Isa. xlvii, 8

Robert Hawker

"I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb."–Isa. xlviii. 8.

Humbling as the view is, it is profitable to look back, and trace all the way the Lord our God hath brought us, through many a year in the wilderness, to humble us, and to prove us, and to shew us what is in our heart; and this perhaps is the sweetest of all subjects, when the Holy Ghost takes us by the hand, and leads the heart back. Even from the first moment of conversion, to the very moment when taking the review, every step serves to prove what this scripture sets forth, that the Lord knew that his people would deal very treacherously, and be transgressors from the womb. My soul! let thy meditation, this evening, as it concerns thyself be to this amount: Where wert thou, when in a state of unawakened nature, and as all other carnal persons, intent only upon the best means of fulfilling to the desires of the flesh; living without God, and without Christ in, the world; a child of wrath, deserving wrath even as others? The Lord, who knew this, and also what undeservings would follow, still was pleased to visit thee with his great salvation. He manifested the riches of his grace in calling thee, justifying thee, adopting thee into his family, and putting thee among his sons: and he gave thee the Spirit of his Son in thine heart, whereby thou wert enabled to cry, "Abba, Father." And what hath it been since, but the same rich display of free and unmerited mercy? Doth he not know, that thou art still a transgressor? Doth he not continually wait to be gracious, when thy unthinking wandering heart is forgetful of him? Doth Jesus withhold or suspend his grace, and the manifestations of his favour, because thou art forgetful of him? Oh! not so. He deals by thee, as he did by Israel of old! When Israel remembered not the multitude of his mercies, but were disobedient at the sea, yea, even at the Red Sea, nevertheless, it is said, "he saved them for his name's sake," that he might make his mighty power to be known. So doth thy Jesus deal by thee. Though thou art a transgressor from the womb;" yet Jesus is Jesus still. The covenant promises of God the Father are the same; and the efficacy of Jesus's blood and righteousness the same: therefore Jesus deals by thee, not according to thy deserts, but according to his own free and sovereign grace. His love, and not thy merit, becomes the standard of his dealings with his people. Oh! how blessed is it to trace mercies to their fountain-head, and to behold God in Christ, dispensing pardon, love, and favour, from his own free and sovereign will and pleasure; and every renewed mercy carrying with it this divine signature: "Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel."

Robert Hawker

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