Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

May 16—Morning Devotion

“And he that had been possessed with the devil, prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit, Jesus suffered him not; but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee.”—Mark 5:18, 19

Mark this, my soul, and especially when at any time thy Jesus is so graciously revealing himself to thee, in a way of love, that thou art longing to be absent from the body, that thou mayest be “present with the Lord:” think then, of what Jesus said to this poor man. The thought of being made instrumental in the hand of the Lord in calling sinners to Jesus, made holy Paul willing to wait in a sinful world, and put off his own happiness. Precious frame of mind! Paul knew also, that if the Lord housed his children from the lion’s den, and from the mountains of leopards, as soon as he had brought them to the knowledge of himself, then, in this case, Jesus would have no church in the wilderness. The holy seed would not be found amidst the tares of the earth. Blessed Lord! give grace to every exercised child of thine to think of this; that when, under the various trials with which thy wisdom and love see fit to try their graces, they long to be home with thee, and are sending forth the. cry of the soul for dismission, they may hear thy voice speaking, as to this poor man, “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee.” But pause, my soul—is this thy case? Hath Jesus done great things for thee, and art thou proclaiming it abroad to call others to partake? Suppose one from the throng was to ask thee, “What is thy Beloved, more than another beloved?” what would be thy answer? Wouldest thou say, how he hath blest thee in health, or wealth, or worldly success, or prosperity; in friends, and relations, and the like? And are these all the things, or the chief of them, that thou couldest speak of? If so, what are these more than carnal men can, and do speak of? The infidel, the Turk, the pagan, can boast as much! But if thou canst say, ‘Oh! “come hither and hearken, all ye that fear God, and I will tell you what he hath done for my soul!” I was once darkness, and am now light in the Lord. I was once in Satan’s chains, and Jesus hath set me free. I was once, like this poor man, under the possession of sin and Satan; but now I sit down at the feet of Jesus, to hear the gracious words which proceed out of his mouth. Here, my soul, this is indeed to tell thy friends how great things the Lord hath done for thee. Oh! for grace thus to proclaim his adorable name while on earth, until Jesus comes to take me home to himself, there to sound his praise before the whole redeemed church of God for ever!

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