The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions
Robert Hawker (1753-1827)
"But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ships pass thereby."—Isa. xxxiii. 21.
See, my soul, how thy God condescends to represent himself to thee as thy God, under various similitudes, so as to strengthen thy faith and thy confidence in him. He that is thy gracious Lord, is also thy glorious Lord; for he is both a sun and a shield; and he that gives grace, will give glory; one is the earnest of the other. Well, then, this glorious Lord will be there. Where? Why in Jesus, in thy Jesus, God in covenant with him. "He will be unto thee a place of broad rivers and streams." What is that? Why as Jerusalem had no navigable rivers, or seas, to defend her from the approach of enemies all around; so God's people are unprotected by nature, or by art, and lie open to their foes. But what they want in nature; shall be abundantly made up to them in grace. And as they have no art nor contrivance in themselves, God's wisdom and love will provide true counsel for them. Since they have no sea for their frontier, God in covenant love will himself be their sea, their ocean, their bulwark. And what galley or ship shall pass God to attack his people? Surely none can. And observe, my soul, as God himself will be rivers, and broad rivers too, to defend, so will he be streams to provide, and full streams to provide plentifully all possible blessings. Hallelujah. Shout, my soul, as the church of old, and say, "A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon, is my Beloved."
"Behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him."—Isa. xl. 10.
The whole scope of prophecy, as referring to the person and offices of Christ, was comprised in the two great branches of "the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow." From everlasting, the work of Jesus was before him. To his infinite and comprehensive mind, all that he had to do and to suffer for his church, was always in his view. He saw his church in all the glory and beauty that, in his comeliness, he would one day put upon her; he saw this before creation took place, when "his delights were with the sons of men;" and he saw his church also, in all the depths of guilt and pollution, into which, by apostacy, she would fall, and from whence he undertook to redeem her with his blood. Hence, "for the joy that was set before him," it is said, "he endured the cross, and despised the shame;" and having, as well by his active as his passive obedience, both by doing and dying, finished the work in the fulness of time, which the Father gave him to do, Jesus entered upon his reward. But who shall describe it, or what heart fully conceive it? Who shall say, what is the reward of Jesus in our nature, united to the Godhead, in beholding his Father's holy law thus magnified and honoured; the robbery done to God's honour completely restored; the loss man had sustained, more than repaired; and salvation bestowed upon millions of souls, by virtue of his blood and righteousness? Who shall describe it, in beholding the human nature of Jesus advanced above all created intelligence, either of angels or of powers? Who shall speak of the reward of Jesus, in giving out, day by day, grace to the infinite cases and wants of his church here below, and of glory, in all its varieties, to the church above? Precious Jesus! let such views ever encourage my poor soul to come to thee for all I need; since it is thy glory, and a part of thy reward, thou dearest Lord, to give out of thy fulness, as the blessed Head of thy church, to the wants of thy people; and thou wilt be more glorious to my view, the more thou givest, and the more I receive from thee. Jesus, I will say, loveth to give; may my soul delight to receive; that while I am receiving everlasting life from thee, the Lord Jesus may be everlastingly glorified by me, and both Father and Son glorified in my salvation!