“The creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.”—2 Kings 4:1
My soul, how doth this affect thee? Art thou in debt? By nature and by practice thou wast miserably so, unless the debt be cancelled. As a creature, and as a sinful creature, thou art in thyself for ever insolvent. Thou hast nothing to pay, and art shut up in a total impossibility ever to pay. And how much owest thou unto my Lord? Alas, my soul, thou owest millions of debts to thy Almighty Creditor. The law thou hast broken; justice demands retribution; conscience condemns; Satan accuses; and the creditor is come to take not thy two sons only, but both thy two parts, soul and body, to the prison of death and hell, unless some almighty Surety hath stept in and paid the dreadful debt, that thou mayest be free. At death, and at judgment that follows, the everlasting release, or the everlasting imprisonment, will take place. And who knows whether the decision may not be to-morrow? nay, whether the same sentence as went forth to the rich man in the gospel, is not already gone forth concerning thee—” This night thy soul shall be required of thee!” Pause, my soul! Is it not high time to flee to the prophet, even the Prince of the prophets, the Lord Jesus, to tell him thy case, and to seek his deliverance? Hark, doth he say, as the prophet did to the poor woman, “What shall I do for thee? Tell me what hast thou in the house?” Is not Jesus with thee? Is not his fulness suited to thy emptiness? Hast thou him with thee in the house? Shut then the door; bring, bring, my soul, all thy empty vessels-Jesus will fill them all. Nor will his bounty stay until that all thy vessels be filled; nay, every vessel will fail, before that his grace fails. And when thou art full of Jesus, live on Jesus, and see that Jesus hath paid thy Almighty Creditor, and left enough for thee to live on for ever. Oh the rapture and the joy, when the Almighty Creditor comes, at midnight, or at cock-crowing, or in the morning, to know the dreadful debt is paid, and to hear him say, “Deliver him from going down into the pit; I have found a ransom.”
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."