Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

May 17—Morning Devotion

“I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinketh upon me.”—Psalm 40:17

Precious consideration, my soul! Under all thine exercises, the Lord, thy Lord, thy Jesus, thinketh upon thee. Wherefore should I faint, then, under any burden? Surely I may say, as Hagar did at the well, “Thou, God, seest me.” Surely I may give my God, my Saviour, this name, as she did; for she said, “Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?” Yes, however unconscious my poor heart is of the blessed truth, yet a very blessed truth it is, while! am looking after Jesus, he is beforehand, thinking and looking upon me. Precious Lamb of God! I will remember my poverty no more: that is, I will remember it no more, but as it is made the means in thy hand to make me sensible of my need and thy fulness. Art thou thinking upon me? Do I hear thy gracious voice, saying to me, “I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end?” Oh then, herein I will rejoice! Poor and needy as I am, let me be more poor, more needy, so but I see my fulness in Jesus. He is thinking of me, providing for me, blessing me. I would not be full for the world, or fancy myself so; for what room should I then have for Jesus? What it will be in heaven, I know not, in the fulness of happiness that is there, though that fulness can only be in and from Jesus; but here below, a full state, or a supposed full state, would be a wretched state. No, let me be poor and needy, empty and in want, wretched and helpless in myself; for then I am sure my Jesus will be most precious. Mark it down, then, my soul, this day, and wear it about thine heart as a pleasing consideration—when thou feelest thy need and poverty most, the Lord thy Jesus thinketh upon thee.

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