“Followers of them, who through faith and patience, inherit the promises.”—Hebrews 6:12
How gracious is the Holy Ghost, in not only holding forth to the people of Jesus the blessedness and certainty of the promises, but opening to our view multitudes, who are now in glory, in the full enjoyment of them. My soul, dost thou ask how they lived, when upon earth, in the full prospect, before that they were called upon to enter heaven for the full participation of them? Hear what the blessed Spirit saith concerning it in this sweet scripture. “It was through faith and patience.” Now observe how these blessed principles manifested themselves. Another part of scripture explains—”they all died in faith, not having received the promises; but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them.” Now this is the whole sum and substance of the believer’s life: he sees them afar off, as Abraham did the day of Christ—as David, who had the same enjoyment in a believing view, with which his whole soul was satisfied: for he saith, “it was all his salvation, and all his desire; “a covenant which he rested upon, “as ordered in all things, and sure.” Pause, my soul, over this, and ask within, are your views thus firmly founded? What, though the day of Christ’s second coming be far off, or nigh, doth thy faith realize the blessed things belonging to it as certain, and as sure as God is truth. Pause, and see that such is thy faith—then go on. The faithful, who row inherit the promises, end which the Holy Ghost bids thee to follow, not only saw with the eye of faith, the things of Jesus afar off, but “were persuaded of them;” that is, were as perfectly satisfied of their existence and reality, as if they were already in actual possession. Pause here again, and say, is this thy faith? Are you perfectly persuaded “that God was, in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them?” Are you convinced that it is God’s design, God’s plan, God’s grace, God’s love, God’s mercy, in all that concerns Jesus? Art thou convinced that God’s glory is concerned in the glory of Jesus, and that every poor sinner gives glory to God in believing the record that God hath given of bis Son? Dost thou, my soul, believe heartily, cordially, fully, joyfully, believe these precious things; nay, that in fact, it is the only possible way a poor sinner can give glory to God, in looking, up to him as God, in giving him the credit of God, and taking his word as God concerning his dear Son Jesus Christ? Dost thou, my soul, set thy seal to these things? Then art thou “persuaded of the truths of God, “as the patriarchs were “who saw them afar off.” Once more—the faithful, whom the Holy Ghost calls upon thee to follow, embraced them also, as well as were persuaded of them. They clasped, by faith, Jesus in their arms, as really and as truly as Simeon did in substance. Their love to Jesus, and their interest in Jesus, their acquaintance by faith with Jesus, were matters of certainty, reality, delight; and their whole souls were, day by day, so familiarized in the unceasing meditation, that they walked by faith with Jesus while here below, as now, by sight, they are with him above in glory. Pause, my soul! Is this thy faith? Then, surely, Jesus is precious, and thou art indeed “the follower of them-who now, through faith and patience, inherit the promises.” And ere long, like them, thou shalt see him whom thy soul loveth, and dwell with him 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."