GW Sermon #21: Christ the only Rest for the Weary and Heavy-Laden

The sermon’s intent is to make the case that God wants your heart. That outward Christianity in all its forms and subsequent attitudes does not bring salvation. But the heart convicted of its sin and that it has sinned against God finds the salvation offered in Jesus Christ. GW primarily describes the attitudes and attributes of those who demonstrate an outward show.


GW begins by asking if Christianity or being a Christian consists merely of forms: Church attendance, receiving the sacraments, being called a Christian and participating in baptism. Or is Christianity a matter of the heart: a work of faith, bringing forth a new nature, removing the old man and his deeds, turning from sin to God, cleaving on to the Son of Righteousness, a new birth from which you experience the pains of it, a weariness of your sins, and a seeking to be delivered from them.

As GW does, he emphasizes the point that your religious deeds even attended to with great earnestness are unable to bring your peace. And the minister likewise of outward show only tells you to pursue outward deeds. But when Christ comes to you He pardons you without respect to these works.

GW then outlines his sermon:

I. Who are the weary and heavy laden.

II. Inquire what is meant by coming to Christ.

III. Conclude with exhorting you to accept of the invitation which the Lord Jesus Christ gives unto you to come unto him, with the assurance of finding rest.

I. Who are the weary and heavy laden:

First, those who are not weary and heavy laden. These are their attitudes and attributes:

Those who are pleased that they are not so bad as others.

They laugh at those who ‘feel’ their sins and think there is not occasion to ‘to make so much ado about religion: it is to be righteous over-much, and the means to destroy yourselves.

The say their prayers and call God their Father but it remains an outward profession.

They flatter themselves they are good enough and in a state of salvation.

Moral, polite and do what they can but Jesus makes up the rest.

Fine, polite, rational but perceive prayer as unfashionable.

They establish their own righteousness.

Lead moral civil decent lives.

Preach against children of the Most High.

Seek to stop the preaching of the Gospel.

They go to their balls, their playhouses and horse racing.

They do not fast or pray (from the heart) or mourn over their sins.

They follow the polite and fashionable entertainments of the age.

Who are they that are heavy laden with sin and give their heart to God?

You are awakened unto a sense of your sins.

You see how hateful they are to God.

You see how they lay you open to his wrath and indignation.

You would willingly avoid them.

You who hate yourselves for committing them.

You are thus convinced of sin, when you see the terrors of the law, and are afraid of his judgments.

 you see nothing but the wrath of God ready to fall upon you, and you are afraid of his judgments.

When you are obliged to cry out under the burden of your sins.

You know not what to do for relief.

It is the continual burden of your soul.

It is your grief and concern that you cannot live without offending God.

You fear they will not be forgiven.

II. What it means to come to Christ

You must come in full dependence upon the Lord Jesus Christ, looking on him as the Lord who died to save sinners.

He puts his Spirit within you, takes away your heart of stone, and gives you a heart of flesh.

III. Christ exhorts you to come unto him that you may have rest.

It will be such a rest as your soul wants.

It will be a rest which the world can neither give nor take away.

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