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Come Unto Me, Saith God's Own Son - George Gruenwald

George Gruenwald

 

George Gruenwald, a shoemaker, minister, and author of the hymn, “Come Unto Me, Saith God’s Own Son,” died a tragic death in 1530, after being captured for speaking the Word of God at Kufstein. He was condemned to death and burned for what he believed. He was a true martyr for the faith, following Matthew 6:19-21 with his life:

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Gruenwald’s treasure was in heaven, not on earth. He may have closed his eyes in this life, but he opened them in heaven, face to face with his Saviour.

 

You can tell by examining the words of his hymn, “Come Unto Me, Saith God’s Own Son,” that he was a man who was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. Let’s take a look at the first verse:

“Come unto me, saith God’s own Son,
Ye heavy laden and undone.
With sin’s hard burden dwelling:
Ye youth and elders, women, men.
I want to help you, for I can.
Soon all your ills be healing.”

 

His words were a proclamation to the sinner and unsaved. He was ultimately saying, “Come, know the Lord. He will bring you rest.” The last verse shows his commitment to the Lord.

Therefore, mark well, ye Christian band,
Ye who to God committed stand,
Your effort ne’er be ruing:
To God most holy word adhere,
This is the soul’s treasure most dear:
God is your joy renewing.
 
God was his joy! He gave his life for the joy of the Lord, eternal life that is. He was committed to stand before man and confess his faith, even if that meant his life would end on earth and begin in heaven.                 
 
Come unto me, saith God’s own Son,
Ye heavy laden and undone,
With sin’s hard burden dealing;
Ye youth and elders, women, men,
I want to help you, for I can
Soon all your ills be healing.
 
My yoke is sweet, my burden light,
Whoe’er it bears with me aright,
The fires of hell shall flee from;
I’ll help him faithfully, it bear,
That through myself he gain as heir,
Th’ eternal heav’nly kingdom.
 
What I did, what I suffered here,
In life, early and late did bear,
That shall you too be doing;
Yes, what men think, and say and do,
That shall work out for good anew,
When God’s will they’re pursuing.
 
Gladly the world would too be saved
If scorn and pain need not be braved,
Which all true Christians suffer;
Nor can it, may it other be;
Therefore yield himself willingly,
Who’d shun hell’s pangs forever.
 
Therefore, mark well, ye Christian band,
Ye who to God committed stand,
Your effort ne’er be ruing;
To God’s most holy word adhere,
This is the soul’s treasure most dear;
God is your joy renewing.

 

Braght, T. and Sohm, J., 1964. The bloody theater, or, Martyrs mirror of the defenseless Christians, who suffered and died for the testimony of Jesus, their Saviour, from the time of Christ to the year A.D. 1600. Scottdale, Pa.: Mennonite Pub. House.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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