“With purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.”—Acts 11:23
My soul, art thou cleaving to thy Jesus? It is a grand thing so to do; and it must be from continued supplies of grace in Jesus, if thou art really doing it. A few points will shew. Is Jesus thy all? Is he uppermost in all things? Faith hath for its one object, Jesus. Let a true believer be wheresoever he may—at home, or abroad; alone, or in company; the closet, or the churchreit is all the same, if he really, truly, cleaves to the Lord with purpose of heart; there is a looking unto Jesus for all thinks, and in all things. Again; if I cleave to the Lord, I shall do no one thing but in his strength, and deliberately desire nothing but for his glory. The graces of the Holy Spirit, implanted in the souls of the faithful, are fed and kept alive, and brought forth into exercise by the communications of Jesus. My joy then is in Jesus; not in myself, not in what I feel. These feelings of mine may languish, but while I cleave to the Lord, my spiritual joy will always be the same. “From me,” saith that sweet Lord, “from me is thy fruit found.” Once more – if I cleave unto Jesus, shall I not find an increasing love for him, an increasing desire for him, and an increasing communion with him, from increasing knowledge of him, and of his love and preciousness? To be sure I shall. Well then, my soul, art thou indeed cleaving to him? Think how precious Jesus was, when first thou wast brought so savingly acquainted with him as to see thy need of him, and his suitableness and disposition to save thee. Dost thou think of these blessings less now? Oh no! You love him more because you know your need of him more, and therefore cleave to him the closer. Lastly, to add no more, doth my soul truly cleave to Jesus? Why then, I am loosening more and more from every thing beside. If Jesus hath my whole heart, then is the world and all creature idols thrown down. One Lord Jesus Christ is portion enough for a whole ransomed church of God to live upon to all eternity. In him there is portion enough for me. Oh! then, precious Lamb of God, be thou my portion; for in thee I have all things.
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."