March 5—Morning Devotion
“Faint, yet pursuing.”—Judges 8:4
Surely what is said here concerning the little army of Gideon, suits my case exactly. I know that in Jesus the victory is certain; but I know also, that I shall have battlings all the way. From the moment that the Lord called me out of darkness into his marvellous light, my whole life hath been but a state of warfare; and! feel what Paul felt, and groan as he groaned, under a body of sin and death; “as sorrowful, yet rejoicing; as dying, but behold I live; as chastened, and not killed.” Truly I am faint, under the many heavy assaults 1 have sustained; and yet, through grace, pursuing as if I had met with no difficulty. Yes, blessed Jesus; I know that there can be no truce in this war; and looking unto thee, I pray to be found faithful unto death, that no man may take my crown. But, dearest Lord! thou seest my day of small things; thou beholdest how faint I am. Thou seest also, how the enemy assaults me! and- how the world and the flesh combat against me. While without are rightings, within will be fears. Yet, dearest, blessed Lord, “in the Lord I have strength;” and how sweet is the thought, that though I have nothing, though I am nothing, yet thou hast said, “in me is thy help.” Thou hast said, “the righteous shall hold on his way; and he that hath clean hands shall wax stronger and stronger.” The worm Jacob thou hast promised shall thresh the mountains. Write these blessed things, my soul, upon the living tablets of thine heart, or rather beg of God the Holy Ghost, the remembrancer of thy Jesus, to stamp them there for thee. “He giveth power to the faint; and to them which have no might, he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary; and the young men shall utterly fail. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings, as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
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."