Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

September 4—Morning Devotion

“A just God, and a Saviour.”—Isaiah 45

My soul, hast thou learnt, from the teaching of God the Holy Ghost, to contemplate him, with whom thou hast to do, under these blessed united characters? If thou hast, thou hast found it a blessed and an approved way of opening communion with God, and maintaining that communion alive in the soul. Thou knowest, then, that God, as a just God, can admit of no pardon to sin, but upon the footing of a complete satisfaction; for, without this, his truth and justice would still be violated by unatoned sin. But if thou beholdest God in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, and hast been taught by the Spirit that Christ hath redeemed thee from the curse of the law, being made a curse for thee; that, as thy surety and thy representative he hath paid thy debt, and restored that which he took not away; here thou beholdest indeed “a just God, and a Saviour,” and hast learnt that precious, blessed truth, how God can be just, and the justifier of every poor sinner that believeth in Jesus. See to it then, my soul, that thou keepest this precious thought always in view. Always blend together, in all thy approaches to a mercy-seat, that thou art approaching “a just God, and a Saviour.” Never lose sight of the high demands of God’s righteous law; neither the perfect worth and efficacy of Jesus in his blood and righteousness: and connect always with the blessed view thine own personal interest in that obedience, by thy union with him. Then wilt thou as much delight in God’s justice as his mercy; and his holiness will be as dear to thee as his love. Then wilt thou understand that blessed truth, and join issue with it in every part: “Surely shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength; even to him shall men come; and all that believe in him shall not be ashamed nor confounded, world without end.”

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."

Robert Hawker on the Biblical Covenants (Complete)
Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions