Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

April 20—Morning Devotion

“Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.”—1 Corinthians 15:20

One view more, my soul, while thou art meditating upon this delightful subject of thy Redeemer’s triumph over death and the grave, and now look at Jesus’s resurrection as a sure pledge and confirmation of thine own. Did Jesus’s holy body arise? Then so shall thine, sinful and polluted as it now is, but then made a glorified body by virtue of thy union with him. For so saith the Holy Ghost, by his servant the apostle “He shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body. For if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. “Phil. 3:21. Rom. 8:11. Pause then, my soul, and rejoice in this glorious and transporting doctrine. As sure as Jesus arose, so sure shall all his people; for Jesus arose as the first fruits. Jesus arose not as a private person, but as the public Head. Never call to mind the resurrection of Jesus, but be sure to connect always with it this blessed view of the subject—every redeemed believer is part of Christ’s body. And as we are by nature part of the first Adam, and die, from our union and connection, and being of the same nature with him; so, by grace, being part of Christ’s mystical body, who is called in scripture, particularly on this account, the second Adam, his people are interested ip all that concerns him; and because he liveth, they must live also. Hence he is called the first fruits, the first-born from the dead. And as all the after fruits of the harvest follow the first fruits; so the saints, born again in God, follow the first-born from the dead to glory. Oh heart reviving subject! The eyes that now read these lines, and the hand that now writes them, is a part of Christ’s mystical body by regeneration, must assuredly be a part in the resurrection. In the eye of the law they are one. Jesus is the head of his body the church: and how incomplete in glory would be that glorious head without the whole and every individual member of his fair one, his spouse, which he hath betrothed to himself for ever. Shout then, my soul, and shout aloud, and say with Job—”Though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. “My flesh shall moulder indeed, in the dust, and see corruption. And so would I have it to be. Vile’ and polluted as it now is, and fighting as it. now doth against my soul’s desires and affections, methinks I would not, if it were possible, take it with me to heaven as it now is. But when Jesus shall change this vile body, and have fashioned it like unto his glorious body, then it will be without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; and then soul and body, united together in love, and both united to the Lord, will form one united object to praise and glorify God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to all eternity! My soul, dwell upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; and as thou believest that Jesus died and rose again, so equally believe also, that all they that sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this the apostle had in commission from the Lord to tell all true believers, that when Jesus shall “descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, the dead in Christ shall arise; and then they which remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall they ever be with the Lord. “Oh for grace to comfort one another with these words!

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