“And one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side.”—Ezekiel 9:2
Pause, my soul, over this scripture. Who could this one man be, but Jesus, thy Mediator. Did not his garment of linen mark his righteousness, and the inkhorn to write down his people, his pierced side? Hath he not written in the book of life the names of all his redeemed, that none of them may be lost when he cometh to make up his jewels? And was it not with an eye to this the soldier pierced his side when by his death he had obtained eternal redemption for them, that he might with his precious blood mark his people, as a shepherd doth his sheep? Yes, thou dear Redeemer! surely I behold thee sweetly set forth in this scripture. Surely the Holy Ghost, who all along delighted to set thee forth under various similitudes before the old church, hath graciously represented thee here. Methinks I behold thee now coming forth in the white garment of thy spotless righteousness, with thy pierced side, to mark all thine, before the destroying angels go forth to the everlasting destruction of unawakened, unregenerated sinners. Methinks I hear thy blessed, gracious, compassionate voice, in the same tender tone of words as thou once didst utter to thy servant John: “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out. And I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” Oh Lamb of God, fulfil these blessed promises in my soul! Mark me as thine, unto the day of redemption. Seal me as a signet in thine image, and give me that new name which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. Then, amidst burning worlds, my soul will stand secure, being justified in thy righteousness, and sprinkled with thy blood; and I shall hear, with holy joy, that glorious, but awful voice, “come not near any man upon whom is the mark.”
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."