January 15—Morning Devotion
“I was brought low, and he helped me.”—Psalm 116:6
It is blessed sometimes that the streams of creature comforts should be dry, in order to compel us to go to the fountain head. When the fig-tree doth not blossom and the field yields no meat, then a covenant God is precious to fly to. My soul, say, was not that assault of Satan sanctified, when it brought Jesus thereby to thy rescue? Was not that cross sweetly timed, when it tended to wean thee from the world? And wouldest thou have been without that sickness, when Jesus sat up by thee, soothed thee in thy languor, and made all thy bed in thy sickness? Well was it for me that I was brought low, or I should never have known, in a thousand instances, the help of my God. Oh then, my soul, like Paul, learn to glory in thy infirmities, that the power of Jesus may rest 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."