May 9—Morning Devotion
“A certain Samaritan.”—Luke 10:33
Look, my soul, beyond the letter of the parable, and see if thou canst not instantly discover who it is that is here meant. Mark how he is described: “A certain Samaritan.” Not any indifferent undetermined one among the whole mass of men called Samaritans, but an identical certain one: and who but Jesus answers to this character? “Said we not well, (said the Jews) that thou art a Samaritan?” Yes, truly, thus far ye said right; for our Jesus is the true Samaritan, that came a blissful stranger from his blessed abode, to deliver us from our lost estate, for his mercy endureth for ever. And, my soul, observe how exactly corresponding to all that is said of this certain Samaritan in the parable, thy Jesus proves to have been. Our nature, universally speaking, was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when it fell among thieves, and when it was left more than half dead by the great enemy of souls; for we had all miserably departed from the Lord, when Jesus came from heaven to the Jericho of this world, to “seek and save that which was lost.” And what could the priest or levite do by law or sacrifice, to help our ruined nature? But when Jesus came and bound up the wounds which sin and Satan had made, by pouring in the balsam of his own precious blood, then he proved himself to be this certain Samaritan; for none but Jesus could have done this, since there is salvation in no other; “neither is there any other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.” And what is it now, but the same gracious mercy carrying on the same blessed purpose in completing the perfect recovery of our nature. It is Jesus, Samaritan-like, which hath brought us to the inn of his church, hath appointed his servants and angels, who are ministering spirits, to minister in all divine things to the heirs of salvation. He hath commissioned the whole train of ordinances, and providences, and promises, to minister to our good. His holy word, his Holy Spirit, are unceasingly engaged to the same blessed end. And what crowns all, and makes our state and circumstances most safe and blessed indeed, is, that Jesus hath commanded all the remaining costs and expences of our cure to be put down to his account. He saith himself to me, a poor worthless sinner as I am, and to every individual of his redeemed, “Whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay.” And is it so, my soul? Is not the blessing too great to be bestowed, and thou too worthless to receive it? Oh no! for it is Jesus who promiseth: that is enough. Hail, then, thou certain Samaritan, thou Almighty Traveller through our miserable world! Since the first day that thou didst pass by, and didst behold me in my blood, cast out to perish, and didst bid me live, how hath my soul hailed thee, and now and unceasingly will hail thee, as my life, my hope, my joy, my portion for ever!
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."