"SHE BARE A SON
AND CALLED HIS NAME SAMUEL

John 1:29-37

Robert Hawker
(1753-1827)


It is really both blessed and profitable to observe, how holy men of old made memorandums of the Lord's kind dealings with them, as well in providence as grace, by way of preserving alive a due sense of divine mercies upon their souls. A night or two since, the evening portion remarked a beautiful instance of this sort in the case of Hagar: and in the scripture I have brought forth for our present meditation, is another, equally beautiful in the instance of Hannah. In the former, the memorial was set up to perpetuate the place of the Lord's graciousness; in this latter, the dedication is of the person concerning whom divine favour was shewn. But in both, the design is one and the same, to glorify God. I pause by the way, to-remark, how much to be lamented it is, that this truly scriptural and pious custom is so little followed by christians, and even believing christians too in the present hour. What a number of unscriptural, and frequently heathenish names, are now given to children of parents professing the great truths of the gospel? Whereas, with those early followers of the Lord, they called their children by somewhat that should be always significant of divine mercies. So that, whenever their children were at any time called upon, or looked to, the very name might bring to remembrance past blessings, and refresh their souls in the recollection of the mercies which occasioned them. This instance of Hannah is beautifully in point, by way of illustration: she called him Samuel, which signifies, "asked of the Lord." For we find in her history, with what earnestness she sought a child from the Lord. Hence, therefore, we may suppose, upon numberless occasions, in after-days, whenever, she heard her Samuel mentioned, or she called him herself, the soul of Hannah went forth in faith, and love, and praise, to the Author and Giver of this blessing. And it is but reasonable to suppose, that if the name reminded the mother of her mercy, and she called her son by this name purposely, that she might remember the Lord in his bounty; no doubt, she was not forgetful to instruct her Samuel also in the same thing. We may, indeed, conclude that Hannah betimes made Samuel acquainted with the cause of his name. And from the sequel of the prophet's history, we find that he who was a child of prayer, and asked of the Lord, was a servant to his praise, and given to the Lord. Reader! methinks it is blessed, it is gracious, and sure I am it is right, thus to keep up intercourse with heaven. You and I have our Samuels; I mean our asked blessings, whether in children, or in other providences. Oh! for grace, while receiving mercies, to make those mercies the memorandums of the great Giver! If what we ask from God in prayer, we give back again to God in praise, and in the stream of creature enjoyments, find a tenfold relish in them, from living upon the Creator fulness; then we shall find cause to call many a blessing Samuel, because "it hath been asked," and often given unasked, of the Lord.

From the POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.

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Robert Hawker



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