NOT AS THOUGH I HAD ALREADY ATTAINED
Phil. iii. 12

Robert Hawker
(1753-1827)


"Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus."–Phil. iii. 12.

My soul! take the apostle for an example in thine evening's meditation. Here he freely and fully confesseth himself, after all his attainments in the life of grace, to be far short of what he longed to attain. And observe the aim of the apostle: all his pursuit, and all his desire was, like an arrow shot at a mark, to apprehend Christ, as Christ had first apprehended him: to grasp Jesus, as the Lord Jesus had held, and did hold him. Happy desire! happy pursuit! and blessed mark of grace! For let the Lord have given out to the soul ever so largely, there is more to give out, more to be received, more to be enjoyed. And the Holy Ghost, who is leading a child of God out of himself, more and more, to lead him more and more to the enjoyment of Jesus, is sweetly training that precious soul, and advancing him to the highest lessons in the school of grace. Paul felt this, when he cried out, "Not that I have already attained, either were already perfect." To be sure not: for if we thought we had enough of Christ, it would be more than half conviction that we had nothing at all. Now, my soul, learn from Paul, in what the life of God in the soul consists: to be always pursuing the person of Jesus, for the farther enjoyment of him; never sitting down satisfied with what is already attained; but" pressing (as the apostle did) towards the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus:" in short, to make Christ the sum, the substance, the all of every desire; and ever to keep in remembrance, that the more we receive, the more Jesus hath to impart; the more he gives out, the more he is glorified; and, like some rich spring, the oftener we receive from him, the more rich and full he flows: Oh the blessedness of such a state! What a heaven upon earth would it be, if closely followed! To be always living upon Jesus, coming to Jesus, thirsting after Jesus; and the more we receive out of him, and of him, to have the soul's desires after him the more increased by all we enjoy. Precious Lord! grant me this felicity, that, like Paul, I may say," Not as though I had already attained :" but all my longings are, so to apprehend and hold fast Christ Jesus, as Christ Jesus hath apprehended and doth hold me fast.

From the POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.


Robert Hawker



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