“The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.”—Exodus 30:15
Pause, my soul, over this sweet scripture, and mark the graciousness of thy God and Father in the blessed truth conveyed in it. What, were all the souls of the redeemed charged equally alike in the account of God? Did God thy Father rate them thus? And did Jesus, thy precious Jesus, purchase all his redeemed with an equal price, when he bought them with his blood? If this be so, my soul, it must follow, that thou, a poor unworthy creature as thou art, overlooked as thou art by the great ones of the earth, and too frequently overlooked in thyself how precious every redeemed soul must be in Jesus’s sight, cost as much to Jesus as the soul of Peter, or of Paul, or of any of the patriarchs, apostles, or prophets. Oh, think of this; write it down in the tablets of thy remembrance. Will not this tend to endear Jesus yet more to thee, and bring home thy Father’s love in the strongest affection? Add one thought more to this precious relation. If to Jesus thy redemption cost as much as any one of the redeemed in glory, think, my soul, after such a purchase, such a price, will he lose his property? will he forego what cost him so dear, and suffer one pearl of his mediatorial crown to be wanting? Add another sweet thought, my soul, to this delightful meditation. If, amidst the various inequalities of life, some poor and some rich, yet whatever difference was allowed, or even expected in other offerings, according to the abilities of God’s people; yet here, as a representation of the offering of the soul in Jesus’ purchase, no one distinction was to be made. Is it not plain that the redemption by Jesus is in him, and him only; and “his righteousness is unto all, and upon all, that believe; for there is no difference.” Dearest Lord may my soul never lose sight of this blessed equality. Here thou art, indeed, no respecter of persons.
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."