May 7—Morning Devotion
“They shall revive as the corn.”—Hosea 14:7
Sweet promise to comfort a soul like mine, under so many and such frequent languishing graces! How often hath it appeared to my view as if the gracious seed had perished! It was small, indeed, in its first beginning, like the grain of mustard seed; and no sooner had it appeared, than I perceived it almost choked with the tares of corruption, unbelief, and Satan’s rubbish. I was soon led to suspect God’s work upon my soul. Surely, I said, this is not grace. Presently I could see no more of it. I was ignorant that by thus dying to self, the Holy Ghost was opening to my view the only living in Jesus. In a moment unlooked for, it revived as the corn. Ah, from whence is the source? Not from self, not from labours, not from exertions: can dead roots live? The Holy Ghost taught me this must be Jesus. Your life, he said, is hid with Christ in God. Here are the springs of grace: here, from hence, flow the streams of that river which make glad the city of God. Here then is faith’s view of God’s glory in Christ. Here is the promise. “They shall revive as the corn.” And thus it is fulfilled. “In me,” saith that precious Redeemer, “is thy fruit found.” Mark this down, my soul. Both root and fruit are in one and the same, even Jesus. Spiritual attainments are in Jesus, not in the greenest buddings or fairest blossoms of our own labours. Live then, my soul, wholly upon Jesus, and then thou wilt revive as the corn. Suppose it trodden down; suppose the tares of the wicked rise to oppose it, yet if Jesus be the root, and the springs of grace in him flow, as they cannot but flow, to keep alive all the branches in him, there shall be, there must be at last, a glorious harvest. Oh what a volume doth the soul sometimes read at once in that short promise,” Because I live, ye shall live also.” Hail, hail, thou glorious root out of a dry ground; thou wilt send forth the golden ears for thine own garner. Thou wilt weed out every thing that annoys. Thou wilt water, and by the sweet influences of thy blood, thy word, and Spirit, thou wilt shine upon the standing corn. And when, by all thy gracious husbandry, for the whole work and glory is thine, thou hast caused the plentiful crop to hang down their heads in all the humbleness of self- abasement, as the token of ripeness; thou wilt command thine angel to put in the sickle of death, and take home every stalk and every grain of the precious seed to thy garner in heaven.
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."