The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions
Robert Hawker (1753-1827)
"Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost."—Acts xi. 16.
Blessed promise! realize it, Oh thou Holy Spirit, day by day, in and upon my soul. Bring me under the continued baptisms of thy sovereign influence, and cause me to feel all the sweet anointings of the Spirit sent down upon the hearts and minds of thy redeemed, as the fruits and effects of Jesus's exaltation, and the promise of God the Father. Yes, blessed Spirit, cause me to know thee in thy person, work, and power; in all thy offices, characters, and relations. I need thee day by day, as my Comforter. I need thee, as the Spirit of truth, to guide me into all truth. I need thee, as the Remembrancer of the Lord Jesus, to bring to my forgetful heart all the blessed things he hath revealed to me. I need thee, as the witness of my Jesus, to testify of my wants, and his fulness to supply. I need thee, as my advocate and helper, in all my infirmities in prayer. I need thee, as the earnest of the promised inheritance, that I may not faint, nor want faith to hold on and hold out in all dark seasons. I need thee, Lord; nay, I cannot do a moment without thee, nor act faith, nor believe a promise, nor exercise a grace, without thy constant, thine unceasing agency upon my poor soul. Come then, Lord, I beseech thee, and let me be brought under thine unceasing baptisms. Shed abroad the love of God my Father in my heart, and direct me into the patient waiting for Jesus Christ.
"He made a feast unto all his princes, and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces being before him. When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom, and the honour of his excellent majesty, many days, even an hundred and fourscore days."—Esther i. 3, 4.
Who can read the account here given of the royalty and liberality of the Persian monarch, without having the mind immediately directed to look at the Lord Jesus, in his royalty and grace, and to consider both the extent of his bounty, and the honour of his excellent majesty, compared to which this earthly potentate sinks to nothing? What though his kingdom reached over a hundred and seven and twenty provinces, from India to Ethiopia; what is this to Him, whose dominion is "from sea to sea, and from the river even unto the ends of the earth;" yea, who hath "all power in heaven and in earth," and hath "the keys of hell and the grave?" And what a day, in point of duration, was that feast, which, though extended to a hundred and fourscore, yet, when ended, left nothing to follow, but perhaps induced sickness and sorrow; when we contemplate that eternal and everlasting day, to which Jesus invites, and in which he entertains all his people, whom he hath made "kings and priests unto God and the Father," and where they shall not only feast with him, and he with them, but shall sit down with him on his throne, as he hath overcome, and is sat down with his Father, on his throne? And in this one eternal and never-ending feast of the Lord Jesus, from which the guests shall go out no more, there is nothing to nauseate, nothing unpleasant to mingle, but all is light, and joy, and peace, and unspeakable felicity. Here Jesus openly sheweth the riches of his glorious kingdom, and the honour of his excellent majesty! Here he brings his redeemed into a perfect acquaintance with himself, and opens to their astonished unceasing contemplation and delight, the wonders of his person, and the wonders of his love; and fills their ravished souls "with joy unspeakable and full of glory," in the knowledge of "the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ." Hail, thou glorious King of kings, and Lord of lords! Here thou art making a feast of grace in thine holy mountain, for all thy poor and needy, and halt, and blind, whom thou hast made the princes of thy kingdom, and whom thou wilt bring, in thine own good time, to the everlasting feast of glory in thy kingdom above! Grant me, blessed Jesus, to be one of the happy number who partake of thy bounties of grace here, and sure I am, that I shall then one day sit down to the everlasting enjoyment of thyself in the glories of heaven for ever!