"ONLY FEAR THE LORD, AND SERVE HIM IN TRUTH,"
I Sam. xii. 24

Robert Hawker
(1753-1827)


How truly affectionate was this pastoral advice of the prophet to Israel, in the close of recapitulating Israel's history, and God's love over them! My soul! take this portion from Israel's history, and apply it to thine own; for the argument, and the reason upon which the argument is founded, are one and the same; and thou wilt find .the same causes, both from interest in Christ,. and from received mercies from Christ, to form the same conclusion. But at what part of thine history wilt thou begin, or where wilt thou end, in considering what great things thy God, thy Jesus, hath done for thee? Wilt thou open with the consideration of God's mercies towards thee in nature, or providence, or grace? What arithmetic will be competent to score the vast account, even in a thousandth degree, of either of those departments; much more if thou weft to study the subject in all? Who indeed can be sufficient to note them down, or to state in order, as they passed before him, the numberless events which testified divine favour, during the long season of thine unregeneracy? What a huge volume might be formed in nature only, of the Lord's watchfulness, providings, preservings, and ordinations, in making all minister and become subservient to our welfare? Oh! it is blessed to consider, even if it were here only, what great things the Lord hath done for us. And while we mark the footsteps of his love, and note our wanderings from him; when we trace back the wonderful subject of distinguishing mercy, and call to mind the grates of some, yea, many, with whom were spent our youthful days, while we remain not only the spared, but we hope the saved monuments of free sovereign grace and mercy; well may we exclaim, with one of old," Bless the Lord, 0 my soul, and forget not all his benefits; who redeemeth thy life from destruction, and crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies!" And if from the outer court of nature and providence, our souls enter into the inner court of grace, and there mark down, since the day of our regeneracy and the Lord's effectual calling, what great things he hath done for us, surely it would tire the arm of an angel to write the whole account. Precious Lord Jesus! in thee, and by thee, and from thee, all our mercies flow. Thou art the first, the last, the best, the comprehensive gift of God; the channel of all blessings temporal, spiritual, and eternal; through whom all the streams come, from Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and through whom all love and praise return; not only the channel through whom they come, but the substance in whom they centre. Thou hast purchased them, and they are enjoyed wholly from our union with thee; and their continuation in grace here, and glory to all eternity, must result from thee: all the covenant mercies of God in Christ, are "the sure mercies of David" on thy account! Think, then, my soul! what causes thou art surrounded with, in the great things God hath done for thee, that thou shouldest fear the Lord, and serve him in truth, with all thine heart! Close then the month as thou hopest to close thy life on earth, with this sweet scripture; and as thou didst open the month in contemplating the Lord thy righteousness, as the name whereby thou are enjoined to call him, so now let thy last meditation, before thou droppest to sleep in ending the month, be with the same. "He is (as Moses told Israel) thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen. "Be this, therefore, thy daily meditation, and thine evening hymn: "to fear the Lord, and serve him; for consider how great things he hath done for thee." Amen.

From the POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.

apr30e


Robert Hawker



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