Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

June 9—Morning Devotion

“I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine, of the juice of my pomegranate.”—Song of Solomon 8:2

What, my soul, hast thou aught to offer to thy Jesus? Will he accept a present at thine hand? Yes, Jesus will accept those goings forth of his own grace, his own gifts, in the exercises of faith, and love, and joy, and praise; when, by his own sweet and reviving communications, he hath called to the north wind, and to the south wind, to blow a gracious gale upon my soul, and causeth the very graces he himself hath planted in my heart to send forth all their powers in the enjoyment of his person and righteousness. And do not forget, my soul, for thine encouragement to this lovely and becoming frame, these will be more grateful to thy God and Saviour than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices. These will be indeed like spiced wine, and the juice of the pomegranate, when those tears of faith, and love, and repentance drop at the mercy-seat, in the contemplation of that love of Jesus, which is better than wine. Help me then, thou dear Lord, thus to come to thee. Help me, as the poor woman at thy feet did, to shed my tears, and to offer thee this spiced wine: and no longer by sin and unbelief; and rebellion, to give thee wine mingled with myrrh, as the Jews did at thy crucifixion. Oh God, my Saviour! let it never be said of my soul, from neglect and indifferency to thee and thy sufferings, as thou complainest of them, “They gave me also gall for my meat, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” No, precious Lord! if thou wilt shed abroad the influences of thy Spirit in my heart, so as to lead out my whole soul in love to thee, in living upon thee, in contemplating thy glory, thy suitableness, thine all-sufficiency, then will my soul praise thee with joyful lips; and then will my beloved say, as to his church of old,” Thy lips, Oh my spouse, drop as the honey-comb; honey and milk are under thy tongue.”

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