"AND HE IS THE HEAD OF THE BODY, THE CHURCH."
Col. i. 18

Robert Hawker
(1753-1827)


"And he is the head of the body, the church." –Col. i. 18.

Sweet view of Jesus! Ponder well the subject, my soul, and behold thy Lord in this endearing character, and thine own personal union with him. Jesus is indeed, in every point of view, "the head of his body, the church." He is so by the Father's own appointment, as our glorious Surety: in which character he stood up at the call of God the Father, from everlasting; for when, at that call, he put himself in our stead, in our law-room and place, he undertook, as the church's representative, to do all, and to suffer all for her; and what he did and suffered, they, as his body, might truly be said to do and suffer in him. Sweet thought! When Jesus obeyed the whole law, then was Jesus their law-fulfiller. When he suffered the death of the cross, they in him were crucified. When he arose from the dead, in that resurrection they partook of the triumph, and, as members of his body, arose with him. And when he ascended up on high, and sat down on the seat of the Conqueror, they ascended virtually by their union with him, and may be said" to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." But, my soul! glorious as are these views of Jesus, thine husband and thine head, yet are they not all. He is the head of his body, the church, by his assumption of our nature. There is an union also of soul, a oneness, a connection as close and intimate as the natural head of the body with its several members; for as the head of the body is the source of life, which gives energy and action to all the parts of the body, so Christ is to his church and people" the fulness of him that filleth all in all." Here is another sweet thought! When Jesus took thy nature, my soul, in his sinless portion of it, he partook of all that could be said to constitute human nature. "Forasmuch (saith the apostle) as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same," Heb. ii. 14. hence he must have a tenderness, an affection, a fellow-feeling (if I may be allowed so to say) for his own nature, in the several members of his body, the church. This is the very argument the Holy Ghost, by the apostle, urgeth with poor exercised believers, to convince them of their safety and assured comfort in him: "We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we arc, yet without sin," Heb. iv. 15. And as this becomes a source of never-failing comfort, to support the several members of Christ's body with consolation under all their exercises, (for what can any part feel which the head shall be unconscious of, and not participate in?) so doth it equally afford delight in the recollection, that all the wants of the body must be known and felt by the glorious head, and be by him supplied. Sweet thought again to the believer! Jesus hath a fulness corresponding to all our necessities. "It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell. And of this fulness do we all receive, and grace for grace." Look up, my soul, and contemplate the infinite, inexhaustible, unsearchable riches of thy Christ! All awakening, justifying, sanctifying grace; all life, strength, nourishment, support, are poured upon the members of the church, from this glorious head: and what sums up the account, and endears it to the heart, is, that these blessings are everlasting, unchangeable, and eternal. He hath said, "Because I live, ye shall live also!" Pause, my soul! And is this Jesus thine? Is he indeed thine head? Art thou a member of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones?–Witness for me, ye angels of light! I renounce all other lords, all other alliances, all other husbands! It is to Jesus alone that I bend the knee of love, adoration, and obedience; for he is my Lord God, and I am his for ever.

From the POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.

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Robert Hawker



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