January 17—Morning Devotion
“My beloved standeth behind our wall. He looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice”—Song of Solomon 2:9
It might be truly said, that it was behind the wall of our nature the Lord Jesus stood, when, by taking a body of flesh, he veiled the glories of his Godhead, during the days of his humanity. And may it not be as truly said, that it is still, as from behind a wall, all the gracious discoveries he now makes of himself are manifested to his people? For what from the dulness of our perception, the unbelief, and the sins and infirmities of our nature, the most we see of our Jesus is but as through a glass darkly. But yet, my soul, how sweet are even these visits of his love, when we can get though but a glimpse of the King in his beauty, through the windows of ordinances, or the lattices of his blessed word. Oh, precious Jesus! let thy visits be frequent, increasingly lovely, and increasingly glorious, that the souls of thy people may increasingly delight in thee! Methinks I would lay about the doors, and windows, and courts of thy house, and be sending in a wish, and the fervent prayer of a poor beggar who is living on thy bounty, that thou wouldest come forth to my view and bless me with thy presence, until that all intervening mediums of wall and windows are thrown down, and Jesus manifests himself to my longing eyes in all his glory.
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."