Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

May 22—Morning Devotion

“Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master.”—Luke 8:49

Mark, my soul, in the exercises of the father of this child, and in the happy issue of his application to Jesus how very precious it is, to wait the Lord’s time for deliverance, and always to keep in view that delays are not denials. The poor man’s child was nearly dead when he first came to Christ. And had the greatest dispatch been used, there would have been still much occasion for the exercise of faith and patience. But as if this was not enough, another poor sufferer comes in the way to stop the progress of Jesus in the cure of his daughter, and during this loss of time his child dies. My soul, here is a sweet subject for thee. Do thy fears, and unbelief, and doubts, and misgivings, aided by the suggestions of the enemy, too often prompt thee to think thy case hopeless; and every thing joins the cry, “thy daughter is dead, trouble not the Master?” Oh think what a precious opportunity all these afford thee to follow up the patriarch’s faith, and against hope to believe in hope. What cannot Jesus accomplish? Though the daughter be dead; though Lazarus be four days in the grave; yet Jesus, who is the resurrection and the life, need only speak the word, and both live. In like manner, when exercises arise to the greatest height, until unbelief suggests all is over; dead frames, a dead heart, deadness to all; then is the very time to believe, in order to see the glory of God. Strickly and properly speaking, Jesus cannot be glorified until the stream of all other resources is dried up. Mark it then, my soul, thy time to trust Jesus is, when nothing in nature, but wholly grace, must trust him. And depend upon it, the greater the difficulty for the keeping faith alive, the greater glory will you give to Jesus in the exercise of it, and the greater glory that blessed Saviour will receive from you in supplying that faith during the dead hour, until the deliverance comes. Hear Jesus’s voice in thy instance, be it what it may, as in the case of this distressed father, for the issue will be the same. “Fear not; believe only, and thou shalt live.”

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