“And in the cities of Judah shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, saith the Lord.”—Jeremiah 33:13
See, my soul, what a blessed scripture is here. Meditate upon it, this morning. Whose hands can these be but Jesus’s? For whose are the flocks but his? Is he not in all the scripture said to be a Shepherd, and the good Shepherd that giveth his life for the sheep? And would he give his life for sheep lie knew not? Surely that is impossible. Moreover, did not the Father give them to him? Did he not receive them from the Father? And did he not know them and count them over, when he received them? “I know my sheep,” saith Jesus, “and am known of mine.” And observe, the flocks are said to pass again under his hands. A plain proof that they have all passed before. Nay, is it not said, that he telleth them? Yes, “He calleth them all by name, and, leadeth them forth, and goeth before them.” And he saith himself, “Of all thou hast given me, I have lost none.” Precious scripture of a most precious Saviour! How then can any be lost? If Jesus knew them when he received them, counted them over, set his seal upon them, and they must all pass again under his Almighty hand, how shall one, even one, be found wanting, when he maketh up his jewels? Poor weather-beaten shorn lamb of Jesus’s fold, whosoever thou art, think of these things, when wandering, or cold, or in darkness, or on the mountains. Jesus will seek thee out in the dark and cloudy day. He will bring thee home, and thou shalt lie in his bosom, and by and by dwell with him for ever; for he is, he must, he will still be, Jesus.
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."