January 12—Morning Devotion
“If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold.”—Leviticus 25:25
How poor was I and wretched before I knew Jesus! I had not only sold, as far as I had power to sell, some of my possession, but all. Indeed, dear Lord, I could not sell thee, nor my oneness and union with thee; for that was not saleable, since Christ had from everlasting betrothed me to himself for ever. But in the Adam nature in which I was born, I was utterly insolvent, helpless, and ruined: one like the Son of man redeemed me. But what a double blessedness was it to my soul, when I discovered that this Redeemer was so very dear of kin to me, that he was my brother. Hail, thou precious, precious Jesus! thou art indeed, a “brother born for adversity.” Yes, blessed Jesus! thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise; and all thy Father’s children shall bow down to thee. My soul, see to it that thou make the most of this relationship. Never, Oh never, will thy brother suffer his poor indigent relation to want any more, after that he hath thus redeemed both thyself and thy possession. Now do I see why it was that the church so passionately longed for Jesus under this tender character. “Oh! (said she) that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother; when I should find thee without I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.”
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."