GREAT IS THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS
1 Tim. 3:16

Robert Hawker
(1753-1827)


"And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."–1 Tim. iii. 16.

My soul, sit down this memorable evening, and in commemorating the great event of Christ's nativity, listen to what the Holy Ghost here speaks, by his servant the apostle, concerning the mystery of godliness! Here are so many wonders branched out into so many chapters: they hang like a rich and full cluster upon the vine. Gather them one by one, mark their beauties, and taste their sweetness. The first is, "God manifest in the flesh:' here is a meditation for thee to live upon, and to feast upon for ever. Thy God, thy Jesus, thy Holy One, the Son of God, was made flesh! Go on to the second: He was "justified in the Spirit:" a matter that would never have taken place, had he not fully, by his righteousness. and death, satisfied his Father's law, and brought in an everlasting righteousness for his people. Take down the third blessed character: He was "seen of angels." Yes! they worshipped him also: for angels, principalities, and powers, were made subject unto him. Look, my soul, at thy Lord, under the fourth description which the Holy Ghost hath here given of him: He was "preached unto the Gentiles:" and this was as great a mystery to the Jewish church, as any; that God should" grant to the Gentiles also, through Christ, repentance unto life." And how dear this part of Jesus's character should be to thee, my soul, who wast by nature a poor Gentile, an alien to the commonwealth of Israel, having no hope, and without God in the world, thou needest not to be told. Mark another, and the fifth, particularity of thy Jesus; he is said to be "believed on in the world:" and how should this have been done, even in a single instance, but for the sovereignty of God's grace? Surely this is no less a mystery also. Remark, my soul, how great, how very great in thy case. Lastly, the account closeth: "Jesus was received up into glory:" and there, my soul, do thou, follow him, by faith, until the Lord come to take thee home with him in absolute enjoyment, that "where he is, there thou mayest be also." Amen.

From the POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.


Robert Hawker



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