Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning Portions

July 1—Morning Devotion

“Because of the savour of thy good ointments, thy name is as ointment poured forth.”—Song of Solomon 1:3

Why, my Lord, is thy name so truly blessed, but because thou hast so endeared it to thy redeemed, by every tie which can gain the affections. Didst thou, even before I had being, enter into suretyship engagements for me, that thou wouldest redeem me when fallen, that thou wouldest take my nature, live for me, die for me, become a sacrifice for me, shed thy blood for me, wash me in thy blood, clothe me with thy righteousness, justify me before God and thy Father, become my Advocate, High Priest, Intercessor, betroth me to thyself here in grace, and everlastingly unite me to thyself in glory hereafter? Didst thou do all this, and art thou still doing it, making my cause thine own, and following me with love, and grace, and mercy, every day, and all day, and wilt never thou leave me nor forsake me? And must not thy name be as ointment poured forth? Can there be a savour as sweet, as fragrant, as full of odour, as the name of Jesus? Precious ointments, it is true, have a smell in them very grateful; but what savour can be like that which to the spiritual senses manifests Jesus in his person, love, grace, and mercy; in whom there is every thing desirable, and nothing but what is lovely; all beauty, power, wisdom, strength, an assemblage of graces more full of odour than all the spices of the east? Precious Lord Jesus, let thy name be written in my heart, and let every thing but Jesus be for ever obliterated there, that nothing may arise from thence, but what speaks of thee; that through life and in death, the first and the last, and all that drops from my lips, even in the separation of soul and body, Jesus may form in the close of grace here, and in the first opening of glory to follow, the one only blessed precious name, as ointment poured forth.

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