“At our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, Oh my beloved.”—Song of Solomon 7:13
Yes, blessed Jesus! at the gates of ordinances, and the word of thy gospel, all the pleasant and precious fruits of the Spirit, which come in new and in fresh supplies from thee, are indeed laid up. And Oh how sweet and refreshing are they brought home and laid up in my heart by thy divine power, when thou enablest me by faith, and in thy leadings and strength, to go forth and bring them home, and to live upon them, and feed upon them from day to day! And shall I not then, blessed Jesus, by the endearing name of my Beloved, call upon thee to command the north wind and the south wind to blow upon thy garden in my heart and in my soul, that the spices may flow; and that then my Beloved may come into his garden, and eat of his own pleasant fruits which his grace alone planted, and which his Spirit bringeth forth and ripens?.
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."