Luke xxiv. 15, 16

Robert Hawker

My soul! here is a most interesting subject proposed to thine evening meditation, in this account of an interview between Jesus and two of his disciples, in the interval between his resurrection and ascension. Sit down, and under the divine teaching, ponder it well. Were the eyes of those disciples so holden, that they should not know him, from some supernatural effect wrought on their powers of vision; or was it induced from any alteration wrought upon the person of their Lord? Probably there might be a concurrence of both these causes. The effect accomplished by this interview seems indeed to shew it; but it is profitable, highly profitable, to exercise our meditation upon it, though the point cannot be determined. I think it more than probable, that death had given an aspect to Jesus, which in itself must have induced a change. That face which once, in the days of his flesh, brake forth as the sun when shining in his strength, at the mount of transfiguration, might now have appeared with paleness, from the sweat, and dust, and blood, spread over the countenance. But, however this might have been, so it was, their eyes were holden, that they should not know him. Precious Lord Jesus! cause me to learn from hence, that all the gracious manifestations which thou art pleased to make of thyself to thy people, are of thyself, and depend upon thy sovereign will and pleasure; and cause me to learn also, how very gracious thou art, to condescend at any time, by the sweet influences of thy Spirit, to reveal thyself to thy people, and to manifest thyself to them, otherwise than thou doest to the world. And hence, Lord, I beseech thee, very frequently to draw nigh, and go with me, as thou didst with them; and though mine eyes be holden, so as that I do not discern thee, yet, like them, thy gracious discourse will make mine heart burn within me, while thou art walking with me by the way, and while thou art opening to me thy scriptures. And, especially, do by me as thou didst by them, when at thy table, or in thine house of worship; give me an open communication of thy glory "in breaking of bread, and in prayer."—My soul! do not dismiss this interesting account of the appearance of Jesus, before thou hast taken another view of thy Redeemer. It was a solemn moment in which it took place. The Son of God had finished redemption work; but he was not as yet ascended to his Father. Behold him for a moment, and contemplate his person in that interval!—Jesus in his human nature, though his visage was marred more than any man's, and his form more than the sons of men, is yet said to have been fairer than the children of men, because grace was poured into his lips, and Jehovah had blessed him for ever. And as he was altogether free from sin, so was he"the altogether lovely." And as he was now raised from the dead, though not yet exalted to the right hand of power, yet surely that human nature of Jesus, in union with the Godhead, and worshipped by angels, must have possessed a glory unspeakably blessed and divine. The way to judge of the appearance of thy Jesus, at this time, is from the conduct of the angels towards him. Fromtheir ministration to him in the garden, and at the sepulchre, and especially their attendance on him at his return to glory, it is easy to gather in what light they gazed on Christ. Such an assemblage of glory as the human nature of the Lord Jesus possessed, and derived from its personal union with the Godhead, called forth at once the love, and adoration, and delight of all the angels of heaven. They saw holiness in the person of Jesus, in all its perfection; and every grace, in wisdom, truth, and knowledge, in their highest properties. Hence their views oœ Christ may very safely be made the standard of ours. Hail then, thou blessed Emanuel! Let this interval between thy resurrection and ascension, be ever sacred to my soul. And while I behold thee as lovely, fair, and glorious, in every eye, both of angels and thy redeemed, be thou increasingly lovely and precious in mine also. And let it be my delight to talk of thee by the way, and when lying down or rising up. And Oh! do thou always draw near to me, thou blessed Lord, though my dim-sighted apprehension of thee doth so often prevent me from enjoying thy presence. Yet a little while, and thou wilt call me home, to behold thy glory unveiled with a cloud, or any intervening object, where I shall behold thee as thou art, and dwell with thee for ever. Amen.



Robert Hawker

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