Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

May 30—Morning Devotion

“Renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.”—Titus 3:5, 6 

Precious office of the Spirit! Condescend, great God, to grant it me this morning. Oh, renew my soul with all thy sweet revivals, after a night of sleep, as thou renewest the face of the earth. Oh send forth, I beseech thee, Lord, all thy graces, as suited to my necessities, and the Redeemer’s glory, and let it be most abundantly shed abroad, through all the faculties of my soul, through Jesus Christ my Saviour. Pause, my soul, over the blessed prospect, and having now pleaded in Jesus’s name for the mercy, act faith upon thy God in his promises. Is not every morning a renewing of the Holy Ghost? Is it not said concerning the productions of the earth, that God “sendeth forth his Spirit, and they are created, and thou renewest the face of the earth?” See what an evidence the earth gives in this lovely season, in the fruits, and plants, and verdure all around. And are the saints of Jesus of a less sweet-smelling savour, when perfumed as they are with the everlasting odour of Jesus’s never- failing righteousness? Do the fields, when renewed by the sun of the morning, look gay, and lovely, and after the dew or the refreshing shower, give out their odour, perfuming the air with their fragrancy; and shall not the saints of God, when the Sun of righteousness ariseth upon them, with healing in his wings, send forth all the blessed effects of that presence which revives the grace Jesus hath planted, and calls forth into exercise the faith he hath given? Shall not the showers of his love, when he comes down in them as rain upon the mown grass, and the dews of the Holy Ghost’s renewings, revive all the languishing frames of the soul, and cause even the desert to blossom abundantly, and to rejoice with joy and singing? Yes, yes, thou blessed Lord? methinks I feel thy sweet and gracious renewings. My very heart is refreshed in the thought. Under thy influence I will look up and wait the coming of Jesus. He is near. He comes. I hear him say, “Rise up, my beloved, and come away: for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.”

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