November 10—Morning Devotion
“For such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.”—Hebrews 7:26
What a sweet thought! surely, as a poor sinner, I need an High Priest to act for me. I cannot, I dare not, approach in myself, and with my poor polluted offerings, without one. But he that intercedes for me must be himself holy, free from sin; his sacrifice holy, his obedience holy, and in all points suited to his office and my necessities. Cherish, then, the thought, my soul—He that is thine High Priest is all this, and infinitely more. So holy in himself, that not the shadow of sin was in him. So harmless, that in his mouth was found no guile. So undefiled, that though he took all the sins of his people upon him, yet in himself he was free from all sin. So separate from sinners, that though he took the nature of man, yet wholly underived from man. And so much higher than the heavens, that his own personal holiness infinitely transcended the holiness of angels; for, while they are said to be charged with folly, Jesus is the Holy One in whom the Father declared himself well pleased. Meditate, my soul, on these precious features in thy Jesus, at all times, and upon all occasions; and more especially when thou drawest nigh the throne of grace, in and through this glorious Mediator. And moreover, for thy further comfort. and encouragement to come boldly to the mercy-seat, forget not to recollect the still further blessed thought, that this holiness of Jesus is the righteousness of all his people; for be was made sin, when he knew no sin, that they might be made the righteousness of God in him. And as if this was not enough, Christ glorified not himself to be made thy High Priest, but was called to it, as was Aaron. Go then, my soul, go to the precious, the holy, the harmless, the undefiled High Priest, Christ Jesus, in whom, and in whose righteousness and atoning blood thou mayest always have boldness to draw nigh, to find grace and mercy to help in all time of need.
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."