March 26—Morning Devotion
“Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honey-comb.”—Solomon 4:2
While Jesus is so precious to his people, that they seek him in every thing that is lovely, and indeed can discover nothing to be lovely until they have found Jesus in it, what an endearment is it to the soul of a believer, when he discovers Jesus looking upon him, eyeing him, and even commending Jesus’s own graces, which he hath imparted to the soul, brought out into exercises again by the influences of his own Holy Spirit. My soul, canst thou really be led to believe that Jesus is speaking to his church, to his fair one, his spouse, to every individual soul of his redeemed and regenerated ones, in those sweet words of the song? Doth Jesus, the Son of God, call thee his spouse; and doth he say, thy lips drop as the honey-comb? Pause, my soul, and ponder over these gracious words of thy God. By thy lips, no doubt, Jesus means thy words; of which Solomon saith – “pleasant words are as an honey-comb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones. “Prov. 16:24. Do thy lips drop in prayer, in praise, in conversation, in christian fellowship, in ordinances, and in all the ordinary intercourse of life? Is Jesus thy one theme; his name, his love, his grace, his work, his salvation; what he hath done, what he hath wrought; how he hath loved, how he hath lived, how he hath died, how he now lives again to appear in the presence of God for his people; and to give out of his fuluess, his mercies, his treasures: in visits, in manifestations, and the ten thousand numberless, nameless, ways by which he proves himself to be Jesus? Do thy lips, my soul, drop in these topics when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, when thou risest up, and when thou goest in before the presence of God, in the public worship of the temple, or the private closet, where no eye seeth thee but him that seeth in secret? And doth thy Jesus really mark these things? Doth he condescend to notice his poor creature, and to esteem these droppings as the sweetness of the honey? Precious God, precious Jesus! what a love is here. O for grace, for love, for life, for every suited gift of my God and Saviour, that my lips, from the abundance of the heart, may drop indeed as the honey-comb – sweetly, freely, not by constraint, except the constraint of thy love; but constantly, unceasingly, for ever, as the drops of the honey-comb which follow one another; that prayer may follow praise, and praise succeed to prayer; and that there may be a succession in magnifying and adoring the riches of grace; that the name of Jesus may be always in my mouth; and from that one blessed source, that Jesus lives in my heart, and rules, and reigns, and is formed there the hope of glory.
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."