“And they shall come which were ready to perish.”—Isaiah 27:13
What a blessed promise is this to a poor sinner, that is conscious of his being in perishing circumstances? My soul, pause over it this morning. Art thou not, if considered out of Christ, in perishing circumstances, by reason of the captivity of sin? Art thou not perishing under the sentence of God’s broken law; under the just judgment of God, the alarms of thine own guilty conscience, the accusations of Satan, the fear of death, and the prospect of judgment and eternity? And doth this sweet scripture hold forth a provision for such perishing circumstances? Doth it really say that such shall come; nay, that they shall come, whatever obstructions, either from within or without, shall block up the way? Will the Lord enable them, lead them, help them; nay, constrain them to come, in defiance of all impediments? Oh precious, precious Jesus! may the blessing of him that is ready to perish come upon thee; for thou dost indeed make the widowed heart, and the sorrowful heart, to sing for joy. Blessed be thy name, for that thou hast made me willing in the day of thy power.
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."