Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

June 10—Morning Devotion

“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, Oh Lord! in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.”—Psalm 5:3

Sweet thought, my soul, to encourage thee this morning, that thy God in Christ is a prayer-quickening, a prayer-hearing, and a prayer-answering God. Art thou dull, dead, lifeless? One look from Jesus, one influence of the Spirit, will kindle desire, and lead thee to the mercy-seat, and to the throne of grace. Jesus will do more in one moment, to call off thy wandering thoughts, to open to thy views his glory, and to reveal to thee what thy wants are, and to give thee a spirit of prayer suited to thy wants and his praise, than all thy laboured attempts, without an eye to Jesus, can do for thee for ever. Whence is it, my soul, that prayer is ever a burden, but because we have lost a sight of Jesus? Why is it that thou art at times so little affected with the remains of indwelling corruption, and canst neither rightly value God’s mercies, or be humbled under thine own infirmities? Is it not because thou dost not look up, and behold Jesus in his priestly vesture, waiting to be-gracious? Oh didst thou but eye thy God and Saviour under this blessed character, how wouldest thou feel the preciousness of his great salvation, and haste to unload thyself upon the Lord Christ, and cast all thy burden of coldness, deadness, and sin upon him who is mighty to save! Come, Lord, then, I pray thee, with all thy sweet influences, fill my mouth with arguments, and my heart do thou warm with love. I know, Lord, I shall surely speed this day, this morning, at the mercy- seat, the moment thou hast loosed my tongue, and enlarged my heart with thy grace. Yes, yes, blessed Jesus, my voice shalt thou hear, my voice wilt thou hear in the morning; at the dawn of day, before cock-crowing, I will direct my prayers to thee, I will send them up to heaven; and through the day, and all the day, and seven times a day, will I praise thee, Oh thou God of my salvation, when thou hast caused me to praise thee with joyful lips.

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