“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus, before the world began.”—2 Timothy 1:9
Mark, my soul, all the precious things, if thou hast power or time to do so, which are contained in this blessed scripture. Eternity itself will not be sufficient to allow space to enumerate them; neither will thy ripened faculties, even when full-blown and full-fruited, be found sufficient to enter into the complete apprehension of them all. Who is it that is here said to have saved ns, and called us with an holy calling, but the holy, glorious, undivided Jehovah, existing in a threefold character of Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? For all have concurred in that blessed work; and all, in the essence of the One Jehovah, must have the joint praise and the joint glory to all eternity. Well, then, put thy salvation down to this glorious account: it is God who hath saved and called thee. Next, mark the order here set forth. Thou art said to be saved before thou art said to be called. Mark that! salvation precedes our knowledge of it. The covenant engagements of the Almighty Covenanters took place from everlasting. For so saith the apostle concerning the hopes of happiness founded on salvation: “In hope,” saith he, “of eternal life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” Next, my soul, take notice of the call itself. It is an holy call: for we are called to the fellowship and communion of Jesus Christ. “And as he who hath called us is holy, so are we called to be holy, in all manner of conversation and godliness.” See to it, my soul, that thy fellowship and communion is in the holiness and sin-atoning blood of Jesus. Lastly, never, my soul, lose sight of the cause of these unspeakable mercies—no, not for a moment. “We are saved and called, not according to our works, but according to his purpose.” Hence, what is God’s gift, cannot be man’s merit; and what resulted from infinite love, from all eternity, cannot flow from creature love in time. Blessed purpose, and blessed grace: and thrice-blessed, being given to us in God’s dear Son, even Christ Jesus, before the world began!
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."