“He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted: neither hath he hid his face from him: but when he cried unto him he heard him.”—Psalm 22:24
My soul, behold Jesus, the Lamb of God, in this sweet scripture. Is it not said of him, that in the days of his flesh “he offered up strong crying and tears, and was heard in that he feared? Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” And was Jesus the Holy One, the afflicted One, also? Was he truly so, when he bore thy sins? And was this the time to which the scripture refers, when God the Father had respect to the sufferings of Jesus, and neither despised nor abhorred them? Did the Father behold him then through the whole as the sinner’s Surety, and graciously accept Jesus and the church in him? Oh then, my soul, think of this in all thy trials and afflictions. Carry all thy sins and sorrows to the throne. Jesus knows them all, sees them all, nay, appoints them all. He is always looking upon thee, and presenting thee in himself to the Father. And depend upon it, as thy afflictions are not only known by him, but appointed by him, he will measure out no more to thee than he will sanctify. And so far from abhorring or despising thy affliction, he will with every sorrow grant support, and with every temptation make a way to escape. Go then, my soul, cast all thy care upon him; for he careth for thee.
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."