Category Archives: The Poor Man’s Portion

July 6 The Poor Man’s Morning Portion

6.—Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.—Romans 8:37.

More than conquerors! mark that, my soul. Conquerors all the soldiers of Jesus must be, for in his strength they fight, and he hath himself subdued all our foes, even death the last enemy, and Satan, whom the God of peace will bruise under our feet shortly. So that victory is sure. For we overcome by the blood of the Lamb, by the sword of the Spirit, and by the shield of faith, whereby we subdue all the fiery darts of the wicked. But though conquerors, how are we more than conquerors? Yes, through Him that loved us, believers absolutely conquer Him that is himself unconquerable. For, by union with Jesus, we may be said to have the power with God, and to prevail. “I will not let thee go,” said the praying Jacob, “except thou bless me.” A blessing he came for, and a blessing he would have. So all the praying seed of Jacob have power through the blood and righteousness of Jesus, in like manner. Hence Jesus saith to his church, “Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me.” Sweet and precious thought! my soul, never lose sight of it. Through Him that loved thee, and gave himself for thee, thou art more than conqueror: nay, thy present victories are more than the victories of the church in heaven. For they have now no more conflicts with tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword; but, by Him that loved us, we arise above the midst of them now, and while troubled on every side, we are not distressed; while perplexed, are not in despair: the love of Jesus is seen in these very exercises, and that in very love, and very faithfulness, the Lord causeth us to be afflicted. Hence, through him, we conquer them; nay, we are more than conquerors. We love him that sends the affliction, because we discover his love in it; and as, without that affliction, the love of our Jesus in sending it would in that instance not have been known, therefore here we have a blessed victory the church above cannot know. Precious Jesus! to thy love, however, and thy grace, be all the praise and all the glory; for under thy banner of love alone it is that we are more than conquerors.[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Morning Portion (p. 184). New York; Pittsburg: Robert Carter.

July—5 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience, by the things which he suffered.—Hebrews 5:8.

My soul! behold what a precious verse of scripture is here! How blessedly doth it set forth thy Redeemer! See here what an example Jesus shows to all his people, and how sweetly accommodating is that example to every case and circumstance, into which any of them can be brought! Surely, if any one might have done without going into such a school of suffering, for the purpose of learning, it must have been Jesus; but yet even Jesus would not. And wouldst thou, my soul, after such an illustrious pattern, desire to be excused? Hath not Jesus dignified it, and made it blessed? Oh! the honour of following his steps. There is another beauty in this scripture. The apostle, in a verse or two preceding, took notice of Jesus in his human nature, that he sought not, as such, the High-Priest’s office uncalled. “Christ” (saith he) “glorified not himself, to be made an high-priest, but was called of God, as was Aaron.” And by reading this verse in connection with that, it is as if the apostle had said, “Yea, such was the wonderful condescension of the Son of God, in his divine nature, that, though of the same nature and essence with the Father, yet would he have his human nature trained up in all the exercises of suffering; that, by a fellow-feeling, his people might know how he understood their exercises by his own.” O thou gracious, condescending Lord! surely nothing can soften sorrow like the consciousness that thou hast known it in our nature, for thy people: and nothing can more effectually reconcile all thine afflicted members, humbly and patiently to learn obedience in the school of suffering, since Jesus, though a son, and the son of God, in the eternity of his nature, was pleased, in his human nature, “to learn obedience by the things which he suffered.”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, p. 205). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

July 5 The Poor Man’s Morning Portion

5.—Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of linen and woollen together.—Deut. 22:11.

Though the true believer, who, like the king’s daughter, is all glorious within, cannot but know, that as meat commendeth us not to God, so neither doth the necessary dress, which, since the fall, is become suited to cover our sinful bodies, make a part of our holy faith: yet it is highly proper, that persons professing godliness should use great plainness of apparel. The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, we are told, is of great price in the sight of God. But who should have thought that such a precept as this of Moses had a gospel signification. And yet as Christ was preached under types and figures through the whole law, we may reasonably suppose that not a single command was then given, but what had an eye to him and his great salvation. But if we find the Lord so strict respecting the outward dress of the body, what may we conclude the Lord would enjoin respecting the inward clothing of the soul? If woollen and linen were offensive to be worn together, surely we cannot appear before God in the motley dress of Jesus’ righteousness and our own. The fine linen, scripture saith, is the righteousness of saints. With this, which Jesus puts on his people, nothing of our own woollen garments must be worn. The righteousness of a creature, had we any, (which in fact we have none,) cannot be suited to mix with the righteousness of the Creator. And no man that is wise for salvation, would put the old piece of our corrupt and worn out nature upon the new garment of the renewed nature in Christ Jesus. When therefore the Lord saith, Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, my heart replies, No, Lord! let me be clothed with the robe of thy righteousness, and the garment of thy salvation; then shall I be found suited for the marriage supper, when the King comes in to see the guests at his table.[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Morning Portion (pp. 183–184). New York; Pittsburg: Robert Carter.

July—4 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

A wedding garment.—Matthew 22:11.

My soul! let thine evening’s meditations be directed to this subject proposed in these few words: “a wedding-garment.” Very many are the instructions which the passage contains. The Lord Jesus is representing, under the similitude of a wedding-feast, the rich provision God the Father hath made in the gospel, on account of the marriage of his dear Son with our nature. And most beautiful indeed is the representation. For what feast, in point of fulness, riches, and satisfaction, can come up to that which is furnished for the poor, needy, and perishing circumstances of famished and dying sinners? This feast of fat things (as the Scripture calls it) is indeed a rich feast, a royal feast, and a true wedding-feast: for as Jesus, on whose account it is made, hath united our nature in general to himself, so hath he united each individual of that nature in particular to himself, who is truly, and in reality, made a partaker of it. But the parable supposes (which, though not said, is implied) that the rich and bountiful Donor not only provides a feast for the hungry, but a covering for the naked; and that the very entrance to his table is inadmissible without this wedding-garment being accepted, put on, and worn by every individual who partakes of the supper. The case is here stated of one unworthy creature (and that one is a representative of all in like circumstances) who, when the King came in to see the guests, was found deficient of this covering. My soul! pause over this part. This man, it should seem, was not observed by any around him. He had come in with the crowd, and gained admittance with the rest. It was only when the King came in that he was discovered, and that by the King himself. What a volume of instruction is here in this short representation! So Jesus comes in the midst of his Churches. He presides at his table. Every individual is seen, is known by him, with every secret motive for which each cometh. It should seem, that at this supper there were great multitudes present, and but one without a wedding-garment. And yet that one could not be hidden from the King’s eye. My soul! while this furnisheth a subject for awful consideration, so doth it no less for joyful thought. Hast thou been at this gospel feast? Wert thou clothed in this wedding-garment? Surely, if so, thou art not at a loss to know. If the feast and the garment were both of the King’s providing, thou must know whether thou earnest to be clothed as well as fed; and whether the Lord, that provided the food, gave thee also raiment? Say then, when Jesus invited thee to his supper, didst thou go to it, as those in the highway, poor, and maimed, and halt, and blind? And while he bade thee come, didst thou regard his counsel; and “buy of him,” as he had said, without money, and without price, “white raiment, that thou mightst be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness should not appear?” (Rev. 3:18.) Oh! it is blessed, very blessed, to go hungry to such a feast, and clothed in the wedding-garment of Jesus’s righteousness, and to have the robe put on by God the Holy Ghost. Sure will be the acceptance, and gracious the reception, to every poor, famishing, naked sinner, that thus comes to the gospel feast. Do remark, my soul, one circumstance more in this man’s case: it doth not appear that he was naked; for then it would have been said so; and, if conscious of it, the bountiful Lord that made the feast would have clothed him. He had a garment, but not a wedding-garment. One of his own providing: like those who have a righteousness of their own, of whom the Lord elsewhere speaks: “Wo to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin.” (Isa. 30:1.) Precious Lord Jesus! clothe me with the wedding-garment of “thy righteousness,” and feed me with the rich food of “thy body and blood;” yea, Lord! be thou my covering, my joy, my all; that when at thy Church, at thy table, at thine house of prayer below, and at thy kingdom of glory above, the King cometh in to see his guests, my soul may cry out in thine own blessed words, and with a joy unspeakable and full of glory: “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10.)[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 203–205). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

July 4 The Poor Man’s Morning Portion

4.—I am among you as he that serveth.—Luke 22:27.

Surely there is a blessedness in these words that affords substance to feed upon. My soul, read them again and again; pause over them, pray over them, and look up to Him, that thus so humbly, graciously, and lovingly, expressed himself! Art thou, blessed Jesus, among thy people as he that serveth? I know, Lord, that thou didst condescend to become the servant of Jehovah, though thou wert Lord of all, when, for the salvation of poor sinners, thou didst undertake to veil thy Godhead, and in our nature to become our Surety. And I know, Lord, also, that thou didst, in a very memorable moment, and at a time when (as the Evangelist had it to relate to the church) thou knewest that the Father had given all things into thine hands, thou didst condescend to wash thy disciples’ feet. But art thou still among thy people as one that serveth? Be astonished, Oh heavens! and wonder, Oh earth! All power is thine in heaven and in earth! And is Jesus among his people, among his redeemed ones, his exercised ones, as he that serveth? Pause again, my soul. Meditate upon the blessed gracious words. Was there not a circumstance of trial, when Christ was upon earth, but what he felt in his human nature, when fulfilling all righteousness? Then will it follow, that there cannot be a circumstance of trial which his members now feel but what he knows; nay, what he appoints. And if he appoints it, is he not looking on; nay, measuring out suited strength, suited grace, as the circumstances shall require? And if all this be in Jesus now, and every minute event, both his ordering, supporting under, carrying through, crowning; in all is he not, though Lord of all, servant of all; and doth he not now say to every poor disciple in the present moment, as fully as he did to them in the garden with him, “I am among you as he that serveth?” My Lord and my God, would I cry out, under the same conscious shame of my dreadful unbelief, as Thomas did under his. Yes, Lord, thou art still ministering, still serving! And though I lose sight of thee in a thousand and ten thousand instances, where nothing but thy imparted strength could carry me through; yet plain and most evident it is, that in all the blessings of thy finished redemption, thou thyself art giving out, and serving up, grace to thy people. Thou didst first purchase all blessings with thy blood. And now thou ever livest to see them administered by thy spirit. Precious Jesus! thou art ever with me. By and by I shall be with thee, I shall see thee as thou art, and shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Morning Portion (pp. 182–183). New York; Pittsburg: Robert Carter.

July—3 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

The waters of Jordan.—Joshua 4:23.

The sacred streams of Jordan, so often and so highly celebrated in the word of God, open a very blessed subject for meditation. Sit down, my soul, by the side of that ancient river, and call to mind the faith exercised on that memorable spot by the multitude of the faithful gone before, that were heirs with thyself of the promises; and see whether the Holy Ghost will not graciously, this evening, make thy meditation sweet? Recollect, as thou viewest the hallowed ground, that here it was, in this river, Jesus received the first public testimony from God the Father, and the first open display of the descent of God the Holy Ghost. Here Jehovah began to magnify the Lord Christ. And here, in ages before, had the Lord begun to magnify that memorable type of Jesus, his servant Joshua. And as, from the baptism of Jesus at this sacred river, the Lamb of God opened his divine commission, so here Joshua, his type, commenced his ministry. From hence he led the people to the promised land. And from hence, Jesus, in the baptism of his holy spirit, leads his redeemed to the possession of the everlasting Canaan, in heaven. There is, indeed, a double view of our Lord’s ministry, in these waters of Jordan: not only of baptism, as introductory to the wilderness state of temptation that follows to all his people, but also, as the close of the wilderness-dispensation, in the Jordan of death, when finally and fully, Jesus leads them through to their immortal possessions. And as the children of Israel had been exercised for forty years together, through a waste and howling wilderness, until they came to Jordan, which opened a passage to them of life and liberty to a land flowing with milk and honey, so the followers of the Lord Jesus, having passed through the pilgrimage of this world, amidst the various assaults of sin and Satan, pass through the Jordan of death, conducted and secured by their almighty Leader, unto the possession of that kingdom of glory and happiness which is above. Pause, my soul, over the review! behold, by faith, the wonderful events which passed here. In this sacred river, once rested the ark of the covenant of the Lord of the whole earth. Here Jesus, whom that ark represented, was baptized. Here Israel passed over. And here, my soul, must thou pass over in the hour of death. Oh! how sweet and blessed, in the swellings of Jordan, to behold Jesus, and hear his well-known voice, “Fear not; for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name: thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee.”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 202–203). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

July 3 The Poor Man’s Morning Portion

3.—Now the end of the commandment is charity, out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.—1 Timothy 1:3.

See, my soul, what Jesus hath secured for thee, by his gracious undertaking and accomplishment; and which his servant was commissioned to tell the church, was the very end of the commandment, namely, charity and love. And this law of love is given thee, that thou mightest manifest whose thou art, and to whom thou dost belong; not as a rule of acceptance, for then that would be to make thy love a covenant of works, but as a sweet testimony of thy affection in the hand of Jesus. It is a law of love indeed, because the cords of love, by which thou art drawn, prove it to be so. Thy obedience is not from slavish fear, for then this would be bondage, but the love of Christ constrains thee. Thy love to him makes thee long to be like him. Thy love to him makes his commandments not grievous but gracious. Thy love to him makes ordinances precious, because Jesus is the whole of them. And thy love to him makes all that belongs to him dear, and in which Jesus requires thy proofs of affection; not in thy strength, as the poor Israelites were demanded to make brick without straw, but living in thee, and working in thee, both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Here, my soul, thou truly findest strength and grace equal to thy day. The end of every commandment, as well as the beginning, is love, for it begins in Jesus, is carried on in Jesus, and ends in Jesus, and he is all love. And in him, and by him, the conscience, the heart, faith, all, are kept pure, undefiled, and unfeigned, because love in Jesus is at the bottom; like the chariot of Solomon, paved with love. Oh, thou glorious pattern of all holiness! make me like thyself![1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Morning Portion (pp. 181–182). New York; Pittsburg: Robert Carter.

July—2 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who, by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.—Hebrews 5:14.

My soul! of what age art thou in the divine life? It is high time to inquire—high time to know. And the information is not far to attain, if thou dost wish it. A state of full age not only can receive, and relish the strong meat of the gospel, but really desires it, longs for it, and can be satisfied with nothing else. And what is the strong meat of the gospel? Surely the person, the work, the glory, the grace, the love, the every thing that is in Jesus, which belongs to Jesus, and flows from Jesus. And depend upon it, that if thy spiritual senses are so frequently exercised upon Jesus, as to relish this food, to delight in it, yea, to loathe all else, there will be a sweet savour of Jesus in thy whole life and conversation. And in the exact proportion that thou takest a fulness of this spiritual food, so may thine age be estimated. All we hear, all we see, all we read of, or meet with, of Jesus, will be food to the soul. Jesus is as the sweet flower of the field; and faith, like the bee, gathers from it, and brings home, both the golden honey and the wax to the hive, and lives upon it; so that then Christ is in the heart, dwells in the heart (as the apostle terms it) by faith, and is “formed in the heart the hope of glory.” Now, where there is no fulness of age, yea, no age at all, not a babe in Christ, nor even born again, the strong meat of the gospel can neither be received, taken in, nor enjoyed. An unawakened heart is not only incapable of strong meat, but is disgusted at it. Persons of this kind may hear of Jesus, and apparently, for the time, seem pleased. For as all men, when they die, would desire to go to heaven, so a discourse about it may amuse as a subject at a distance. But there is nothing within them with which the subject can incorporate; no digestive powers to receive such strong meat, and consequently no relish. A shower of rain in a dry season may wet the surface, but if it soak not to the root, the plants find no good. My soul! what saith thine experience to these things? Hath the Lord so manifested himself to thee in all his glory, that nothing short of Jesus can satisfy thee? Hast thou found a transforming power accompanying this view of Jesus, that by faith, his glory hath excited thy desires to partake of him? And do the daily hopes which arise from such thoughts and views of thy Lord, so give rest, comfort, and joy to thee, that these refreshments are like “the spiced wine of the pomegranate?” Blessed Redeemer! may I be able to ascertain the real ripeness of my age by testimonies like these; and sure I am in this view and enjoyment of Jesus, I shall find cause to give thanks, yea, unceasing thanks, to “God and the Father, who thus maketh us meet to be partakers of the inheritance with the saints in light.”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 201–202). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

July 2 The Poor Man’s Morning Portion

2.—And thou shalt not be for another man; so will I also be for thee.—Hosea 3:3.

My soul, was not God the Holy Ghost representing, by the similitude of his servant the prophet’s marriage with an adulteress, the astonishing marriage of Jesus with our nature, and his personal union with every individual of his church and people? Look at this scripture, and see how sweetly it points to Jesus. The prophet was commanded to love this woman, beloved of her friend, and yet an adulteress. He was to buy her also to himself: and he was to charge her to abide with him, and not to play the harlot any more, saying unto her, “And thou shalt not be for another man, so will I also be for thee.” Precious Jesus, do I not behold thee in all this? Can any thing more strikingly shadow forth thy grace, thy mercy, thy love, to thy people? Was not our whole nature estranged from thee, when thou camest down from heaven, to seek and save that which was lost? Were not all in a state of daring adultery, when thou hadst from everlasting betrothed thyself to us, in standing up our glorious Husband and Surety? And how striking the expression; “Then said the Lord unto me, go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend;” surely at the command of God thy Father, and not uncalled, unsent, unauthorized, didst thou come. Our nature was indeed yet beloved of thee, our best and dearest Friend, though in a state of spiritual adultery, and wholly gone away from thee. Yes, blessed Jesus! in defiance of all our multiplied transgressions, it might be truly said, we were yet beloved of thee our Friend and Brother, born for adversity; for thou wert then, as now, unchangeable in thy love, the same Jesus yesterday, to-day, and for ever. And surely, Lord, in another feature the prophet shadowed thee forth: for as he purchased the harlot, so thou, Lord, before we became thine, didst purchase us by thy blood. And dost thou now say to me this day, “Abide with me, and thou shalt not be for another man, so will I also be for thee?” Oh, condescending God! oh, precious, lovely, all-loving Saviour! Lord make me thine, yea, altogether thine! Let my whole soul, and body, and spirit, be all thine, both by the conquests of thy grace, as they are justly thine, and by the purchase of thy blood, that never, never more, I may depart from thee, but with the same full consent as the church of old, I may exult in this blessed assurance: My beloved is mine, and I am his.[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Morning Portion (pp. 180–181). New York; Pittsburg: Robert Carter.

July—1 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man, came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.—Daniel 7:13, 14.

Bless the Lord, my soul, who giveth thee “songs in the night,” from the night visions of the prophet. Read this sweet scripture, explained as it is, most fully and completely, by the Evangelists, in their account of Jesus, as “the Son of man;” and what a wonderful coincidence and agreement is there between them! It is in the human nature of the Lord Christ, that the glories of this kingdom shine so full and resplendent. “The Ancient of days” can be no other than God the Father, who is truly the Ancient of days, being self-existent, and from everlasting to everlasting. And the Son of God, as God, one with the Father, is the same from all eternity. But here he is spoken of as the Christ of God, and particularly revealed to Daniel, in the visions of the night, as “the Son of man.” Ponder this well, my soul. Contemplate the dominion, glory, and kingdom, given to Jesus in thy nature. Recollect also, in the moment of thy meditation, that it is by virtue of this nature, united to the Godhead, that the exercise of all sovereignty, wisdom, and power, is carried on, and Christ’s kingdom established for ever. It saith, in this scripture, that these things were given to him. They could not have been given to him as God, for all things were his before, but as Christ, the Son of man; the Son of God, having taken into union with the Godhead our nature, became one Christ, and as such, received them. And what endears the subject, in the greatness and everlasting nature of it, is, that Jesus is all this in our nature. For here it is that that sweet scripture unfolds all its beauty: “As the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; because he is the Son of man!” (John 5:26, 27.) Mark the peculiar blessedness of the expression, for the meditation is most sweet. Jesus, as Jesus Mediator, hath life in himself. He doth not hold it as at pleasure, or like creatures, which, because once given, may be taken away. It is in himself in the human nature, and therefore not liable to be recalled. Pause over this subject, this glorious, blessed, joyful subject! Thy Jesus, my soul, hath life in himself, in his human nature, because he is the Son of man. Think, then, of thine everlasting safety in him, and thine unceasing glory from him, for he saith himself, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” Hallelujah. Amen, Amen.[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 200–201). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.