Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

June 30—Morning Devotion

“In thee the fatherless findeth mercy.”—Hosea 14:3

Sweet thought! In Jesus, and the relationship, which he hath condescended to place himself in, all his poor followers may find a supply to till up every vacancy. My soul, contemplate Jesus in this blessed feature of character. What relation do we need? The fatherless are commanded to look to him whose name is the everlasting Father. The motherless also; for he hath said, “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort thee.” Doth death make a breach between the husband and the wife? Then the scripture saith, “Thy Maker is thine husband, the Lord of Hosts is his name.” Are we friendless? “Jesus is the friend that loveth at all times, that sticketh closer than a brother.” In short, there is no situation among the affinities of life, the kinder charities of nature, but what Jesus fills and infinitely transcends all. Pause, my soul, over this view of Jesus, and behold how he graciously proposeth himself to supply all wants, and to fill all vacancies. Jesus is both the Father, the Friend, the Brother, the Husband, the whole in one of all relationships and of all connexions. And amidst all the changes, the fluctuating circumstances of human affairs, the frailties, and infirmities of our own hearts and the hearts of others, which sometimes separate chief friends, what a blessed thought it is; “Nothing can separate from the love of Christ!” Precious Lord, give me to cry out with the church, under the full assurance of thine unalterable love; “This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”

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