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Grace Fellowship

The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions

Robert Hawker (1753-1827)

February 1

Morning

"And they shall call his name Emanuel, which, being interpreted, is God with us."—Matt. i. 23.

My soul, hast thou never remarked what a peculiar beauty and sweetness there is in every name by which thy God and Saviour is made known to thee in his holy word? Surely, if nothing more had been intended by it, than to identify and prove his sacred person, one name would have answered this purpose: evidently, therefore, somewhat of great importance is designed from his many names. And depend upon it, my soul, so much loveliness is there in every individual name of thy Jesus; and at one time or other, in thy walk of faith, so very much wilt thou need every one, and find the preciousness of every one, that thou wouldest not part with one of thy Redeemer's names—no, not for the world. This of Emanuel, by which thou art commanded to call him, is a sweet one to endear him to thee. Had he not been Emanuel, he could not have been Jesus, for none but God can save a sinner: and therefore he is called Emanuel, which signifies, "God with us." Hence, therefore, he is God. Put this down as a glorious truth in thy esteem. God in our nature: God tabernacling in our flesh. God in us; and God in our hearts, the hope of glory. It is the Godhead of thy Jesus which gives efficacy and value to every act of redemption. As God, his righteousness is the righteousness of God to justify thee. Mark that! his sacrifice to atone—his blood to cleanse—his grace to bless. All these blessed acts of thy Jesus derive efficacy to answer all their glorious purposes, because they are the acts of God. And remark, my soul, yet further, that all that yet remains to be fulfilled, in what he hath in now pleading thy promised concerning salvation, in now pleading thy cause, and hereafter taking thee to glory; these cannot fail—because he who hath promised is Emanuel. Go on, my soul, one step further, and remember that He, whom thou art to call Emanuel, is also God in thy nature. Hence he is so very near and dear, in all tender alliances, as to be bone of thy bone, and flesh of thy flesh. My soul, never, never lose sight of this most sweet and precious name of thy Jesus. Call him as thou art commanded, call his name Emanuel.

Evening

"In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and he that is feeble among them at that day, shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them."—Zech. xii. 8.

My soul! in the calculation of times and seasons, thou art entering this day upon a new month; stand still and consider what progress thou art making in the spiritual path. Here is a sweet promise for the gospel dispensation. It is an old testament promise to be fulfilled in a new testament day. The weak and feeble, in our spiritual David, being really and truly in David, shall be as David, that is, strong in the grace and strength that are in Christ Jesus. And the whole house of David, every true believer in Jesus, shall be as Jesus; that is, so accounted before God, as one in Christ, and accepted in him the beloved; for in the eye of God, and of his holy law, they are one and the same. But what a sad consideration is it, that the progress in the divine life, here set forth, is so seldom sought after by the people of God! We are, for the most part, satisfied to have made our calling and election sure, and do not seem to feel it much at heart, that frequently the soul goes lean, and is feeble in spiritual attainments. My soul! let me impress it upon thy most serious consideration, this evening, how needful it is to have this sweet promise brought home, and proved in thy daily experience. Is not Jesus, in his person, work, and righteousness to be continually improved in soul-acquaintance and communion? Should I not seek to preserve a constant communication with my Lord? Whenever I consider his fulness, which is all for his people, surely I ought to send forth a desire for a renewed token of his love. And yet when I come to sit down in the evening, and to look back upon what hath passed between my Lord and me, through the day, alas! how little hath my soul been going forth in desires after him, and in enjoying communion with him! Come, blessed Jesus! come I pray thee, and let my awakened faculties be exercised upon thy person, blood, and righteousness, until this sweet promise be mine, and I find my feebleness becoming strength in my Lord. Let the growing acquaintance with thee, of one day, be made the step for desiring greater knowledge, and greater enjoyment of thee, for the next day; and let my earnest soul be pressing after fresh discoveries of thee, and for sweet manifestations from thee every day, in greater frequency, and in more enlarged views of thy glory. Oh! for grace from my Lord, for the liveliest actings of faith, and love, and praise, and every longing desire upon and towards him whose name is; "the Lord our righteousness;" that the grace and good-will, the mercy and kindness of God my Saviour, may be my daily song, and evening delight, in this house of my pilgrimage!