February—27 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

But none saith, Where is God, my maker, who giveth songs in the night?—Job 35:10.

Ah, Lord! is it so, that among men of the world, though oppressed by the world, and the evils of it, and some are compelled to cry out under the bitterness of their sorrows, yet are there no hearts, no voices, directed to thee? When death entereth into their window, and taketh away the desire of their eyes with a stroke; or when pains, and chastenings of the body chain them to their beds: do they lament the earthly bereavements, and groan under the consequences of sin, by which death and sickness came; and yet in all these things, will nothing lead their unthinking minds “to hear the rod, and who hath appointed it?” Will they turn from one creature-comfort to another, and strive to fill up the vacancies made by distressing providences in their fancied happiness with any thing, or even nothing, rather than look to thee for comfort and support under their trouble? Oh! how great are my privileges, if this be the case, compared to the carnal! And oh! how distinguishing thy grace to my poor soul, that when sleepless on the bed, or when pains keep me awake, I can, and do look to Jesus, and say, “Thou art God my maker, who giveth songs in the night!” Yea, Lord! thou hast refreshed my soul with many a sweet song, when all the world was to me asleep, and could not interrupt my happiness. Oh! how often have I been blessed with the harmony of the songs of redemption, and run over in some of the blessed verses of it, how Jesus hath loved me, and given himself for me. Yea, Lord! may I not say, as the prophet, “Thou hast wakened me morning by morning; thou hast wakened mine ear, to hear as the learned.” For methinks I have been often wakened in the night by thee, and I have found my soul instantly led out by thy grace to a sense of thy presence, and to a desire after thee: and was not this, my Lord, calling, as upon the Church of old, “Let us get up early to the vineyards, for there will I give thee my loves!” O precious Redeemer! grant me such frequent visits, and such sweet communications of thy grace; and if in thy wise and kind providences, sickness, or pain, or afflictions, be at any time appointed me, do thou sit up by me, Lord, and keep my heart in sweet recollection of thee, that in the multitude of the sorrows of my heart, thy comforts may refresh my soul, and frequently may the earnest petition for thy presence and thy love go forth in the inquiry, “Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night?”[1]


[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 62–63). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

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