“And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.”—Genesis 45:4
What an interview was this, in the first manifestation the governor of Egypt made of himself to his brethren! We are told that he wept aloud. His bowels yearned over them. He had long smothered in his own bosom those he now manifests himself to every poor sinner, whom, by his grace, he makes partaker in the first resurrection on whom the second death hath no power? I am Jesus, your brother, saith that adored Lord; but he doth not add, whom ye sold for worse than a slave. There is no upbraiding, nothing of our baseness and sins. And yet we have all not only sold him, but by our transgressions crucified him. What a beautiful feature this is in the Redeemer; and how much even the love of Joseph falls short of Jesus! And what endears it still more, is the peculiar attention the Redeemer manifesteth upon the occasion. If there be one of his brethren more distressed and discouraged by reason of sin than another, to him Jesus directs his manifestation more immediately. Witness the case of Peter after his fall. Jesus will have the account of his resurrection not only communicated to all, but Peter is mentioned by name. “Go, tell his disciples, and Peter.” As if knowing the apostle might fear that having denied Jesus, he might justly be denied by him No, saith Jesus, let Peter be particularly told the joyful news, to make his heart glad. And dost thou, dearest Lord, speak to my soul? Dost thou say to me, I am your brother? Art thou not ashamed to call such sinners brethren? Oh thou unequalled pattern of unexampled love! add one mercy more to the vast. account, and let a portion of it kindle a flame of love in my soul. I have, indeed, sold them for a slave; nailed thee, by my sins, to the cross, and put thee to an open shame. But since thou hast redeemed me by thy blood, and bought the pardon of my sins so dear; and now, by thy triumph over death, art become the first-born among many brethren, and exalted as a Prince and a Saviour to give blessings infinitely superior to those Joseph was exalted to bestow on his brethren; behold, Lord, to thee do I come: manifest thyself still the forgiving brother, and supply all thy wants. Yes, blessed Jesus! thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise; and all thy Father’s children shall fall down before 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."