Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

April 18—Morning Devotion

“And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”—Romans 1:4

Do not, my soul, hastily pass away from this most precious subject of thy Lord’s resurrection. It is an inexhaustible theme, and will be among thy felicities in eternity. Yesterday, thou didst but barely consider the fact. Let this day occupy thy thoughts on another sweet portion of it, in beholding how Jesus effected it by his own power and Godhead. He had said before that he had power to lay down his life, and power to take it again. And he had told the Jews to destroy the temple, by which he meant the temple of his body, and be would raise it again in three days. He had proclaimed himself to be the resurrection and the life: and here he proved it, when he was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by his resurrection frown the dead. Now, then, pause over this glorious view of Him who was thus proved to be one with the Father, and who, at the same time, was one ill thy nature, bone of thy bone, and flesh of thy flesh. Beautiful and comprehensive is the expression—”declared to be the Son of God!” for who but God could accomplish such an event? And by the Spirit of holiness he was equally declared to be not liable to corruption; for, as God’s Holy One, it was impossible that his flesh should see corruption. Psalm 16:10. And the Holy Ghost again, by Peter the apostle, explains it when he saith,” Christ was put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” I Pet. 3:18. The flesh here means his human nature; and the quickening by the Spirit (being what is called the antithesis, that is,. the opposite to flesh) means his own Spirit, his own power and Godhead; similar to what is said in’ the Hebrews concerning the offering of Jesus, that through the Eternal Spirit he offered himself, Heb. 9:14—meaning, that his Godhead gave dignity and value to the offering of his body for the sins of his people. Ponder this blessed truth, my soul; for it is most blessed, and of much greater importance than, at the first view of the words, it may strike you. Behold in it, that it was the Godhead of Jesus by which thy Jesus triumphed over death and the grave. The Father’s hand was in it most certain, as it was in all the other acts of redemption; for the Holy Ghost taught the church, by Paul, that God. had raised up the Lord. 1 Cor. 6:14. And manifested by this, saith the Holy Ghost, that he was the God of peace, in bringing again from the dead the Lord Jesus Christ. Heb. 13:20. And the Holy Ghost had his almighty hand in the same; for it is the Spirit that quickeneth; and hence Christ is said to have been justified in the Spirit. I Tim. 3:16. But while we are taught by these scriptures, and others to the same purport, to behold both the Father and the Holy Ghost acting in the resurrection of Jesus—by this, and others of the same kind, we are taught to view the Godhead in Christ as the cause of his resurrection. For if Jesus had been raised by the power of the Father and the Holy Ghost only, how would he have been declared to be the Son of God by his resurrection? For, in this case, nothing more would have been manifested in his resurrection than in the resurrection of others; for it is by the power of God that the dead are to be raised. Hence, my soul, behold the vast importance of this great point in the resurrection of thy Lord: and never lose sight of this blessed truth, that thy Jesus, who is thy resurrection and thy life, arose himself by this self-quickening principle. Behold, in this point of view, what a glorious truth is the resurrection of Jesus. And what a lovely promise did the Lord, by the prophet, give to all the people of God concerning this, ages before this glorious event took place—”Thy dead men shall live; together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out her dead. “Isaiah 26:19.

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