Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

April 28—Morning Devotion

“And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him; for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren.”—1 Samuel 16:12, 13

Was David singled out from amidst his brethren, to be the Lord’s anointed; and do I not behold in this the representation of Jesus, that Holy One, concerning whom the Lord spake in vision, and said, I have laid help upon One that is mighty; I have exalted One chosen out of the people? Yes, thou Lord our righteousness, in this I behold thee. And let my soul make this sweet subject the meditation of my morning song, for surely it is a lovely song, to hail thee the chiefest among ten thousand. I behold thee then, thou dear Emanuel, by the eye of faith, as coming up from everlasting, when amidst that immense multitude of those thou disdainest not to call thy brethren, thou stoodest forth, in the eternal view, as the glorious One, to be the Christ, the God-man Mediator, for the salvation of thy church and people. Here, precious Jesus, didst thou appear, to God our Father’s view, pre-eminent above thy fellows. And of the whole body, the church, which God our Father in the great decree determined to form as the receivers of grace and mercy, and of eternal life and salvation, thou wert appointed their glorious Head; and in thee, and from thee, and through thee, they might become a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that thou mightest present it to thyself in love. And surely, dearest, precious Jesus, had every individual of thy redeemed brethren been present, as all the Sons of Jesse passed in review before the prophet, to have chosen their glorious head, on none but thee could that choice have fallen. All voices would have echoed to Jehovah’s proclamation: “Arise, anoint him; for this is he. “Yes! truly, Lord, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise; and all thy Father’s children, with devout rapture and holy joy, shall bow down before thee. Thou art heir of all things, the chiefest and first, born in the womb of mercy. It is thou that art entitled to the most full, honourable, and unchangeable right to all thy Father’s inheritance. “Men shall be blessed in thee, and all nations shall call thee blessed. “My soul, delight thyself unceasingly in this contemplation of thy Jesus. God thy Father hath chosen him. He hath anointed him with the holy oil for salvation, and the Spirit was given unto him, not by measure. And is not God’s chosen thy chosen; the Father’s anointed, thine anointed? Is there any in heaven, or upon earth, to whom thou art looking for help, or strength, or comfort, or salvation, but to Jesus? Who but Jesus, my soul, wouldest thou have for a Saviour? What object so desirable as Jesus, to claim thy love? Witness for me, ye sons of light, ye angels that see his face and do his pleasure, that Jesus is my only beloved, my hope, my portion. Shortly I shall join your assembly, and with you bless and adore Jesus in endless song, the fairest and chiefest among ten thousand.

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