me­lo­dy for Near to the Heart of God had been run­ning through my head, and I be­gan to won­der if God want­ed me to put down new words for the tune.

However, noth­ing ob­vi­ous was forth­com­ing, ex­cept the vague idea of an in­vi­ta­tion hymn. Then one day, when I had a few qui­et mo­ments, I sat down with Wil­bur Kon­kel’s Hymn Stor­ies.

I stuck my fin­ger in the mid­dle of the book, and, un­ex­pect­ed­ly, it opened to the sto­ry of Near to the Heart of God. It was al­most as if God was say­ing, Now do you know what I want?

I sat down at my desk, and the words to this hymn were fin­ished in an hour.


O heavy burdened, weary one,
Weighed down by sin and shame,
Come with your tired, downtrodden soul,
Helpless, or blind and lame;
No matter what oppresses,
Come, doubter, taste and see,
That God alone possesses
Power to set you free.

For condemnation does not wait,
But His forgiveness sweet,
If only we confess the past,
And lay it at His feet.
He lifts the heavy millstone,
Fetters of many years,
And in the ocean casts them,
So sinking all our fears.

There is a rest for humble souls,
In everlasting arms,
A refuge from the tears and pain
And all the world’s alarms.
For God Himself has spoken:
If you would be made whole,
Christ offers to the broken
Balm for the sin-sick soul.