“And they said one to another, did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”—Luke 24:32
Ought not the disciples of Jesus to do now, as the disciples of Jesus did then? What but of Jesus should we speak of by the way? Methinks the Lord’s people, and especially when coming from the Lord’s house, should be distinguished from the frothy conversation of mere carnal worshippers. I would, by talking of Jesus, invite him to mingle with us, and open to our understandings the scriptures. I would therefore sometimes ask one and another, when returning from the house or the table of the Lord, how went the matter with your soul to-day? I pray you tell me; was the King at court? Did he receive petitions? Did he answer prayers? Were you refreshed? were any healed? any comforted? any made joyful in his house of prayer? Surely we might hope, by such edifying inquiries, each would help his fellow. And he of whom it is said the Lord hearkened and heard, when of old the people of God were often talking one to another, would again draw nigh, and make the heart burn with the sweet manifestations of his love. But chiefly, blessed master! if I meet with none to ask whether they have seen the King in his beauty, give me to taste of the sweet savour of thy grace myself. Come to me, Lord, in the refreshing, strengthening, heartwarming, soul-rejoicing manifestations of thy presence; for thy love is better than wine, and the very crumb from under thy table is more delicious than the honey and the honeycomb.
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."