Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

January 10—Morning Devotion

“My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.”—Song of Solomon 6:2

Wonderful condescension! Jesus, the beloved of all his people, is indeed come down into his garden, the church; for he loves the sacred walks of a spot so near and so dear to him, which is at once the gift of his Father, and the purchase of his own most precious blood. Moreover, he hath gathered it out of the world’s wide wilderness and separated it as a sacred enclosure by his distinguishing grace. Surely then he will visit it. Yes, here he constantly walks; here he comes to observe the souls of his people as trees of his own right-hand planting. He is said to feed here; for the graces of his Spirit, which he calls forth into exercise, are more fragrant to him than all the spices of the east. And all the beauty and whiteness of the lily is not to be compared to the glory, loveliness, and sweet-smelling savour of the righteousness of Jesus, in which he beholds the souls of his redeemed as clad. And Oh! here Jesus is gathering them to himself in all the different degrees of their growth, from the first moment of planting them in his garden, until he transplants them into the paradise of God. Art thou, my soul, in this garden of Jesus? Art thou rejoicing under his gracious hand? Are the dews of his ordinances, in this enclosure of thy Lord, dropping upon 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."

Robert Hawker on the Biblical Covenants (Complete)
Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions