Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

January 22—Morning Devotion

“They shall cry unto the Lord because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a Saviour, and a great one, and he shall, deliver them.”—Isaiah 14:20

Mark, my soul, the sweet encouragement contained in these words. Here is a cry, and it is the cry of the soul; for it is directed unto the Lord. There is (as Elihu tells us) a cry of nature under oppression; but as this is not to God, it is evident that it never came from God; for he tells us, that none of them saith, “Where is God my Maker, who giveth songs in the night?” Job 25: 9. But when the Holy Ghost convinceth of sin, and puts a cry in the heart by reason of it, he convinceth also of the righteousness of Jesus. Hence the difference of those cries is as wide as the east is from the west. Mark, therefore, my soul, this distinguishing feature of grace, and see whether thy cries are praying cries, and not complaining ones. And now observe what follows. When poor sinners thus cry unto the Lord, “he shall send them a Saviour, and a great one.” Who but God the Father, sent his Son to be the Saviour of poor lost sinners? Was not Jesus a Saviour indeed, and a great one! Who, but he, could deliver the sinner from destruction? And remark further, the absolute certainty of the promise; for it is said, “he shall deliver them.” Yes, blessed Jesus, thy deliverance is sure, thy salvation certain. Thou hast said, thy “sheep shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of thine hand.” Pause, now, my soul, over this sweet verse. Surely in its bosom is folded up the sum and substance of all the gospel. Here are all the Persons of the Godhead engaged for the salvation of every poor crying sinner. Here is God the Holy Ghost, agreeably to his blessed office, causing the sinner to feel the oppressions of sin, and putting a cry in his heart to the Lord, to be delivered from them. Here is God the Father, answering that cry in mercy, and sending his almighty Son to be the Saviour of the poor sinner. And here is Jesus the Saviour, and a great one, saving the poor sinner with an everlasting salvation. Shout then, my soul, and begin the song of salvation to God and the Lamb!

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."

Robert Hawker on the Biblical Covenants (Complete)
Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions