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San Diego
Grace Fellowship

The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions

Robert Hawker (1753-1827)

June 23

Morning

"And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations."—Isa. xxv. 7.

What a precious promise was this with which the Lord comforted the church under the old testament dispensation, that the faithful might look forward to the new testament dispensation, when Jesus, in the holy mountain, where he finished transgression by his triumphant death, would effectually remove the covering which had blackened all faces, and had separated between God and guilty sinners. And, that the gracious promise might be had in everlasting remembrance by thy people, the evangelists were commissioned to tell the church, that in the moment Christ died, the vail of the temple was rent in twain, by an invisible hand, from the top to the bottom. My soul, see how Jesus, thy Jesus, hath most effectually fulfilled this precious promise. There was a vail of covering spread to separate thee for ever from God, had not Jesus taken it away, even the covenant of perfect obedience. God's injured perfections formed also a total separation. And as if these were not sufficient, the vail of sin would have for ever kept up this distance: "Your iniquities have separated between God and you," saith the prophet. But now by this precious undertaking in fulfilling the whole covenant of works, restoring the honour to God the Father's injured perfections, and opening a new and living way by his blood, which he hath consecrated through the vail of his flesh, he hath opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Precious Jesus, how endeared to my heart is this view of thee and of thy great salvation! Yes, thou Lamb of God! I have seen by thy Spirit's teaching, this deadly face of covering, which by sin hath been cast over all people; and I have seen, by the same almighty grace, that vail removed by thee. Now, Lord, in thee, and through thee, and by thee, I am led to behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. And having fled for refuge to the hope that is set before me, this hope I have in thee, as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and have cast it within the vail, whither thou, our forerunner, hast for us entered, even our glorious High Priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedec.

Evening

"All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me; and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."—John vi. 37—40.

My soul, commit this blessed portion to thy memory; yea, beg of God the Holy Ghost to commit, and write all the gracious things contained in it, on the inner tablets of thine heart! It is in itself a gospel, yea, a full gospel. Methinks, I would have it proclaimed on the house-tops, and published, day by day, in every place of public concourse throughout the earth, until the saving truths were every one of them known, and felt, and enjoyed, by every poor awakened and needy sinner. Mark, my soul, the several contents of what thy God and Saviour hath here said: take the whole with thee to thy bed, this night, and drop asleep, in faith of the whole, in the arms of Jesus; and if the Lord bring thee to the light of the succeeding morning, let those sweet and gracious words, which proceeded out of Jesus's mouth, salute thee with the first dawn of the morning, arise with thee, and go about with thee, in thy remembrance, until the whole be fulfilled in the kingdom of heaven. Now mark their immense blessings, according to the order in which they stand: "All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me." All; not one, or two, or ten, or a million only, but all. And observe wherefore? They are the Father's gift to Jesus, and therefore they must come. He saith elsewhere, "that I should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given me," John xvii. 2. Hence, therefore, there is a blessed provision, a blessed security, that they shall come; for they are the Father's gift to Christ, as well as the purchase of Christ's blood; and the promise is absolute in the charter of grace;" Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power," Ps. cx. 3. And, to give every possible encouragement to the poor coming sinner, whom God the Holy Ghost is leading by the hand to all-precious Jesus, however unconscious that poor soul is of the gracious influence under which he is coming, Jesus adds, "And him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out." Observe the tenderness of our Lord's words. He had said, all shall come: but Jesus well knew the most humble are the most timid, and the most apt to be discouraged; and therefore he makes each one's case to be expressed by the word him: "him that cometh." As if Jesus had said, ‘Let that poor creature, who is most afraid, by reason of a conscious sense of his transgressions, take comfort: if he cometh, let him know, that" I will in no wise cast him out."’ And to confirm it still more, Jesus adds, 'For this is the very purpose for which I came down from heaven; not only because it was my full purpose to seek and save that which was lost, but it is the will of my Father also, who sent me.' And, as if to impress this grand truth upon every poor sinner's heart, he repeats the gracious words: "And this is the will of him that sent me." He saith it twice, that there might be no mistake. And yet farther: if a poor sinner should say, ' But how am I to come, and in what am I to come; what are the qualifications for coming?' "This," saith the all-gracious Redeemer, "this is the will of my Father, the will of him that sent me, that every one that seeth the Son, and believeth on him, shall have everlasting life." And what is it to see the Son, but so to behold him by the eye of faith, as to believe in him to the salvation of the soul; to see him as the Christ, the Sent, the Sealed, the Anointed of God; the one, and only one ordinance of heaven, for the redemption of poor sinners; whose blood cleanseth from all sin, and whose righteousness freely and fully justifieth every believing sinner? Pause, my soul, and well ponder these precious, saving truths; and then take comfort in the blessed assurance, that thou hast all these testimonies in thine own experience, from having long since come to Christ, and long found the certainty of these promises. Lie down, my soul, this night, yea, lie down, my body, this, and every night, until the last night, even the night of death shall come; for thou sleepest in Jesus by faith, and his words are thy security: "Of all my Father hath given me, I should lose nothing; I will raise him up at the last day."