Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

August 23—Morning Devotion

“The beloved physician.”—Colossians 4:14

My soul, catch a thought of what the apostle hero speaks of the servants to think of the master! If Luke the physician was beloved, how much more so ought Jesus to be by thee in this sweet character. The Son of God came, as the great physician of the soul, to heal all that were diseased, to bind up the brokenheart, to give sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. My soul, dost thou know Jesus in this tender and affectionate office? Hath he examined thy case, made thee sensible of thy disease; and art thou, through his mercy, restored to health? Though, through shame and fear at the first, you would never have made known your case to him, had he not first, of his own free accord, called upon you, yet hath he done so? Have you heard him ask the tender question, “Wilt thou be made whole?” And have you rejoiced to come under his care? Do you know what it is to have his blood applied to heal the wounds of sin, his righteousness to cover them, his grace to refresh under them, and his name as ointment poured forth, to make a fragrancy from all uncleanness? Moreover, hath Jesus shewn to thee the freeness of his remedies, without payment, without money, and without price? And doth he do all this, and a thousand affectionate offices beside, which belong to the physician, calling himself by that endearing name, Jehovah Rhophi, I am the Lord that healeth thee? No longer let it be said, then, “Is there no balm in Gilead; no physician there?” But tell to every poor sin-sick soul, Jesus is the beloved physician, who visits the poor and the needy, and heals all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people, he hath healed me.

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