“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”—2 Timothy 4:8
Pause, my soul, over this blessed verse, and mark the very weighty things contained in it. Many a soul is for deferring the thoughts of this great day of God, and conclude, that the justification of the sinner cannot be known until the day of judgment. But, my soul, see to it, that thou art for bringing the firm and unshaken belief of it into immediate possession and enjoyment now; for surely Jesus hath effectually and fully provided for it. “Whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” See to it then, my soul, that thou dost not suffer thyself to live a day, no, not an hour, in a state of uncertainty upon a point of such infinite consequence, in which the pardon of thy sins, and the justification of thy person before God, is so highly concerned. If Jesus be thy Surety, his righteousness and blood must be thy full justification before God, and his salvation as much now as it will ever be. Pause then, and ask thine heart, dost thou love his appearing? Suppose the trump of God was this moment to sound, wouldest thou love his appearing? No doubt the moment would be solemn, but would it not be glorious? Is Jesus thine; his righteousness thine; his blood thy ransom? Wouldest thou love his appearing if these things were sure? And what makes them not sure? Art thou looking to any other righteousness? Hast thou not disclaimed all other saviours? Ask thyself again; dost thou love his appearing, in the season of ordinances, providences, retirements; in his word, in the visits of his grace; at his table, his house of prayer, among his churches, his people? Dost thou love his appearing in the conversion of every poor sinner; and doth the same make thee to rejoice over the recovery of such as angels do, when one repents? My soul, let these things be among thy daily meditations concerning Jesus; for then will thy meditation of him be sweet. And by thus making the justification of thy person in the blood and righteousness of Jesus thy daily comfort, thou wilt be prepared to love his appearing, in death, and finally at judgment; that when the Master comes, and calleth for thee, thou mayest arise with holy joy, and mount up to meet the Lord in the air, and receive that crown of Jesus’s righteousness which fadeth not away.
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."