Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

June 14—Morning Devotion

“Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved.”—Song of Solomon 8:5

Who is it that asketh this question, my soul? Is it the holy angels, astonished as they well may, at the gracious condescension of thy Jesus in the grace and favour he hath bestowed upon thee? Or is it the world at large, looking on with amazement at the love of Jesus to his chosen? Is it the Jewish church, amazed that Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of God’s promise in Christ? Or, above all, is it Jesus himself, not because be knoweth not the grace he hath bestowed, but because he admireth the grace he hath given, and as he did the centurion’s faith which he himself was the author of, he looketh upon it with pleasure? And art thou, my soul, come up from the wilderness of nature, a dry, barren land, where no water of life is; from the wilderness of the world, and from all the unsatisfying and empty pursuits of it? Art thou leaning upon thy Jesus, cleaving to him, hanging upon him, strengthening thyself upon him, determining, like another Ruth, concerning Naomi, where Jesus goeth thou wilt go, and where he lodgeth thou wilt lodge? Is this thy conduct, and dost thou rest the whole stress of thy present and everlasting happiness upon his glorious person and righteousness? If so, angels may well look on, and cry out, who is this to whom the Father of all mercies hath been so gracious; to whom Jesus hath manifested his love, otherwise than he doth to the world; and on whom the Spirit hath shed his blessed influence to make thee willing in the day of his power? Yes, precious Jesus, I would come up from every thing near and dear in this wilderness state, forget mine own people, and my father’s house; I would lean wholly upon thy glorious person for my acceptance before God: lean wholly upon thy righteousness, as all-sufficient for my justification. I would lean upon thy fulness, day by day, for the supply of all grace here; and I would lean solely upon the divine efficacy and blessedness of thy blood to cleanse my soul for everlasting fitness for happiness hereafter. Witness for me, ye angels of light, that this is my beloved on whom I lean, and in whom I trust, and desire to be found in, for time and for eternity. Amen.

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