September 30—Morning Devotion
“And this day shall be unto you for a memorial.”—Exodus 12:14
It is blessed to end the month, and end every day, as we would wish and desire to end life, blessing and praising God in Christ; rising from the table of divine bounties, and thanking the great Master of the feast. Pause, my soul, and see whether, in the past month, such hath been thine experience of sovereign grace and unmerited mercies, that thou canst now set up thine Ebenezer, and mark this day for a memorial. What visits hath Jesus made to thee, my soul; and how hath thine heart been drawn out after him? Hath the Father, as well as the Son, come and made his abode with thee? Hath the Holy Ghost, the glorious inhabitant in the souls and bodies of his people, manifested his continued presence to thee? This day is indeed a memorial, if, in summing up the wonderful account of divine manifestations of divine love in providence and grace, during the month now nearly closed, and the years already passed, thou canst mark down the blessed enumeration. And will not my Lord, while the day is not passed, and yet remains to be added to the month, will he not make it memorable by some renewed favour? Oh, for some new visits from Father, Son, and Spirit—this morning, this day, and ail the day! As long as I live I would have my soul going forth in exercises of faith and love upon the person of Emanuel, that I may carefully mark down the numberless instances of it. Here, I would say, Jesus visited me; here it was he met me, here he shewed me his loves, and made the place and day ever memorable by his grace.
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."