Rev. iii. 17

Robert Hawker

"Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see."—Rev. iii. 17, 18.

My soul! take a leisurely view of what the Redeemer hath here stated of the church of Laodicea, and gather from it thine evening improvement. What a melancholy representation hath Jesus given! It would have been bad enough to have been in this state, even had the church been seeking deliverance from it; but to fancy herself well when very ill, to have the spots of death upon her when she supposed herself recovered, what can be more awful? See to it, my soul, that this be not thy case; ponder over the several characters here drawn, and mark well, whether, through grace, thou hast happily been better taught? Dost thou fancy thyself "rich, and increased in goods, and having need of nothing? "Alas! thou knowest that thou art as poor as ever the circumstances of original sin and actual transgression could make a sinner; from thy first father, Adam, thou hast derived a nature which is virtually all sin, and that sin is continually breaking out, to manifest that all thine affections and thy desires cleave to the earth, and are altogether earthly. So that, so far from needing nothing, thou art insolvent before God, and in want of every thing. Hence thou knowest thy wretchedness and poverty by nature and by practice: for without a view of Christ, and void of an interest in him, thou art so wretched, as to be lost for ever; so blind, that thou wouldest not have had even a knowledge of thy miserable state; and so naked, that thou wouldest not have sought the covering of Jesus's robe of salvation, to conceal thy shame, either in this world, or in that which is to come. And hath the Lord taught thee these precious truths? Art thou more and more sensible of the utterly lost state of every man by nature? And after all that thou hast attained in thy pursuit of the divine truths, hast thou arrived at the same conclusion as the apostle," that thou knowest nothing yet as thou oughtest to know? "Oh! then listen to the gracious advice of Jesus, and accept the counsel of that Wonderful Counsellor; buy of him all he recommends, for in him, and with him, are deposited all graces. "In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. He hath gold, yea," gold tried in the fire;" all grace, mercy, pardon, strength, faith, hope, love, holiness; yea, every thing that can make a poor sinner rich. And he hath white raiment to cover thee, even the spotless robe of his own righteousness, which will not only conceal the shame of thy nakedness, but when he hath washed thee from all thy pollutions in his blood, will make thee appear comely in his comeliness, that thou mayest appear before God and the Father justified and complete in his salvation. And he hath the eye-salve, for opening the eyes of the spiritually blind, which will effectually, under the anointing of the Holy Ghost, give thee to see thy nothingness, and the glory, fulness, and suitableness of Jesus! What sayest thou, my soul, to these things? Wilt thou not accept the counsel of thy Jesus? Yea, Lord, I do accept it, on my bended knees, with thanksgiving, love, and praise. And more especially, dear Lord, do I bless thee for thy bounty, that the purchase of these mercies from thee comes from thy free grace, not from my ability; Jesus never proposed to the poor to merit what he freely gives; nor to the insolvent, who have nothing to offer, to suspend his riches upon their merits. Thou, Lord, art too rich to need any thing from thy creatures; and the things proposed are too costly to be purchased; yea, Lord, thou hast thyself already bought them with a price no less dear than thine own most precious blood. Hence, therefore, thou wise, gracious, kind, and compassionate Lord, I pray for grace to accept thy counsel, and to buy of thee gold tried in the fire, and the white raiment of thy righteousness, and the anointings of thy blessed Spirit, for I need them all," without, money and without price."



Robert Hawker

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