Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

August 15—Morning Devotion

“The good will of him that dwelt in the bush.”—Deuteronomy 33:16

And who is this, my soul; who indeed can it be but Jesus? Surely he is the glorious person. It was good will, in the highest possible instance of it, that prompted his infinite mind, from everlasting, to love his people, to engage for them in suretyship engagements, and to stand up and come forth, at the call of God the Father, as the head of his body the church. It was a continuation of the same good will which prompted him, in the fulness of time, to assume our nature for the purposes of fulfilling those engagements. Then it was, indeed, he dwelt in the bush; for what is our nature, at the best, but a poor dry bramble bush, fit for burning? But yet, by Christ in it, so sustained, and so preserved, that though the bush burns with fire, even the fiery lusts of our corruptions, and the fiery darts of the wicked, and all the fiery opposition of the world, it shall not be consumed. Precious Jesus! what good will hast thou shewn, dost thou shew, and everlastingly wilt shew, to our poor nature, since thou hast been in it, and art now, indeed, the dweller in it. And did Moses, when dying, thus connect the first views of thy love, when from the burning bash thou didst make thyself known to him, as God tabernacling in our flesh, for the purpose of salvation, with his last views as he was closing his eyes to this world, and looking up to thee as God-man Mediator, and thus pray for thy good will to the church? Oh then, let my every-day meditation do the same. Lord Jesus, I would seek thee and thy good will beyond all the riches of the earth, and all the enjoyments of the world. Lord, I would never forget that it was thy good will which brought thee down from heaven; thy good will which prompted thee to die, to rise again, for poor sinners; thy good will which makes thee wash them from all their sins in thy blood; all the visits of thy grace here, all the glories of redemption hereafter; all are the purchase and the result of thy good will. Precious Lord, do thou, day by day, grant me renewed tokens of thy good will; and let those visits be so gracious, so sweet, and so continual, that I may think of nothing else, speak of nothing else, but the good will of my dweller in the bush. I would pray for grace to spend all the moments of my life here in receiving from thee grace and love, and bringing to thee love and praise, until thou shalt take me home to live at the fountain of thy good will, and the whole happiness of eternity consists in the praises of God and the Lamb, and in enjoying” the good will of him that dwelt in the bush.”

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