"THOU HAST ASCENDED ON HIGH,"
Ps. lxviii. 18

Robert Hawker
(1753-1827)


"Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive, thou hast received gifts for men: yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them."–Ps. lxviii. 18.

Sweet view of a risen, ascended, and triumphant Saviour. My soul, ponder over these words, and while meditating upon them, see that thou art ascending after thy exalted head, and partaking in his glories. Jesus is he who hath indeed ascended, far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. He hath led captivity captive; and that not only in conquering all the powers of hell, but taking his people that were in captivity out of the prison-house, and causing them to partake in the felicity of his triumphs. And mark, my soul, what follows. "He hath received gifts for men;" or as the apostle to the church of Ephesus expresseth the same blessed truths, he gave gifts to men, Eph. iv. 8. And sweetly Jesus hath done both; for he received that he might give. He needed not for himself, but it was all for his people. He said himself, when speaking to the Father," that I should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given me." And, my soul, mark another sweet expression in these words:" he hath received gifts for men:" or, as the margin of our old bibles hath it, and our old bibles are like old gold, precious things, he hath received gifts in the man; that is, in his human nature, as Mediator; to give out to his people. See, then, my soul, all thy blessings are treasured up in him, that is, in one and the same moment, thy God and thy Brother. Oh glorious thought! Oh! soul-comforting truth! Neither is this all. For this sweet scripture points out also for whom he hath received gifts. It is for men. Not for angels, but for men. Not for holy men neither, but for sinners. Not for Jews only, but for gentiles. "Yea," saith the Holy Ghost, as if the Lord the Spirit would lay an emphasis upon it, that it might be particularly noticed," for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them." Oh matchless grace! Oh world of wonders! Fallen angels passed by, and rebels of men taken into favour. Great Father of mercies, what manner of love is this, which thou hast bestowed upon our fallen nature? Oh thou risen and exalted Jesus, send down, Lord, thine ascension gifts. Nay, blessed Lord, come down thyself and dwell among us. Set up thy church in the earth, and in the hearts and souls of thy people, and reign and rule there, the Lord of life and glory.

From the POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.

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Robert Hawker



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