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San Diego
Grace Fellowship

The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions

Robert Hawker (1753-1827)

June 28

Morning

"Carry down the man a present."—Gen. xliii. 11.

Ah, poor Jacob, how unconscious wert thou that this man, the governor of Egypt, was so near and dear to thee, and that his bowels yearned to tell thee how much he loved thee. And O ye sons of Israel, who would have had power to convince you while you were bowing down before Joseph under the dreadful apprehensions which agitated your minds, and he was assuming a voice of displeasure, that this very man was your brother? My soul, and what was all this, heightened to the greatest possible degree in the real love and affection of Joseph towards his family, compared to that love of Jesus which passeth knowledge? Jesus is thy brother, and he is the governor, not of Egypt only, but of heaven and earth. The famine, it is true, is sore in the land, and to him thou must go for sustenance, or thou wilt perish for ever. But wilt thou carry down the man a present? My soul, what hast thou to carry? Not thy duties, nor thy prayers, thine alms, thy righteousness; these are all filthy rags. Besides, he to whom thou goest needeth not the gifts and offerings of his creatures. His terms are, without money and without price. Go then, my soul, poor and wretched as thou art, go to him with a broken and a contrite heart, for that he will not despise. And O what a volume of mercies, blessings, and graces is contained in that one word of his, when he shall say, I am Jesus, your brother! Precious Jesus, I would say, thou art indeed a brother born for adversity. "Thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise, and all thy father's children shall bow down before thee."

Evening

"And the Spirit and the bride say, come. And let him that heareth, say, come. And let him that is athirst, come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."—Rev. xxii. 17.

My soul, doth not the evening bell, which calleth to the ordinance, in all its melodious sounds, seem to express these gracious invitations? Wilt thou not attend? Private meditation is indeed sweet; but public ordinances are of more avail. "The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob!" What a blessed sight is it to see the house of God well filled! What a refreshment to my poor weary sin-sick soul, to hear Jesus in his word saying, "Come unto me, all ye that are weary, and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." And every part and portion of the service proclaims the gospel cry:—"Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk, without money, and without price." Isa. lv. 1. And do observe, my soul, how, in the close of scripture, the invitation is repeated; as if to leave the impression fresh and lasting upon every soul. Yea, the Spirit confirms it; "come," is the call of the Holy Ghost; "come," is the call of the whole church, the bride, the Lamb's wife; yea, every one that heard of the free, and full, and glorious salvation; the angels, the ministering spirits to the heirs of salvation, they join the pressing invitation, and cry, "come." And surely every thirsty soul will not cease to say the same, for whoever the Lord the Spirit hath made "willing in the day of his power," may come in the day of his grace. And if Jesus, with his great salvation, be welcome to his heart, that heart is welcome to come to Jesus. My soul, with what a cloud of witnesses is the church of the living God encompassed; and how many and numerous are the invitations of grace! Wilt thou not then, in return, echo to the cry, and hasten thy Redeemer's coming, in the same earnest language? Come, Lord Jesus! to thy bride, the church, and be thou to all thy redeemed the water of life, and the fountain of life; until thou take home thy church, which is here below, to join thy church above, that they may unitedly dwell together, in the light of thy countenance for evermore!