Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

December 21—Morning Devotion

“Then I restored that which I took not away.”—Psalm 69:4

Whose words are these? They can be none but the words of Jesus; for none ever made restoration but he; and none but he could say, I took nothing away. And what was taken away? God’s glory was taken away by sin; and consequently, man’s happiness also. For when Adam sinned, he robbed God of his glory, and robbed himself and all his posterity of God’s image, and with it all happiness. Nay, my soul, thou hast done the same, in every renewed act of disobedience. And in breaking the divine law thou hast justly lost the divine favour. And hath Jesus, all precious Jesus, restored all these? Yes, blessings on his name, he hath! And what renders it ten-fold more gracious, he hath so done it as never to be lost any more. By his finished work of salvation he hath restored to God his glory. And by his obedience and death, as our Surety, he hath restored to man his happiness. The favour of God we lost by sin; Jesus hath restored it, by justifying us in his righteousness. The image of God we lost by rebellion; Jesus hath restored to us this image, in sanctifying us by his holiness. So that every way, and in all things, Jesus hath made up the breach; and the poor sinner who is led by grace to believe in Jesus, stands more complete and secure now; than before the fall. For if Adam had never sinned, nor his children in him, yet, after all, their righteousness before God would have been but the righteousness of creatures. Whereas now, in Jesus, the believer stands accepted and secured in the righteousness of the Creator. Hail, then, thou Almighty Restorer of our fallen nature! In thee, Lord, would my poor soul triumphantly say, “have I righteousness and strength; even to thee shall men come; and all that believe in thee shall never be ashamed nor confounded, world without end.”

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