“Come, buy wine and milk, without money, and without price.”—Isaiah 55:1
Surely, no man can plead poverty as an excuse for not buying, when the things sold are not only without money, but without even the proposals for money; not only without ready money, but without any money. Here is not even a price given. My soul, remember this. The poorer the wretch, the more welcome to this market. But what are the things sold? Both wine and milk. A blessed variety in the gospel feast—wine to cheer, and milk to nourish. Yes, blessed Jesus, thy love is better than wine, and thy salvation more healing than milk: Besides, it comes free, it comes pure, it comes in plenty. And it far, very far, exceeds the strongest wine, and the richest milk. For though wine may remove a temporary heaviness, yet was it never known to raise the dead; but thy love, blessed Jesus, hath raised, and will keep alive for ever, sinners dead in trespasses and sins, and preserve the languishing graces of thy saints. Come then, my soul, obey the gospel invitation of this day, and every day; come, buy these precious things without money, and without price. Come, ye poor, needy, perishing, sinners; come, every one of you, and buy, there is enough in Jesus for us all; and depend upon it, not one of you will be sent empty away, if you come empty to be filled, and hungry to be satisfied. This is the only mark and evidence of every real purchaser. If Jesus, with all his blessings, be welcome to your heart, you are welcome to take of his free salvation. Lord, I am come this day, and every day. Now let me hear thy voice; “Eat, O friends; yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.”
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."