"AND WHEN THE TIME OF THE FRUIT DREW NEAR"

Matt. 21:34

Robert Hawker
(1753-1827)



"And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it."–Matt. xxi. 34.

The very lovely season of the year, and the fulness of fruits which appear on all the productions of God's providence around, open to the mind some of the most delightful meditations. My soul! sit down this evening, and give scope to the subject; and see, while contemplating thy Lord's bounties in nature, whether thy Lord himself will not lead thee by the hand into the inner department of contemplating his yet greater bounties in grace. Methinks every thing seems to have a voice, and speaks of Jesus. By the fall, our poor ruined nature is entitled to nothing from the earth, but thorns and briers; therefore the numberless sweets of the divine mercy preach Jesus, and his cross. It is as if they all said, 'Are we lovely to the eye, pleasant to the taste, and healthful in the enjoyment; then are we so by Jesus's appointment, and by Jesus's blessing.' My soul! there is more of him, than thy unthinking heart is conscious of, in every blessing and favour around thee. Oh! for grace to keep this always in remembrance, that from henceforth thou mayest find a double enjoyment in all; first, in beholding Him, and then his gift, be it what it may, as his, and which he giveth thee liberally to enjoy. And there is still another blessedness in thus sitting down to the contemplation and enjoyment of divine bounties; I mean, that the soul not only beholds Jesus in all, and enjoys Jesus in all, but it beholds Jesus as looking on, and rejoicing over his people, in their sanctified rise of his bounties. How truly blessed is that scripture in point; "Yea, I will rejoice over them, saith the Lord, to do them good, and I will plant them in this land, assuredly with my whole heart, and with my whole soul!" Jer. xxxii. 41. My soul, sweetly meditate on these things; and when thou beholdest, as in the present time of the year, every thing around furnishing the witness of God's love and faithfulness, "in giving rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness;" let all lead to Him. Jesus himself is in all. It is he who gives all, crowns all, sanctifies and sweetens all. And never did any husbandman among men, wait for the precious fruits of the earth with equal diligence and delight, as Jesus, in beholding the fruits of his own graces, which by his Holy Spirit he first plants, and then calls forth into exercise upon his own person and righteousness. Say, my soul, as the church did, and let this be thine evening song to the same lovely and all-loving Saviour: "My beloved is come down into his garden, (the church) to the beds of spices; to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies." Song vi. 2.

From THE POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.