The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions
Robert Hawker (1753-1827)
"Christ hath given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet-smelling savour."—Eph. v. 2.
If, when Noah offered by faith his sacrifice at the coming forth from the ark, the Lord smelled a sweet savour in it, because both the ark and sacrifice were a type of his dear Son, how fragrant and acceptable must have been the substance, when Jesus offered himself without spot to God? Behold him by faith, my soul, in that hour, in the full incense of his own merit, the censer of his own offering, and the golden altar of his own nature. And while God, even the everlasting Father, accepts Jesus as thy Surety, in the fragrancy of his offering, wilt thou not by faith so apprehend the sweet influence of his person, work, and righteousness, as to rejoice before God in the sure acceptance of thyself and all thy poor offerings in the Beloved? Oh let a throne of grace be a daily, hourly, testimony for thee, that all thy approaches here are under the incense and intercession of Jesus; and all thine hopes and expectations of glory hereafter, are all founded in him and his finished salvation. Yes, thou Lamb of God! let all witness for me, that thou and thou alone, art the Lord my righteousness, and that I seek salvation in no other; most perfectly assured from thine own Spirit's teaching, that there is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved. Hallelujah.
"O taste and see that the Lord is good!"—Ps. xxxiv. 8.
Those views of Jesus are blessed, which not only take in his loveliness, but his usefulness; which tend both to commend him to our regard, as fair and beautiful, and at the same time full and bountiful; that, like some rich and wide-spreading tree, yea, like the tree of life in the paradise of God, is at once both for shelter and fruit. My soul, look at thy Jesus thus, and thou wilt then enter into the sense of this delightful verse of scripture: "O taste and see that the Lord is good!" In this experience of Christ consists the proper knowledge and apprehension of him. An hearsay account of Jesus is but a poor account. By hearing sermons, reading the scriptures, attending ordinances, and the like, men may acquire some knowledge of him; but until the Holy Ghost form him in the heart, "The hope of glory," we never taste and see that the Lord is good. It was this which distinguished the church's enjoyment of her Lord, and which enabled her to make a suitable answer to that question of the daughters of Jerusalem: "What is thy beloved more than another beloved?" For when we can say, "Of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace;" then, and not before, can we say also, as he did from whom this testimony was given, "I saw and bare record, that this is the Son of God." My soul, see to it, that in your commendation of Jesus, you can add to the account your own personal enjoyment of him. And think what a blessedness must accompany that recommendation of the Lord, when, like the beloved apostle, you can hold forth Christ upon the same principles, and for the same cause as he did: "That (said he) which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life-declare we unto you; that ye also may have fellowship with as and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his "Son Jesus Christ," 1 John i. 1, 3.