“For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.”—John 16:27
See, my soul, how thy Jesus hath endeared to thee the Father in the assurance of his love. And wilt thou not feel thine whole affections going forth in continual love after him? Was it not thy Father which, from everlasting, gave thee Jesus as thy Saviour, and gave thee to Jesus that he might redeem thee? Was it not from the same precious source that Jesus came as a Saviour, and a great one, to redeem thee and other great sinners? Is it not thy Father that hath adopted thee into his family in Jesus, and given thee the Spirit of adoption, whereby thou criest, Abba, Father? And doth he not accept thee in Jesus, bless thee in Jesus, nourish thee with the body and blood of Jesus, clothe thee with the righteousness of Jesus, and give thee all temporal, spiritual, and, by and by, will give thee all eternal blessings in Christ Jesus! Nay, even his chastisements have nothing in them of wrathful punishment, but fatherly love and mercy in Jesus. Oh my soul, pause, and behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon thee, that thou shouldest be called a child of God. And wilt thou not then from henceforth and for ever say unto him in Jesus,—”My Father, thou art the guide of my youth; for thou hast commanded me so to call thee.” Jeremiah 3:19.
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."