“He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him.”—Mark 16:7
Mark this, my soul, in all thy goings forth; look out for thy gracious, glorious Forerunner, and see whether the same going before thee of thy Lord hath not been from everlasting. Was it not Jesus that was set up as the Head of his people from everlasting? Did he not then go before them, when he went forth for the salvation of his people? In the council of peace did he not go before them; not only before we knew our need, but before we had a being? In all his covenant engagements, as the Surety of his people, he went before them. And in all his offices, characters, and relations, he was preventing us with the blessings of his goodness. And in the personal salvation of every individual of his redeemed, was not Jesus beforehand in quickening, illuminating, redeeming mercy? “If we love him, is it not because he first loved us?” And what is it now? Do not his mercies go before our prayers? and before we call, doth not Jesus answer? And will it not be so during the whole day of grace, even to the eternal day of glory? Precious Jesus, surely thou art going before me into Galilee. Oh for grace to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. And do thou, Lord, walk with me, and talk with me, as thou didst to the disciples in the way, and make thyself known unto me in continual manifestations, and in breaking of bread, and in prayer.
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."