Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

September 7—Morning Devotion

“For the Lord the God of Israel saith, that he hateth putting away.”—Malachi 2:16

And well is it for thee, my soul, that he doth: for if the Lord God of Israel had dealt by thee once, as thou hast been dealing with him always, thou wouldest have been ruined for ever. But what is the cause of thy mercies? Is it not the covenant faithfulness of God thy Father, founded in his own everlasting love, engaged in his promise and his oath, to Jesus, and secured in his blood and righteousness? And is this the cause why the Lord God of Israel hateth putting away? Is this the cause why God resteth in his love? Oh for grace to see the cause, to adore the mercy; and where the Lord God of Israel rests, there, my soul, do thou rest also. See to it, my soul, that thy life of faith, and thy life of hope, are both founded in Jesus, and not in the sense thou hast of these precious things. The things are the same, how different soever, at different times, thy view of them may be. The everlasting worth, the everlasting efficacy, of Jesus’s blood and righteousness, is always the same; and his people’s interest in it the same, although, from the different view we have of it, at different times, it seems as if sometimes it were lost, and our own state was worse and worse. My soul, upon such occasions call to mind this sweet scripture:” The Lord God of Israel saith, that he hateth putting away.” Observe, the Lord not only doth hate putting away, but he saith it, that his people may know it, and properly esteem his unchanging love. Oh to cry out under the assurance of this precious truth, and to feel the blessedness of what the Lord said by his servant the prophet:” The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty: he will save: he will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”

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