Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

November 21—Morning Devotion

“And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.”—Isaiah 11:5

Mark these expressions, my soul, concerning thy covenant God in Christ. The Lord condescends by them to represent both his righteousness and faithfulness, as they are engaged to make good the purposes of redemption, in the Father and the Son. Jehovah’s righteousness, and Jehovah’s faithfulness, are blessed securities for this purpose; for so saith the Holy Ghost. “God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” Wherefore? Because “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness. to every one that believeth.” And do not overlook the striking figure of the girdle, which is chosen to represent it by; for as a man binds on the girdle round his loins, as a strengthener; so Jehovah takes to himself the righteousness of his dear Son. “Let him take hold,” saith Jehovah, “of my strength, to make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me,” Isaiah xxvii. 5. This is the girdle of Jehovah, which compasseth him about, and cleaveth to him all around; so that his people, whether they are behind or before, may lay hold of the girdle of his perfections, and hang upon them, and depend upon them, and even when God’s providences seem to frown, or the Lord seemeth to have turned his back upon them. Oh for grace and faith both in Jehovah’s covenant faithfulness, and Christ’s righteousness, thus to trust, and thus to stay; for he is faithful that hath promised.

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."

Robert Hawker on the Biblical Covenants (Complete)
Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions