March 16—Morning Devotion
“The man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.”—Ruth 3:18
Behold! my soul, in this scripture history, some sweet features by which the disposition of Jesus’s love, and the earnestness in his heart to relieve poor sinners, is strikingly set forth. When a poor sinner is made acquainted with the Lord Jesus, hath heard of his grace, goes forth to glean in his fields; at the ordinances of his house, and under the ministration of his word, lays down at his feet, and prays to be covered with the skirt of his mantle; Jesus not only takes notice of that poor seeking sinner, but gives the poor creature to know, by some sweet and secret whispers of his Holy Spirit, that he is not unacquainted with all that is in his heart. And when such have lain long, and earnestly sought, even through the whole night of doubt and fear, until the morning of grace breaks in upon the soul, yet may they be assured, the God-man, Christ Jesus, will not rest until that he hath finished the thing. It is one of the most blessed truths of the gospel, (and do thou, my soul, see to it, that it is written in thy best and strongest remembrance to have recourse to, as may be needed, upon every occasion,) that a seeking sinner is not more earnest to see Jesus, and enjoy him, than Jesus is to reveal himself to that seeking sinner, and form himself in the sinner’s heart, the hope of glory. For Jesus will not, cannot cease his love to poor sinners, until the object for which he came to seek and to save them is fully answered. And it is a thought, my soul, enough to warm thy coldest moments, that all the hallelujahs of heaven cannot call off thy Jesus’s attention from the necessities of even the poorest of his little ones here upon earth. In every individual instance, and in every case, Jesus will not rest until that he hath finished the thing, as well in the hearts of his people, as in the world, when he finished the work the Father gave him to do. Yes! Jesus will not rest until the last redeemed soul is brought home to glory. Precious consideration, how ought it to endear yet more the preciousness of the Redeemer!
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."