THEY MADE ME KEEPER OF THE VINEYARDS
Song 1:6

Robert Hawker
(1753-1827)


"They made me keeper of the vineyards, but mine own vineyard have I not kept."–Song i. 6.

My soul, now the day is over, sit down, and look back on the employments of it. What a day hath it been? What portion of it hath been engaged in the service of thy Lord, and the improvement of thy soul? How wholly occupied in the busy and imperious demands of the world, the care of the body, and in procuring the bread that perisheth! Surely the complaint of the church is thine also. Keeper of the vineyards of others, thine own goeth to waste! And of what avail, in the path of grace, if though occupied by a thousand things in the aid of others, thou art making no progress in the heavenly road by thine own soul? Are not the peace of thy life, and the glorious expectation of a better, to be advanced in the knowledge and enjoyment of Jesus? If I lose sight of thee, thou dear Immanuel; if the lively actings of faith upon thee be remitted, will the recollection of attention to others give assurance or comfort? If I lose all that sweet personal communion and fellowship with thee, which is the very life of the soul, and receive none of thy private visits, what signifies the best and most successful public usefulness in thy church, and among thy people? I do indeed rejoice to say or do any thing which may minister to others in the knowledge of my Lord; but God forbid, that, like the post to the traveller, I be found merely to direct, but never move a step myself. Rather, blessed Jesus, be it my portion to be like the star to the wise men, which not only lighted to Christ, but went with them, and before them, until it came and stood over where the young child was. Oh! then, with the church, under the same complaint, let me cry out, as she did "Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest; where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon; for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?"

From the POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.


Robert Hawker



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