“While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.”—Song of Solomon 1:12
That was a precious testimony Mary gave of her love to Jesus; and Jesus himself hath given his approbation of it, when she anointed Jesus’s feet with the spikenard. God our Father hath anointed his dear Son; and so ought we. Surely God’s anointed should be our anointed; and if Mary poured forth the best of her offerings, my soul, do thou the same. Indeed, while the king sitteth at his table, and reigneth in thine heart, the graces will flow. Yes, thou heavenly King! when thou spreadest thy table, and callest thy redeemed as thy guests, while thou suppest with them, and they with thee, the humble spikenard, in the heart of a sinner, awakened by thy grace, and brought forth into exercise, will send forth all that shall testify love, and praise, and affection, and duty, and regard. Do thou then, dearest Lord, sit as a king frequently at thy table. Let me hear thy gracious invitation: “Eat, O friends; yea, drink abundantly, O beloved!” And, O thou heavenly Master! as all at the table is thine; the bread of life, the water of life, the wine of thy banquet—and all is thine own, and of thine own do thy redeemed give thee; “let me hear thy voice, let me see thy countenance.” And while thou givest forth thyself with all thy fulness, O let my poor spikenard send forth faith and grace in lively exercise, that I may eat of thy flesh, and drink of thy blood, and have eternal life abiding in me.
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."