August 29—Morning Devotion
“Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me?”—John 14:9
Pause, my soul, over this question of the Lord Jesus which he put to Philip—figure to thyself that the Lord saith the same to thee; and now see what answer thou wilt give him. It is a great question: and if thou art able to answer it with a—”Yea, Lord;” and from the blessed Spirit’s teaching thou truly knowest Jesus to be what the scripture saith he is, and canst as truly, from the receiving that testimony which God hath given of his dear and ever- blessed Son, set to thy seal that God is true; then art thou truly happy, and mayest humbly take to thyself a portion in that blessedness which the Lord Jesus pronounced upon Peter, from the same grace manifested: “Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” Pause then, and inquire: dost thou know who Christ is? Art thou perfectly satisfied, my soul, of the oneness in nature, in essence, in glory, in will, in worship, in work, in design, in attributes, perfections, power, sovereignty; in short, in all and every thing which constitutes the Godhead between the Father, and the Son, and the Spirit? Oh yes, my soul cries out, I do, through the teaching of my God, most firmly, heartily, and cordially believe, that Jesus is one with the Father over all, God blessed for ever! Amen. Pause again, my soul, and say, dost thou as firmly and heartily believe that thy Jesus, who, in the divine nature, is one with the Father, is no less in the human nature, which he united to the Godhead for the purposes of salvation, one with thee, bone of thy bone, and flesh of thy flesh? Doth this make an equal article in thy creed? Oh yes, I am, through the same divine teaching, as fully and perfectly convinced that he who is and was, and ever will be, the uncreated Word, was made flesh, and thereby became the true Immanuel, God with us, God in our nature. Pause, once more, my soul, and say, dost thou believe that, by this union of God and man, Jesus became the true, the only, the blessed Mediator, the Christ of God, the Sent of God, the Sealed of God, the Anointed of God, the Lamb of God, the Word of God, the Wisdom of God, and the power of God for salvation to every one that believeth? Bow down, my soul, with unceasing thanksgivings and praise to the Author and Giver of faith, for the stupendous discoveries he hath made to thee of himself, while thou criest out in transports of rejoicing— Lord, all this I believe; and am perfectly satisfied that thou art one with the Father, and art in the Father, and the Father in thee. And while thou thus givest in thy testimony of the Lord Jesus, wilt thou not, my soul, at the same time, under a conscious sense of the distinguishing mercy, cry out also with the astonished disciple—”Lord, how is it that thou hast thus manifested thyself unto me, and not unto the world.”
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."