“God, according to his promise, hath raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus.”— Acts 13:23
Mark, my soul, the blessedness of these words. Jesus is not only Israel’s Saviour, and hath fully answered, in every point, to that glorious character, but here we are led to discover his credentials. This is faith’s warrant. I believe in Jesus. Why? He brings with him the name, the authority, the commission of God the Father. Jesus is the appointment, the ordinance, the method Jehovah hath sent forth for salvation. Sweet thought! So that, added to all that I behold in the Lord Jesus, adapted to my case and circumstances, [ here see that Jesus as the Father’s gift, the Father’s sent, the Father’s anointed, full of grace and truth. Jesus is therefore the great promise of the bible; for in him are folded up and contained all the promises. And I see also, that God our Father was, and is, the great promiser. And I see that God not only gave this rich Saviour to poor sinners, but, according to his promise, raised him up also from the dead, when he had made his soul an offering for sin, to bless them: for it is said, “that he was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification.” My soul, pause over this blessed account, and look for thine own interest in it. If God hath raised up to Israel this Saviour, what knowest thou of him? Has thou felt thy need of a Saviour? Dost thou accept the Father’s Saviour? Is Jesus thy Saviour? Art thou come to him for salvation? Now God the Father hath raised him up, doth he appear to thee in all his beauties, fulness, suitableness, and complete salvation?
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."