“But him they saw not.”—Luke 24:24
Mark, my soul, what is here said. Though Jesus sought out his disciples in the morning of his resurrection, and was found of them that sought him not; yet many saw him not, while he was thus gracious to many that looked not for him. So is it now. Many, like those women, have seen the sepulchre, as it were, of Jesus, heard his word; nay, many saw his body when on earth, yet saw not God in Christ in him. “The grace of God,” saith the apostle, “hath appeared unto all, men;” that is, the gospel grace is preached in common before believers and unbelievers; but believers only see Jesus as the wisdom and the power of God for salvation; of others it may be said, as here, “but him they see not.” Oh precious Jesus, give me to see thee as the Sent and Sealed of the Father, that my soul may have such a saving sight and knowledge of thee as the apostle had, which flesh and blood cannot reveal, but the Father only which is in heaven. Oh heavenly Father! give me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of thy dear Son; and do by me as by Paul, reveal thy Son in me.
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."