“Once have I sworn by my holiness, that I will not lie unto David.”—Psalm 89:35
Wonderful condescension! Was it not enough, that Jehovah gave his Son to poor sinners; gave his word, his promise, that all that believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life? But, as if consulting the weakness of our faith, confirmed it with an oath; pledged his holiness to Jesus, and to poor sinners in Jesus, for the sure accomplishment of all covenant engagements, in the blood and righteousness of his dear Son. Oh my soul, never, never more call in question the truth of thy gracious God. Say with Job, “Though he slay me; yet will I trust in him.” What are afflictions, trials, darkness, poverty? These are in me, and about me, but no obstructions to the efficacy of Jesus’s righteousness, or the Father’s faithfulness. Read under every one of them the charter of rich sovereign grace; hear what God hath said, what God hath sworn: and believe the record that God hath given of his dear Son:—”Men shall be blessed in him.” Jesus shall see the travail of his soul, and be satisfied. Here then rest, my soul. God hath sworn once by his holiness: Jesus hath once died, the Just for the unjust, to bring sinners unto God. Return to thy rest; the Lord hath dealt, my soul, bountifully by thee.
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."