February 27—Morning Devotion
“He will be very gracious unto thee; at the voice of thy cry, when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.”—Isaiah 30:9
Mark, my soul, what is here said; for every word in this sweet scripture tells. Thy God, thy Saviour, thy Jesus, knows thy voice, hears thy cry, and will assuredly answer. He will not only be gracious, but very gracious. He waits to be gracious; waits the most suited time, the best time, the praying time, the crying time; for he times his grace, his mercy, to thy need. And though thou knowest it not, yet so it is; when his time is near at hand, which is always the best time, he puts a cry in thine heart; so that the time of thy cry, and the time for the manifestation of his glory, shall come together. Is not this to be gracious; yea, very gracious? So that, while thou art looking after him, he is looking upon thee. And before thou callest upon him, he is coming forth to bless thee. Is not this very gracious? Now then, my soul, make a memorandum of this for any occasions which may hereafter occur. Put it down as a sure, unnering truth; thy Jesus will be very gracious unto thee. Never allow this promise to be called in question any more. Next, bring it constantly into use. Faith, well-grounded faith in Jesus, should always bring down general rules to particular cases and circumstances, as the soul’s experience may require. Hence, when God saith he will be very gracious unto thee, it is the act of faith to answer—if God hath said it, so it shall certainly be. And therefore, as that gracious God, who giveth the promise, giveth also the grace of faith to depend upon the promise, the mercy is already done, and faith enters upon the enjoyment of it. God’s faithfulness and truth become the believer’s shield and buckler.
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."