Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

May 4—Morning Devotion

“The hind of the morning.”—Psalm 22 in the title.

The dying patriarch Jacob, under the influence of the prophetic spirit, pointed to the seed of Naphtali as a hind let loose. But it is the church which points to Jesus as the hind of the morning; for he is, indeed, the loving hind, and the pleasant roe. It is sweet and profitable to observe in what a variety of methods the Holy Ghost hath been pleased to give sketches of Jesus. My soul, look at Jesus for thy present meditation as the hind of the morning. Was he not, from the very morning of eternity, marked under this lovely character? Did not the church speak of him, and desire his appearance, under this same character, when she begged of him, that until the shadows of Jewish ordinances were passed away, and the day of gospel light should break in upon her, that her beloved would be like a young hart, or the roe, upon the mountains of Bether? And was not Jesus, indeed, when he did appear, truly as the hind which the dogs that compassed him about, and the assembly of the wicked inclosed? Did he not say, in those unequalled moments of suffering,” Save me from the lion’s mouth, for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorn?” Yes, precious Jesus, thou art, indeed, the hind of the morning! In the morning of our salvation, thou camest over the hills and mountains of our sinful nature, with the swiftness of the hind, and the loveliness and gentleness of the roe, to expose thyself to the serpent, and the whole host of foes, for the deliverance of thy people. And, having trod upon the lion, and the adder, and the young lion, and the dragon, trampled under thy feet by thy death, thou “didst overcome death, and him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and hast delivered them, who, through fear of death, were all their life-time subject to bondage.” And now, precious Lord! thou art, as the hind slain, the food of the souls of thy redeemed by faith, until faith itself is done away in sight, and hope swallowed up in absolute fruition. Oh let the language of my heart daily, hourly, correspond to the church of old; and, during the shadows of ordinances, and all the dark clouds of unbelief and temptations with which I am here exercised, let me still, by faith, behold thee as the hind of the morning fleeing swiftly to my assistance, hearing and answering my prayers, leaping over all the mountains of distance which sin and unworthiness would throw up between thee and my soul, opposing all my enemies, and beating them under my feet that would keep me from thee; until that day, that glorious everlasting day which will have no night, shall break in upon my soul, and thou wilt then appear, to my unceasing, uninterrupted joy, the hind, indeed, of the morning. “Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like unto a roe, or to a young hart, upon the mountains of spices.”

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