“He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretyship is sure.”—Proverbs 11:15
Blessed Jesus, well is it for me that thou didst not hate to become a Surety; for hadst thou so done, and refused the vast undertaking, I must have perished for ever. And hadst thou consented to have become a Surety only for friends, and those only that loved thee, still here again I should have been lost: but when thou condescendedst to become Surety for me, Oh Lord, it was not simply for a stranger, but for a rebel, a hater and despiser of thee, and of try great salvation. Oh the love of God that passeth knowledge! And how, blessed Jesus, didst thou indeed smart, and wert crushed and broken, when for my dreadful debt of sin, which surpassed all the angels of light to pay, it pleased the Father to bruise thee, and to put thee to grief. Oh matchless love of a most compassionate Saviour! Me. thinks I still see thee taking my place under the angry eye of God’s broken law. Methinks I see thee striking my worthless name out of the bond of the covenant of the law of works, and putting thine own in. Methinks I still hear thee, like another Judah, who in this was evidently try type, saying to God and the Father, “I will be Surety for him: at my hands thou shalt require him.” Oh Lamb of God! I bless thee as my Surety. I acknowledge thee as my glorious Sponsor. I was a stranger, indeed, and thou hast owned me, and brought me home. I was in debt and insolvent, and thou hast cancelled the whole in the blood of try cross. “I was naked, and thou hast clothed me; sick, and in prison, and thou hast visited, healed me, and brought me out.” I was lost, and thou hast redeemed and saved me. “Oh what shall I render unto the Lord for all the benefits he hath done unto me? Bless the Lord, Oh my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”
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."