January 3—Morning Devotion
“The year of my redeemed is come.” —Isaiah 63:4
Yes! from everlasting the precise period of redemption was determined, and the appointed time of the vision could not tarry. Every intermediate event ministered to this one glorious area-redemption by Jesus. The church was in Egypt four hundred and thirty years, and in Babylon seventy. But we are told in the former instance, ‘the self-same night’ the Lord brougbt, them forth with their armies; and the latter did not out stay the hour of their promised deliverance. So when the fulness of time was come, the Son of God came for the redemption of his people. And observe how graciously Jesus speaks of them; he calls them his redeemed. They were so in the covenant from everlasting; and when the time arrives for calling them by his grace, he claims them as the gift of his Father, and the purchase of his blood. My soul, is this thy jubilee year? Art thou living as the redeemed of the Lord? If so, plead with thy Redeemer for the holy renewed visits of his love to thee, and for the year of redemption to all his unawakened.
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."