Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

January 24—Morning Devotion

“And he shewed me Joshua, the high priest, standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, the Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee. Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?”—Zechariah 3:1-2

Who shall say, how many such transactions as these are continually going on, for and against the people of God, in the court of heaven, while we upon earth are unconscious either of our misery or mercy? The Holy Ghost was graciously pleased to have this made known to the church. And John was again directed to tell the church, that a song in heaven was sung at the expulsion of the devil from heaven, because the accuser of the brethren was cast down. My soul, doth he that first tempts thee, then become thine accuser? Is he carrying on this practice day and night before God? And while Satan is thine accuser, is Jesus thine advocate? Oh precious, precious Lord! how little hath my poor ignorant and unthinking soul been meditating on thee, in this thy merciful, sweet, and gracious office. Oh glorious thought! Now I see a blessedness in that scripture which I have often read with indifference in times past; “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is (for God my Father hath set him forth so) the propitiation for our sins.” Hail, holy, wonderful Counsellor! condescend, thou mighty Pleader, still to take up my cause! Oh may I behold thee often in this high office! Oh may I often hear thee with the ear of faith, and my whole soul going forth in love towards thee, while thou art pointing to my poor soul, and saying, “Hath not God the Father chosen this brand plucked from the fire? Take away the filthy garments from him. I have caused thine iniquity to pass from 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."

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