February 10—Morning Devotion
“Unto you, therefore, which believe, he is precious.”—I Peter 2:7
My soul, art thou anxious to know whether thou art a true believer in Jesus? Try it, then, by this mark, which the Holy Ghost hath given by his servant the apostle. Do you believe in Jesus for life and salvation? Yes, truly; if so be he is precious. Look at him, then. Is Jesus precious in his person, precious in his work, precious in his offices, precious in his relations, precious in his whole character? Do you know him, so as to love him, to live to him, to rejoice in him, and to cast your whole soul upon him, for life and salvation? Do you accept him as the Father’s gift, the Sent, the Sealed, the Anointed, the Christ, of the Father? Is he so precious, that there is nothing in him but what you love—nothing that you would part with? His cross is dear, as well as his crown! Afflictions with Jesus, sweeter than prosperity without him! Pause over these questions. Recollect that there is nothing out of Jesus that can be truly satisfying. Thy dearest earthly friend, however sweet, hath yet some tinge, some alloy of what is not sweet. But there is no mixture in thy Jesus; all is pure, and lovely, and transcendantly glorious. He is, as one of old described him, a sea of sweetness, without a single drop of gall. And now, my soul, what sayest thou concerning Jesus? Is he precious to thee under all these, and a thousand more distinguishing excelleneies? Say, if Jesus were to be bought, wouldest thou not sell all thou hast to buy? Were he to be sold, wouldest thou not rather lose thy life than part with him? Surely, then, he must be precious to thee: and, as such, thou art a believer; for the apostle has commanded us to say, that “unto them which believe he is precious.” Take comfort then, my soul: he that is precious now, will be so for ever. Yes, precious Lord, there is none in heaven or earth I desire besides 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."