Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

July 25—Morning Devotion

“Thou art my hiding-place.”—Psalm 32:7

Yes, dearest Jesus, thou art indeed my hiding place. In every point of view, I desire grace so to behold thee. Surely, from everlasting, in thee, and thy person and righteousness, were all thy redeemed hid in the councils of peace and salvation. And is not every individual hid in thee also, Oh thou glorious head of thy church; while in a state of unrenewed nature, to be secured from death and the grave, and from the unpardonable sin; and as one of the apostles terms it, “preserved in Christ Jesus, and called.” And when called, and quickened by grace, what, but from having our lives hid with Christ in God, could keep alive the incorruptible seed, or preserve unextinguished the immortal spark? Whence is it, my soul, that the smoking flax, which Satan and thine own remaining indwelling lusts strive to blow out, is not quenched; or the bruised reed, which appears so continually falling, is not broken—but because Jesus is thy security, through whom, and in whom thy languishing graces revive as the corn, and grow as the vine? Oh what springs of grace must there be forever flowing from Jesus, though hidden from mortal view! Surely, Lord, thou art my hidingplace, and therefore, with thy leave, I will consider thee as a strong tower, into which the righteous runneth and is safe. Yes, both my person and life, both my safety and happiness, both my present peace and everlasting joy, all, all are in thee. Doth any then, ask thee, my soul, where dwellest thou? Tell them, in Jesus, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, even in Christ himself and his justifying righteousness; secret and hidden indeed from mere men of the world, but revealed from faith to faith to all his redeemed; and into which, tell them thou hast found shelter from the broken law of God, from the dreadful effects of sin, from death, from hell, and all the powers of darkness. And all these, and numberless other unknown blessings, because Christ is my hiding- place, who hath both preserved me from trouble, and hath compassed me about with songs of deliverance.

Robert Hawker (1753-1827) was an Anglican (High-Calvinist) preacher who served as Vicar of Charles Church, Plymouth. John Hazelton wrote of him:

“The prominent features…in Robert Hawker's testimony…was the Person of Christ….Dr. Hawker delighted to speak of his Lord as "My most glorious Christ.” What anxious heart but finds at times in the perusal of the doctor's writings a measure of relief, a softening, and a mellowing? an almost imperceptible yet secret and constraining power in leading out of self and off from the misery and bondage of the flesh into a contemplation of the Person and preciousness of Christ as "the chiefest among ten thousand and the altogether lovely." Christ and Him crucified was emphatically the burden of his song and the keynote of his ministry. He preached his last sermon in Charles Church on March 18th, 1827, and on April 6th he died, after being six years curate and forty-three years vicar of the parish. On the last day of his life he repeated a part of Ephesians 1, from the 6th to the 12th verses, and as he proceeded he enlarged on the verses, but dwelt more fully on these words: "To the praise of His glory Who first trusted in Christ." He paused and asked, "Who first trusted in Christ?" And then made this answer: "It was God the Father Who first trusted in Christ."

Robert Hawker on the Biblical Covenants (Complete)
Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions