THE STORK IN THE HEAVEN KNOWETH HER APPOINTED TIME
Jer. viii. 7

Robert Hawker
(1753-1827)


"Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle, and the crane, and the swallow, observe the time of their coming: but my people know not the judgment of the Lord."–Jer. viii. 7.

When the Lord would expostulate with his people, what methods he graciously adopts! There are no creatures in nature so dull, so senseless, and stupid, as God's people are, by reason of the fall. Every animal hath an instinct, prompting to self-preservation. Arc they exposed to danger? how speedily do they endeavour to remove! Are they apprehensive of a storm? they flee to some covering to hide them! The birds of passage, when the first symptoms of winter appear, gather together, to depart to a warmer climate. But man, poor blind improvident man, no winter of death can admonish him; no approach of the departing day of life can prevail, to induce him to flee from the wrath to come. My soul! look round on human life, and mark this, by way of admiring, more and more, distinguishing grace, which enabled thee to estimate thy privileges, and discern that sovereign bountiful mercy, which maketh thee to differ from another. "What hast thou, which thou didst not receive?" But, dearest Lord, is it not to copy after that gracious feeling of thine, which thou hadst in the days of thy flesh, when thou hadst compassion on the multitude, in beholding them famishing, and wast moved in pity towards them; when we behold the great mass of thoughtless sinners, whose concern for self-preservation doth not come up to that of the brute which perisheth? In common life, all are interested, and earnest in the pursuit of the different objects of the world: the traveller is full of thought, in his way home, to see that his path be right; the marl-net would not run contrary to the direction of the compass; the man of trade never acts in opposition to the gain of that trade; neither does the man of pleasure lose sight of what will most likely promote that pleasure. But thy people, blessed Jesus, are everlastingly pursuing what they have proved a thousand times to be vain and unsatisfying; yet they pursue it again, and do not learn "to know the judgment of the Lord." Blessed Lord! undertake for me: pity, compassionate, direct, guide, keep me! Oh! for grace to learn, and rightly to value the things of salvation! And, convinced that Christ is all and in all, may I never seek from the creature what only can be found in the Creator! And having discovered the vanity of every thing out of Christ, may I, where Christ is not, from henceforth learn, with the church to say, "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee: my flesh and my heart faileth: but thou art the strength of my heart and my portion for ever!"

From the POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.


Robert Hawker



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