Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

February 3—Morning Devotion

“Who loved me, and gave himself for me.”—Galatians 2:20

See, my soul, how Paul is for ever using Jesus, and feasting for ever upon him. Oh! seek grace to do the same. He saith, Jesus loved him; Jesus, the Son of God, loved Paul. Now love from any object is valuable, but from the first, and best, and greatest of all Beings, what invaluable love is this? And who did Christ love? “Why me,” saith Paul: “who was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious.” And how do you know, Paul, that Jesus loved you? ” He gave himself for me,” saith Paul. “Gave himself?” Yes, himself. Not his gifts only, not his grace, not his mercies, though all creation is his. And whatever he gave must have been an undeserved mercy; for I merited hell, when he bestowed upon me heaven. But even heaven, with all its glories, is nothing, saith Paul, to what Jesus gave me; for he gave “himself for me.” Oh! my soul, wilt thou not look up, wilt thou not be encouraged to hope, to believe, to hang upon Jesus, for the same. Oh! for faith to believe. Precious Jesus! thou author and finisher of faith, grant me this mercy! And while I read these sweet words concerning thee, who loved and who gave thyself for poor lost sinners-Oh! like Paul, and with the same assurance of faith, cause me to add—me, me: Jesus “loved me, and gave himself for me.”

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."

Robert Hawker on the Biblical Covenants (Complete)
Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions