January 11—Morning Devotion
“I am the bright and morning Star.”—Revelation 22:16
How oft, in some dark wintry morning, like the present, have I bebeld the morning star shining with loveliness, when all the other lights of heaven were put out! But how little did I think of thee, thou precious light and life of men! Thou art indeed the bright and morning Star in the firmament of thy church, in thy word, and in the souls of thy redeemed. Henceforth, dearest Jesus, let the morning visit of this sweet planet to our darkened earth remind me of thee, amidst all the gross darkness by which in nature we are surrounded. Sure pledge of day as this beneficial star is, yet not more sure than thou in the day- dawn and day-star of prophecy, which ministered to thy coming; and in the twilight of grace upon the soul, the forerunner of a glorious day. Be thou my morning song, my noontide joy, my evening meditation, and midnight light. Through all the wintry seasons of my pilgrimage, shine forth, sweet Jesus, upon my soul. Oh! ye sons of sloth, ye children of darkness, and of night, rouse from your beds of drowsiness, before the sleep of death seal up your eyes in everlasting darkness. Jesus, the Morning Star, now shines; and are long, Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness, will appear, no more to go down, and all the sons of God will shout for joy.
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."