Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

August 30—Morning Devotion

“And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee.”—Deuteronomy 15:15

Say, my soul, canst thou ever forget the wormwood and the gall of that state of nature, from which the Lord thy God brought thee? Figure to thyself the most horrid state of captivity which the world ever knew; and what could the whole be, bounded, as it must be, by the short period of human life, compared to the everlasting vassalage of sin and Satan, in which thou didst lay when Jesus passed by and brought thee out? No galley-slave, chained to the oar, could equal thy misery, bound with the chain of sin. No duration of misery, bounded by time, equals that endless state of woe to which thou wast exposed. Thou weft a bondman to the power of sin, to the love of sin, to the desire of sin, to the punishment of sin; a bondman to the law of God, to the justice of God, to the displeasure of God, to the threatenings of God; a bondman to thine own guilty conscience; a bondman to thine own corrupt lusts, not one lust, but many, serving, as the apostle saith, “divers lusts and pleasures, hateful, and hating one another;” a bondman to Satan, a willing drudge, wearing his livery, delighted in his service, though full of sorrow, vexation, and disappointment, and his wages sure death; a bondman to the fear of many creatures among the inferior creation, many of whom had continual power to vex and distress thee; a bondman to the fear of death, hell, and a judgment to come! Was this thy state, .my soul, by nature and by practice? And hath one like the Son of Man brought thee out? Precious Jesus, what shall I say to thee, what shall I say for thee? What shall I render to the Lord for all the mercies he hath done to me, and for me? And dost thou say, Lord, that I may remember that bondage and thy redemption! Oh may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I forget thee, thou Author of all my joy, and all my happiness! Nay, if I do not remember thee, and prefer thy love more than wine. In life, in death, and to all eternity, may my soul hang upon thee, as the bee upon the flower; and let the fragrancy of thy name be as ointment poured forth.

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