Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

June 2—Morning Devotion

“Living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.”—Zechariah 14:8

My soul, was not this fulfilled in part when the gospel went forth from Jerusalem? And is it not now fulfilling, while the same blessed gospel is going forth from sea to sea, and from the river even unto the ends of the earth? Surely neither the summer’s drought, nor the winter’s frost, shall dry up or congeal those living waters. But, my soul, hast thou asked of Jesus, as the woman of Samaria did in the moment of Jesus’s promise, for those living waters? Oh if thou knowest, my soul, this gift of God, and wilt daily, hourly, ask of him both in summer and in winter, he will give thee these living waters. Oh contemplate their property, and then, my soul, ask and receive, that thy joy may be full. Jesus himself is this well of living waters; and wherever he comes, like the waters in Ezekiel’s vision, he gives live, and quickens sinners dead in trespasses and sins. Also, Jesus in those streams maintains the life he hath first given. Moreover, Jesus not only maintains, but revives and renews them, again and again, when the graces of his people languish. Again, these living waters of thy Jesus are always running: here is nothing stagnant, but always flowing. Lastly, into whatever heart Jesus gives them, they shall be, as he hath promised, a well of water springing up to everlasting life. Are these things so; and have the saints in all ages, and under all dispensations of the church, both in the old testament and in the new, been thus supplied? Is it indeed He, my beloved, who is the same. yesterday, and today, and for ever, that thus hath supplied, and is supplying, and ever will supply all? Is it thou, Oh thou precious Lamb of God, that art in the midst of the throne, leading the church above to fountains of living waters, and becoming the same to the church below! Wilt thou not give of thy fulness to satisfy my thirsty soul in this dry and barren land, where no water is? Yes, yes, my soul, exult with the church of old, for thy Jesus is the same; a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon is my beloved.

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