May 15—Morning Devotion
” Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.”—Isaiah 62:3
It is very easy to conceive how the Lord of Hosts in the day of salvation becomes for a crown of glory and for a diadem of beauty unto his people, as a prophet hath said, Isa. xxviii. 5. But that the church, and every individual redeemed of the church, shall be the Lord’s crown and diadem. Oh, the wonders of grace! Pause, my soul, over the sweet scripture, and take to thyself the blessedness of it. What a variety of images and similitudes thy God hath made use of to manifest how highly he prizeth his redeemed. “Yea, he loveth the people,” said one of old; “all his saints are in thy hand.” He calleth them jewels, precious stones, his treasure, his chosen, his inheritance, his portion, his crown, his diadem. And what a thought is it for thee, my soul, to meditate upon, that though in thyself thou art nothing, yet considered in Jesus, thou art all this, and more; polished, made comely and glorious, from the comeliness put upon thee and the glory of Jesus. See then, my soul, the vast mercy in Jesus. A worthless worm made dear to God! How infinitely precious and dear should God in Christ be to thee. Let this encourage thee, then, at all times to come to him. Thou art giving glory to thy God, when thou comest to him, to give out of his fulness to thee. Jesus wanteth needy creatures to be glorified upon, by giving out of his abundance to their necessities; and the more he gives, the more is he glorified. Mark that also, for thy greater encouragement to come to him. The more thou art blessed in his fulness, the more blessed he is in imparting it; so that while thou art his crown of glory, he is glorified in thy redemption. And while thou crownest Jesus’s head, in ascribing all the glory of thy salvation unto him, he condescends to make thee a crown of glory in his hand, as a token that thou art his, both by purchase of his blood, the gift of his Father, and the conquest of his grace. Hallelujah.
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."