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Grace Fellowship

The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions

Robert Hawker (1753-1827)

April 23

Morning

"For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living."—Rom. xiv. 9.

And was this the cause, dearest Jesus, of all thy sufferings, that thou mightest be the universal monarch on thine eternal throne? Then bend thy knee, my heart, and all the affections of my soul, and hail thy Jesus Lord of all! Now, Lord, I see through thy blessed teaching, though a fool, and slow in heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken—now I see how expedient it was that Christ should suffer, and should enter into his glory. Yes, thou art, indeed, Lord both of dead and living; the dead to raise, even the dead in trespasses and sins; and the living to live in them, and rule, and guide them. And as thou art Lord both of dead and living, so, precious Jesus, wilt thou be Lord over all the dead and lifeless affections of thy redeemed. Surely, Lord Jesus, my soul may well believe this; for if, when upon the cross, thou didst conquer death, now thou art upon the throne, every power must be put beneath thy feet. Shout then, my soul, shout all ye followers of the Lord; never more let dead frames, or dying affections, or unbelief, or all the temptations of Satan, cast us down. Is not Christ upon the throne? And is he not Lord both of dead and living? And hath not this Almighty Lord, both of dead and living, power to save, power to quicken dead sinners, and comfort living saints; to give grace to the weak; and to them that have no might, to increase strength? Hath he not power to kindle anew his own graces that he first planted; to bring back again wanderers, to reclaim the long-lost backsliders, to soften hard hearts, to bind up broken hearts, to justify the guilty, to sanctify the filthy, to adopt orphans, to bless the fatherless, to be gracious, and kind, and merciful—in a word, to be Jesus? For in that one word is summoned up all. Oh blessed Master! Oh for an heart to love thee, to live to thee, to walk with thee, to rejoice in thee, to be always eyeing thee on thy throne; and never, never to lose sight of thee, my glorious, risen, and exalted Saviour, in this sweet and endearing point of view, in which thy servant the apostle hath here represented thee; that it was for this end, as well as a thousand other blessed purposes, that Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of dead and living. Hallelujah. Amen.

Evening

"A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things."—Eccles. X. 19.

What feast is this, which the wise man meant, and the wine which, for true mirth, he would here recommend? He could not mean the laughter of the fool for that, he tells us elsewhere (chap. vii. 6.) "is as the crackling of thorns under a pot." The drunkard's song is but the mirth of the moment, which, like the burning thorn, may blaze and flash amidst the midnight crew, but suddenly goeth out, and leaves a total darkness. But if Solomon had an eye to the feast which Jesus hath made in the mountain of the Lord's house "a feast of fat things," where his body broken, and his blood shed, are the food of the table; this indeed is a feast made for real joy of heart, and "wine which cheereth God and man;" Judges ix. 13. When the justice of God drank of this blood of the Lamb, it was satisfied; and when the poor sinner hath tasted of it, his soul is satisfied also. And as "money answereth all things," because all things are procurable by it, so the redemption of Jesus answereth all the wants of a sinner. He is meat to the hungry soul, and drink to the thirsty. He is a garment to the naked, and the medicine of life to the diseased. " I will cause them (saith Jesus) that love me to inherit substance, and I will fill their treasures." Sit down, my soul, this evening, and mark the striking contrast. The pleasures of the carnal are short and unsatisfying; yea, they have nothing more in the enjoyment of them than what is common to the brute that perisheth, and the after effects are all on the side of sorrow. The word of God hath described it in a finished form of misery: "though wickedness be sweet in his mouth; though he hide it under his tongue, though he spare it, and forsake it not, but keep it still within his mouth; yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him," Job xx. 12, 13, 14. What an awful termination to a life of sensuality and carnal pursuits. Sin and folly lead in the front, and misery and sorrow bring up the rear! But in the sweet feast of Jesus, all is joy and peace in the Holy Ghost; and the believer sits down, as under the everlasting smiles of God, hearing and embracing the blessed invitation: "I have gathered my myrrh with my spice, I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey, I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved!" Blessed Lord! Be it my portion, thus, night by night, and day by day, to hear thy voice, to behold thy countenance! And do thou Lord, come in and sup with me, and cause me to sup with thee, until thou take me home to thine eternal feast above, whence I shall rise no more; where one everlasting banquet will remain, and the redeemed of the Lord will live for ever "in the presence of God and the Lamb!"