Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.@Matthew 11:28
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Richard W. Adams (1952-)

Richard W. Adams, 2009.

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.

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

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Cleland B. McAfee (1866-1944)

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.