Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

May 11—Morning Devotion

“Let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him. It may be that the Lord will look on mine affliction; and that the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day.”—2 Samuel 16:11, 12

My soul, see here a believer in his best frame. To be sure, it is not always thus with a child of God; but it were to be devoutly desired always thus to be. But while we admire the faith, let us yet more admire and adore him, and his grace and mercy who gives it. Oh what a blessed state it is to eye the hand of the Lord in every thing. When Shimei thus cursed David, he passeth by the instrument, and recognizeth the hand of the Lord in the appointment. “Let him alone, for the Lord hath bidden him.” Sin is at the bottom. The Lord doth not correct for nought. How unjust soever on the part of man, it is both just and right on the part of God. And observe, moreover, the comfort he takes to himself out of it. If my God bid my enemy distress me, is it not that my Almighty Friend may more sweetly comfort me? There is not only a may be, but a certainty there shall be, in God’s requiting evil with good to his people My soul, never overlook this in any, and in all of thine exercises. Behold his hand in it, be it what it may, and then thou wilt never faint under any burden. Jesus not only looks on, but he it is that permits, that appoint. Oh he is tender even in rebukes. By those means he makes his children more like himself; and moreover, it is his gracious plan to extract pleasure from pain, and by impoverishing the soul in self, and in creature love, to turn curses into blessings, and convert loss into gain. Doth the enemy curse you? Doth he come out against you? Oh then depend upon it, Jesus is going to confer some special blessing upon you. Thou art to be advanced to great honour, to be made more conformable to his blessed image. Jesus is hereby giving you not only to believe in him, but to suffer for his sake. Precious Lord! grant me then this grace which thy servant David was enabled to exercise; and when the Shimeis of the day come forth to curse, let them curse, so thou do but bless. And Oh for sweet influences from thee, dearest Lord! “that I may know thee and the power of thy resurrection, and the fellowship of thy sufferings, being made conformable unto thy death.”

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