The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions
Robert Hawker (1753-1827)
"Truly, our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."—I John i. 3.
Precious, blessed consideration! Art thou, my soul, at this time in the full enjoyment of it? Pause over the inquiry. Sometimes, for the want of this search of soul, and the neglect of it, deadness, or at least leanness, creeps in. Say then, my soul, how art thou dealing with thy God? and how is thy God dealing with thee? When were his latest manifestations? When did he take thee to his banqueting-house; or when didst thou sit under his shadow? Hast thou very lately heard his voice, saying, "Fear not, I am thy salvation?" The discovery of these things are among the sweetest exercises which flow from the indwelling Spirit. Go on further in the inquiry - how art thou dealing with thy God? When hadst thou fellowship and communion with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ? What petitions hast thou now awaiting for answers from the heavenly court? What grateful acknowledgments have lately gone up for mercies received? How is thine acquaintance there advancing? How art thou growing in grace, and in the knowledge of thy Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? If these things are neglected by thee, will not a strangeness between thy God and thee come on; such as is induced by earthly friendships, when absence and time, where there is no correspondence kept up, wears out remembrance? My soul, rouse up, and consider the vast importance of keeping up constant intercourse with thy God and Saviour. Precious Jesus! do thou keep the flame of love alive; manifest to my soul the certainty and reality of my union with thee, thou sweet Saviour, by causing this blessed communion to be constant, unceasing, and full of divine communications. Let thy Spirit call forth in me the exercise of the graces he hath planted; and do thou come forth in refreshing manifestations of love; so that, while prayers go up, blessings may come down; and while thou art graciously saying, "Seek ye my face," my heart may say unto thee, "Thy face, Lord, will I seek." Oh, the blessedness of such a life to break the power of sin; to revive and strengthen the spirits; to open and to enlarge to my view the discoveries of thy Person, thy glory, thy riches, thy suitableness, thine all-sufficiency. If, dearest Jesus, thou wilt mercifully keep this fellowship, this partnership, alive in my soul, how will my poor soul be living upon thee, and with thee; and how shall I be exchanging with thee all my leanness, poverty, wretchedness, and weakness, for thy fulness, riches, righteousness, and strength? Come, then, Lord Jesus, and "until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe, or a young hart, upon the mountains of Bether."
"A nail in a sure place."—Isaiah xxii. 23.
My soul! through grace, thou hast long been enabled to hang all thy grand concerns for eternity upon the Lord Jesus; and will it not be a very refreshing subject for thine evening meditation, to see how eternally firm and secure all rest, with an unshaken and-unchangeable confidence? Behold him as he is in himself, in his person, work, and righteousness; "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever. "Next contemplate him as the source, origin, fountain, and support of all the great things of salvation. There is not a purpose of God, but is founded on Christ; not a promise, but is made, confirmed, and fulfilled in Christ; and not a dispensation in all the kingdoms of nature, grace, and glory, but comes from Christ and his own righteous government. Go on, under a third branch of meditation, and behold Jesus as a nail in a sure place, and that the persons, concerns, and blessings of his people all hang on him; from him they derive all their spiritual strength, gifts, graces, authority, order, and appointment; on him they all depend, for life, ability, power, and disposition to carry it on; and to him the whole glory of their services return, in an endless revenue of praise. Lastly, and above all, to crown thine evening meditation, on this nail in a sure place, behold the hand of God thy Father, both fixing him there, and proclaiming it to the souls of his people; "I will fasten him," saith Jehovah," as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his Father's house. "Hail! thou glorious almighty Mediator! founded on such authority, and possessing in thyself such eternal principles, evermore will I hang my soul, and body, and spirit, with all I have, and all I am or hope to be, in time and to all eternity, on thee; for never can too great a stress be laid upon Jesus, nor too full a confidence be placed in him. How can a soul perish that hangs on God's Christ?