March 7—Morning Devotion
“They shall hunger no more.”—Revelation 7:16
My soul! contemplate for a moment, before thou enterest upon the concerns of time and sense, in the claims of the world, the blessed state of the redeemed above. They are at the fountain-head of happiness, in their station, in their service, in their society, in their provision, in their everlasting exemption from all want, and above all, in the presence of God and the Lamb. “They shall hunger no more.” Sweet thought! Let me this day anticipate as many of the blessed properties of it as my present state in Jesus will admit. If Jesus be my home, my residence, my dwelling-place, will not the hungerings of my soul find supply? Yes, surely. A life of faith on the Son of God, is a satisfying life, under all the changes of the world around. Finding Jesus, I find sustenance in him, and therefore do not hunger for ought besides him. “Thou art my hiding-place,”said one of old; and my soul finds occasion to adopt the same language. And He that is’ my hiding-place, is also my food and my nourishment. In Jesus there is both food and a fence; there is fruit, as well as a shadow; and the fulness of Jesus needs vent in the wants of his people, for the pouring forth of his all-sufficiency. My soul, cherish this thought to the full. If thy hunger be really for Jesus, and him only, then will thy hunger be abundantly supplied in his communication. As long as I look at my wants, without an eye to Jesus, I shall be miserable. But if I consider those wants and that emptiness purposely appointed for the pouring out of his fulness, they will appear as made for the cause of happiness. Jesus keeps up the hungering, that he may have the blessedness of supplying them; he keeps his children empty that he may fill them, and that his fulness may be in request among them. So far, therefore, is my hungering from becoming a source of sorrow, it furnisheth out a source of holy joy. I should never be straitened in myself, when I am not straitened in Jesus. Nay, it would be a sad token of distance from Jesus if a sense of want was lessened. While, on the other hand, the best proof’ I can have of nearness to Jesus, and living upon him, is, when my enjoyment of Jesus discovers new and increasing wants, and excites an holy hungering for his supplying them. By and by I shall get home, and then at the fountain head of rapture and delight, all hungering and wants will be done away, in the full and everlasting enjoyment of God and the Lamb!
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."