“The king is held in the galleries.”—Song of Solomon 7:5
And who but Jesus is King in Zion? As one with the Father over all, God blessed for ever, he is indeed the King eternal, immortal, invisible. And as Mediator God-man, he is my God and King, both by his conquest of my heart, and the voluntary surrender of my soul. Yes, blessed Jesus, I not only hail thee my God and King, but I would have every knee bow before thee, and every tongue confess that thou art Lord and King, to the glory of God the Father. But, my soul, what are those galleries where thy King is held? Are they the scriptures of truth, where Jesus is held and retained, adored and admired? Or are they the public ordinances of thine house, or the place where thine honour dwelleth; or the secret chamber, or the closet of retirement and meditation; when thou comest to visit thy people, and when thou knockest at the door of their hearts, when thou comest in to sup with them, and they with thee? Well, my gracious, condescending Lord, be they what they may, or where they may; methinks, like the patriarch, when thou comest to wrestle with my poor, heedless and sleepy heart, I will hold thee in the galleries, and say, as he did,” I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” I would say, as another famous patriarch did, “My Lord, if I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away from thy servant. Rest yourself under the tree; and I will fetch a morsel of thine own bread, and of thine own giving, and comfort ye your hearts: for therefore are ye come to your servant,” Gen. 18:3-5. I would entreat thee, Lord, not to be as the wayfaring man, that turneth in to tarry but for the night: but I would hold thee in the galleries of thine own graces, and thine own strength, imparted to my poor soul; and I would beg of thee, and entreat thee to tarry until the dawn of day, and make thyself fully known unto me, in breaking of bread, and in prayer. Yes, my adorable King, my Lord and my God! I would detain thee in the galleries, I would hold thee fast, I would not let thee go, until that I had brought thee into my mother’s house, the church— and until thou hadst brought me home to thine eternal habitation which is above; and there to sit down at thy feet to go out no more, but at the fountain head of joy to drink of the spiced wine of the juice of the pomegranate in everlasting felicity.
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."