“If the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children, I will not go out free. Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door posts; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him for ever.”—Exodus 21:5-6
How sweet is scripture explained by scripture! Jesus saith, when sacrifice and offering under the law were both unprofitable, “Mine ears hast thou opened;” or, as it might have been rendered, “Mine ears hast thou digged.” Ps. 40:6. And elsewhere, “The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious.” Isa. 50:5. The apostle to the Hebrews decidedly explains this in reference to Christ, Heb. 10:5. And what was all this but to shew the voluntary service of Jesus to the office and work of the Redeemer. Was not Jesus, in all that high work, the servant of Jehovah? Though he was in the form of God, and with him it was no robbery to be equal with God, yet he made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant. And for whom did he this? Was it not, in effect, saying, like the jewish servant, which was typical of him, “I love my master, my father, in the work of redemption?” John 14:31. “I love my wife, my church, my spouse.” Song 4:10. “I love my children: behold I, and the children thou hast given me.” Isa. 8:18. “I will not go out free.” Oh, precious Lord Jesus! well might the apostle say, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it!” Surely it was thy love, dearest Lord, to thy church, that moved thee to serve Jehovah, “as Israel served for a wife, and for a wife kept sheep.” Hosea 12:12. Oh for grace to love thee, and to serve thee for ever!
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."