Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

March 15—Morning Devotion

“Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD. And he said, Who am I, O LORD GOD! and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? And is this the manner of man, O LORD GOD?”—2 Samuel 7:18-19

The language of David, under the overwhelming views he had of divine goodness, as it concerned himself, is suited to the case of every child of God, as he may trace that goodness in his own history. Surely, every awakened soul may cry out, under the same impression, – “Who am I, O Lord God! and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? “My soul! ponder over the sweet subject, as it concerns thyself. Behold what manner of love the love of God is from the manner of man. View it in each Person of the Godhead. What is the highest possible conception any man can have of the love of God our Father to us? Was it not, when, as an evidence of the love he had to our nature, he put a robe of that nature, in its pure and holy state, upon the Person of his dear Son, when he gave him a body in all points such as ours, sin only excepted, that he might not only in that body perfect salvation both by his obedience and death, but also, that he might be our everlasting Mediator for drawing nigh to the Godhead, first in grace, and then in glory? Tell me, my soul, what method, in all the stores of Omnipotency, could God thy Father have adopted to convince thee of his love, as in this sweet method of his wisdom. God intimates, by this tender process, that he loveth the human nature which he hath created. And though, to answer the wise measures af his plan of redemption, he hath not as yet taken all the persons of his redeemed up to his heavenly court, yet he will have their glorious Head, their representative there, that he may behold Him, and accept the whole church in Him, and love them, and bless them in Him, now, and for ever. Oh! my soul, if this view of thy Father’s love was but always uppermost in thine heart, what a ground of encouragement would it for ever give thee, to come to thy God and Father in him, and his mediation; who, while he is one in the divine nature, is one also with thee in the human, on purpose to bid thee come. And as for thee, thou blessed Jesus, thy love and thy delights were always with thy people. From evertasting, thy tendencies of favour have been towards them; thine whole heart is ours. All thy grace, in being set up as the covenant-head for us, and all the after-actings of the same grace in time; all that thou didst then, and all that thou art doing now, – all, all testify the love of our Jesus. And may I not say to thee, thou dear Redeemer, as David did, “Is this the manner of man, O Lord God? “Yes, it is: but it is of the Glory-man, of the God-man, Christ Jesus. And no less, thou Holy Spirit, whose great work is love and consolation; what a thought is it to warm my soul into the most awakened contemplation and delight in the view of thy love, that though thou art of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, yet dost thou make the very bodies of the redeemed thy temples, for thine indwelling residence. My soul, do as David did: go in before the Divine Presence; fall down and adore in the solemn thought – “Who am I, O Lord God! and what is my Father’s house?”

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