September 9—Morning Devotion
“In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found; for I will pardon them whom I reserve.”—Jeremiah 1:20
What those days and that time refer to is very plain; namely, the day when the great trumpet shall be blown, and when they shall come which were ready to perish; the glorious day of gospel grace by Jesus. For God the Father, having appointed and accepted a Surety for poor sinners, in the blood and righteousness of his dear Son, beholds no iniquity in Jacob, nor perverseness in Israel. Blessed thought to comfort a poor soul—that, seen in Christ, and accepted in the beloved, “there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit!” Pause, my soul, over this precious scripture, and take to thyself the comfort of it. If thou art in Christ, thou art beheld righteous in his righteousness; and, as thy Surety, what he wrought, and what he suffered, was for thee. So that, in this sense, thou art, as Christ tells the church, all fair, and there is no spot in thee. So that, amidst all thy groans for the remains of indwelling sin, (and groan thou dost daily,) and as thou sometimes art prompted to think, there is growing imperfection in thee; yet, in Jesus, as thou art found and beheld in him, sin is pardoned, and thy person accepted, and thou art in a state of justification before God in the righteousness of God thy Saviour. And, as this is so essential to be known and enjoyed, see to it, my soul, that thou livest upon it. Go in the strength of Christ’s righteousness every day to the throne, pleading that righteousness, and that only. And, under a perfect conviction that not a single sin of thine was left out when Jesus bore the sins of his people on the tree, beg for grace to exercise faith, and to know that in Jesus thou art justified before God, and that God hath cast all thy sins into the depths of the sea. “Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and goodness of God!” What shall separate from the love of Christ?—surely not sin. For Jesus hath put away sin by the sacrifice of himself! The law of God cannot: for that law, Jesus, as the sinner’s Surety, hath satisfied. And justice, so far from condemning, now approves. God is just to his dear Son, as our Surety, who hath answered all the demands of sin, and therefore hath forgiven sin, and cleansed from all unrighteousness. Blessed thought! in this day sin is pardoned in Christ: and in that day, when God shall arise to judgment, the sin of Judah, and the iniquity of Israel cannot be found.
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."