O THE HOPE OF ISRAEL
Jer. 14:8

Robert Hawker
(1753-1827)


"O the hope of Israel, the Saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night?"–Jer. xiv. 8.

My soul, follow up these holy pleadings with thy Lord. Jesus loves boldness, and not bondage frames. Remember, when thou goest to him, thou goest to a tried friend, a long-proved, a faithful friend, and one that loveth at all times; and he that was and is the hope of Israel, hath ever been, and will be thy hope, thy Saviour, the Rock of Ages; yea, "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." Is then thy Jesus as a stranger to thee? Are his visits short, and but as the wayfaring man that is hastening on his journey, who, though he stops at the inn for the night, stops only to refresh himself, and takes no account of what passeth in the house? Pause, my soul, it is time to enquire. I hope no shyness has crept in between thy Lord and thee! When did he last visit thee? When did he last manifest himself unto thee, otherwise than he doth to the world? What precious Bethel visits bast thou lately had? When did he shew thee all his secrets, and thou didst tell him all that was in thine heart? When was his well-known voice last heard by thee, saying, "Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' den, from the mountains of the leopards?" And when didst thou answer the gracious invitation, crying out, with joy unspeakable, "It is the voice of my beloved! Behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, and skipping upon the hills!" Oh, my soul, my soul! I charge it upon thee, to be very chary of the Lord's visits! See to it, that thou art always upon the alert, waiting for them, and going forth in holy longings and vehement desires after them. Depend upon it, Jesus is no stranger in his visits, but it is thou who art a stranger to the consciousness of his coming. Never is thy Lord as a wayfaring man, that tarrieth but for a night with his people; but it is through thy sleepy, slothful, forgetful frame, that, while Jesus is standing and knocking at the door, saying, "Open to me," thou art regardless of his coming, and having put off thy coat, feelest not inclined to put it on. Jesus, Master, suffer not a coldness to arise, no, not for a moment, in my poor heart, towards thee. Oh! give me a holy jealousy to be always on the look-out for thy sweet visits. Do thou, my beloved, put in thy hand by the hole of the door of my heart, that my bowels may be moved in earnest desires for thy coming. For then, thou sweet Lord, thou that art the hope of Israel and the Saviour thereof, then when thou comest, and I shall find thee without, I will lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me; and I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate; yea, I would constrain thee, and hold thee fast, that thou shouldest not be as a wayfaring man of the night, but I would keep thee until the break of day, and thou shouldest make thyself known to me in breaking of bread and in prayer!

From the POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.


Robert Hawker



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