“How much owest thou unto my lord?”—Luke 16:5
My soul, if this question, which the unjust steward put to his lord’s debtors, was put to thee concerning that immense debt which hath made thee insolvent for ever, what wouldest thou answer? Never couldest thou conceive the extent of it, much less think of paying the vast amount. A debtor to free grace for thy very being; a debtor to free grace for thy well-being; ten thousand talents, which the man in the parable owed his master, would not be sufficient to reckon up what thou in reality owest thy Lord, for even the common gifts of nature and of providence. But when the calculation goeth on in grace, what archangel shall write down the sum total? To the broken law of God, a bankrupt exposed to the justice of God; to the dreadful penalty of everlasting death; to the fears and alarms of a guilty conscience; to the worm that dieth not; to the accusations of Satan, unable to answer one in a thousand! My soul, how much owest thou unto thy Lord? Are there yet any other outstanding debts? Oh yes, infinitely and beyond all these! What thinkest thou, my soul, of Jesus? How much owest thou to the Father’s love in giving; to the Redeemer’s love in coming; and to the Holy Ghost in making the whole effectual to thy soul’s joy; by which Jesus hath paid all thy debts, cancelled all the demands of God’s righteous law, silenced Satan, answered justice; and not only redeemed thee out of the hands of everlasting bondage, misery, and eternal death, but brought thee into his everlasting kingdom of freedom, joy, and glory! Say, say, my soul, how much owest thou unto thy Lord? Oh precious debt! ever increasing, and yet everlastingly making happy in owing. Lord Jesus! I am thine, and thy servant for ever; thou hast loosed my bonds.
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."