January 5—Morning Devotion
“I am my beloved’s, and his desire is towards me.”—Solomom 7:10
Yes, dearest Jesus! I am truly thine, by every tie which can make me thine. I am thine by the gift of GOD the FATHER; by thine own betrothing me to thyself; by the HOLY GHOST anointing me in thee, and making me one with thee, and in thee, before the world. And I am thine in the recovery of the church from Adam’s fall and transgression by the sacrifice of thyself: for thou hast bought me with thy blood, and made me thereby the conquest of thine HOLY SPIRIT. And now through thy divine teaching I can and do discover, that from everlasting thy desire was towards thy redeemed ones, and even when dead in trespasses and sins, it was thy desire to quicken them into life, and bring them to thyself. And even now, notwithstanding all my backwardness to thee, thou restest in thy love, and thou art calling me by thy grace, and seeking continual fellowship in ordinances, and by thy word and providences; all which prove that thy desire is towards me. And as to the everlasting enjoyment of all thy church above, thy prayer to thy Father manifested thy desire, when thou saidst, “Father, I will that they whom thou, hast given me be with me to behold, my glory!” Are these then the desires of my God and Saviour, my Husband, my Brother, my Friend? And shall my heart be thus cold towards thee? Oh for the reviving influences of thy Spirit, that I May cry out with, the church, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth; for thy love is better than wine.”
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."