January 18—Morning Devotion
“Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again.”—John 10:17
Mark, my soul, the precious cause which thy Jesus here assigns for the love of his Father. God the Father not only loves God the Son, as God, one with him in nature and in all divine perfections; but he loves him peculiarly because he voluntarily undertook and accomplished by his death the salvation of his people. Now then, my soul, make these two sweet improvements from what Jesus hath here said. First, think what must have been, and now is, the love of thy God and Father to thee and every poor sinner, when he truly love, his dear Son because he became the Saviour of poor sinners. And, secondly, think what love Jesus hath shewn to poor sinners in thus manifesting his mercy in such a way, and how dear they must be to the heart of Jesus, which have made him dear in the sight of God. My soul, never lose sight of this argument, when thou goest to the mercy-seat. Tell thy God and Father thou art come to ask mercies in his name, and for his righteousness’ sake, whom the Father loveth on this very account. And Oh, how very dear should Jesus be to thee for his blood and righteousness, who is dear to the Father for the same cause!
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."