Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

February 4—Morning Devotion

“The Comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me.”—Lamentations 1:16

Whence is it, my soul, that those distressing thoughts arise? Pause, and inquire. Is the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, indeed withdrawn, when Jesus, thy Jesus, sweetly and graciously promised that he should abide for ever? This cannot be. Is the righteousness of Jesus less; or hath his blood to atone and cleanse, lost its efficacy? Oh no! Jesus’ righteousness, and Jesus’ all-atoning propitiation, like the almighty Author of both, must be eternally and everlastingly the same; “yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.” Hath God thy Father forgotten to be gracious? Oh no! God thy Father proclaimed from heaven that he is well pleased for his dear Son’s righteousness’ sake; and never, never, shall a word gone out of the Lord’s mouth be altered. From whence then, my soul, is thy leanness, thy fears, and despondency? Canst thou not discover? Oh yes! It is all in thyself, and thy unbelieving frame; thou art looking to thyself, and not to all-precious Jesus! Thou wantest to feel some new frame of thy own; some melting of heart, or the like; and if thou couldest be gratified in this, then thou wouldest go to Jesus with confidence, and then plead as thou thinkest, Jesus’ name, and blood, and righteousness for acceptance. And doth the want of these feelings keep thee back? Oh, fie! my soul, is this thy love, thy kindness to thy friend? Can any thing be more plain, than that thou art making a part saviour of thy feelings, and not a whole Saviour of thy Jesus? No wonder thou criest out, “the Comforter is far from me;” for the Holy Ghost will teach thee, that all comfort is only in Jesus. And mark this, my soul, for all future occasions. – If thou wilt seek comfort in any thing out of Jesus, though it be in the sweetest frames, as thou mayest think of thine, Jesus, in mercy and love, will put thy comforts out of thy reach. Oh then, come to Jesus, poor and needy, with or without frames. Make him all, and in all; and be will be thy joy, thy comfort, and thy portion for ever!

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