Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

May 31—Morning Devotion

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”—Matthew 28:18 

Hail, then, thou Sovereign Lord of all! I have lately been following thee in sweet and solemn meditation through the seasons of thy humiliation; now let me behold thee on thy throne. And here! am called upon to contemplate my Lord and my God as possessing universal dominion. Ponder, my soul, the vast extent. Thy Jesus, as God, as one with the Father, possesseth in common with him all power from everlasting. This is his, as God, essentially so; not given to him, for by nature it is his, being “one with the Father, over all, God blessed for ever. Amen,” said Paul; so let it be; so shall it be. And so say I, and so saith all the church; amen, amen. But what thy Jesus saith here, in these blessed words, is of a power given to him; and that is a power as the head of his church and people. And although had he not been God, one with the Father, he never could have been suited for the exercise of this power; for unless he had been the mighty God, how should he have been the mighty Redeemer! Yet being God, and both God and man, it is precious to consider the power that is given to the Lord Jesus, as Jesus, “the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Here then, my soul, let thy thoughts take wing this morning. Behold thy Jesus, the head over all principality and power. See him, by virtue of his Almighty Godhead, exercising and giving energy to the fulness of his power as Mediator; and in this view conceive, if it be possible, to what an extent thy Jesus is unceasingly exercising his power for the everlasting benefit of his church and people. All power in heaven, not only among the highest order of created beings, angels and archangels, but a power with God the Father to prevail for the eternal salvation of all his redeemed. He left it as a record how he exerciseth this power, when he said before his departure,” Father,! will that they whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, to behold my glory.” And he hath power to send the Ho1y Ghost to all his people. He said himself, before he went away, “If I go not away, the Comforter will not come; but if I depart I will send him unto you.” Here then, my soul, here let thy thoughts be directed, to meditate upon the fulness and extensiveness of that power which thy Jesus possesseth in heaven. Well may it be said that he hath the keys of heaven, when he hath all power with the Father and with the Spirit. And well may it he said that he hath the keys of hell also, when all things in heaven and earth, and under the earth, are subject to his command. And hath he not power then, my soul, suited to answer every want of thine, and of all his church and people? Hath he not power over all flesh, to give eternal life to as many as the Father hath given him? Wilt thou complain, shall the church complain, of any want, while Jesus is upon the throne? Art thou poor, is the church poor, weak, helpless, needy, guilty, polluted, oppressed, exercised? What of all these, and ten thousand other situations, while Jesus lives, and hath all power? Nay, is it not so much the better that the people of Jesus are what they are, that they may be the better suited for his glory, and that their wants may give occasion for the supplies of his grace? Hail, thou Almighty Sovereign! Now methinks I would be always poor, always needy, always feeling my nothingness, that all these may constrain me to come to thee: so that every day’s necessities may afford a fresh occasion to crown thee Lord of all in a day of grace, until I come to crown thee, with the whole church, the everlasting Lord of all in heaven, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

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