“And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant.”—Exodus 2:24
This is a precious scripture. My soul, put a note upon it. No sigh, no groan, no tear of God’s people can pass unobserved. He putteth the tears of his people in his bottle. Surely then he can never overlook what gives vent to those tears, the sorrows of the soul. Our spiritual afflictions Jesus knows, and numbers all. How sweet the thought! the Spirit maketh intercession for the saints with the groanings which they cannot utter. And do, my soul, observe the cause of deliverance. Not our sighs, nor our groanings, nor our brokenness of heart; not these, for what benefit can these render to an holy God? But God hath respect in all to his own everlasting covenant. Yes, Jesus is the all in all of the covenant. God the Father hath respect to him. For his sake, for his righteousness, for his atoning blood, the groanings of his people find audience at the mercy-seat and redress. And God hath respect to his own word, his oath, his promises to his dear Son. Oh blessed assurance—Oh precious security! How shall any poor groaning child of God go unheard, unpardoned, unrelieved, who hath double security in the glory of God the Father’s sovereign grace, and covenant word and oath to depend upon; and the everlasting covenant righteousness, and atoning blood of God the Son, to he found in? Here, my soul, rest, for ever rest, thy sure claim to grace and glory.
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."