“Come,” or “Depart”

For the last eighteen centuries the word on the lips of the blessed Saviour of men has been “come.” That word was first pronounced when He was here upon earth—“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

Many thousands of poor unsatisfied souls have heard and responded to the yearning energy of that word; and they have found the aching void of their hearts more than filled up by His love. Many a storm has been hushed to a calm—many a tear turned into a smile—many a groan into a hymn of praise—as that word was acted upon, and they came to the Saviour of sinners. Have you heard that word, dear reader; or have you as yet steeled your heart as the music of His voice broke in upon your ear? Oh! struggle not any longer with the burden of your guilt and folly; but come to Him, and He will give you rest.

But if you refuse in your blind, mad folly to come on earth in response to such gracious pleading, then you will hear a different word uttered by the same lips—a word that has a stern commanding ring about it, that brooks of no delay or refusal—“Depart.” When the wicked dead are raised, when the heavens shall be rolled together like a scroll, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burned up, then you will stand before the great white throne suspended in mid-air, and hear those soul-appalling, hope-withering words—“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:11-15).

I beseech of you to pause, and hear, and respond to that loving, wooing entreaty ere it be too late—

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

“Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Heb. 2:8).

The Gospel Messenger 1890, p. 251