Category Archives: The Poor Man’s Portion

November 24 The Poor Man’s Morning Portion

24.—Behold I send an angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, for my name is in him.—Exod. 23:20, 21.

Who can this be, my soul, but Jesus? He, and he only, who is the whole of the covenant, is also the Messenger, and the Angel of the covenant. Jehovah hath never put his name in any other; neither given his honour to any other. But in Jesus he is eternally well pleased, and hath given all things into his hand. Pause then, my soul, and contemplate this holy, this blessed, this only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. I see in Him all the glory, the sovereignty, the wisdom, grace, and goodness, of the Father. And he is Jehovah’s salvation to the ends of the earth. And wilt thou then, my gracious God and Father, send Jesus before me in all my way, to keep me, to guide me, and to bring me in, to behold thy glory in the face of Jesus Christ, and to dwell with thee for ever? Oh! Lord Jesus! I would desire grace so to beware of thee, so to love thee, so to obey thee, so to adore thee, so to make thee my all in all, my life, my love, my joy, my present, my everlasting hope and portion, that in life, and death, in time, and to all eternity, Jesus may be my glory and salvation for ever and ever.[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Morning Portion (pp. 291–292). New York; Pittsburg: Robert Carter.

November—23 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.—2 Cor. 4:18.

This was the blessed plan of Old Testament believers, under present exercises: to look off from the objects of sight, and to substantiate and realize the objects of faith. They saw “the day of Christ afar off;” and in that view, “rejoiced and were glad.” By this means they brought into present enjoyment things which were distant; their faith acting like those glasses which magnify and bring home whatever is remote, as though it were nigh. Now, my soul, take instruction from those eminent worthies of the Old Testament school, that “through patience and comfort of the scriptures, thou also mayest have hope.” By virtue of thine interest in Jesus, thou hast a large property in the world to come. If Christ be thine, all is thine. And certainly it is an extensive domain which thou hast in Christ’s bond-promises, and God’s covenant-securities: yea, thy right is confirmed beyond all earthly charters whatever. God thy Father hath promised and confirmed the whole with an oath; Jesus hath written, as well as bought it with his blood; and God the Holy Ghost hath sealed it with the great seal of heaven. Now whenever thou art at any time put to it, by reason of difficulties and exercises below, look off from all those things which are but temporal, and take a view of those which are eternal. And while thou lookest upon them as thine own, with a sure right of a reversionary interest after the death of an old life, which is consuming daily, enter by faith upon the enjoyment of them now. Do as men of the world do by their estates and their property: the husbandman values his crops, and counts up what the harvest, when it comes, will bring in; whereas he may be disappointed with a blasting, or mildew, or storms, or canker-worms: but no such events can happen to thee. The merchantman will borrow money upon the credit of his ships returning from a foreign market; notwithstanding many peradventures are between him and his vessels’ return: but this is not thy case. Thine is certain, perfect, sure. Hence, therefore, live by present faith upon the enjoyment of it, and thou wilt find that this is the grand secret of all the happiness of life. This is what the apostle declared to be the profitableness of being godly; for it “hath the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” So that if men oppress thee, devils tempt thee, the plague of thine own heart be daily making thy pilgrimage troublesome, turn from the things which are seen, and feast upon those to which thou art hastening, which are not seen: and, like those valiant heroes gone before, “take joyfully the spoiling of thy goods, knowing that in heaven thou hast a better and an enduring substance.” For if the Lord break up thine housekeeping, and remove thy furniture from thee, he will shortly take thee home to his own house: and if he cause thy bed to be taken from under thee, it will be no loss to exchange it for Jesus’s bosom. This is the cause why the old saints fainted not. Lord Jesus! give me the same spirit![1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 328–329). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

November 23 The Poor Man’s Morning Portion

23.—If the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt-offering and a meat-offering at our hands; neither would he have shewed us all these things.—Judges 13:23.

Precious faith this of the wife of Manoah, and sound and conclusive reasoning. My soul, hath the Father, who gave thee Jesus for a Saviour, accepted thee in Jesus? Hath the Father, who sent his dear Son to be the Saviour of the world, accepted Jesus for thy Saviour? Hath the Holy Ghost showed thee the glorious things of redemption in his blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace? And hath he given thee to believe in the record, that God hath given eternal life, and that this life is in his Son? Oh! then say, with the wife of Manoah, Surely the Lord would never have done all this, neither would he have showed me all these things, had he not intended my salvation! Treasure up, then, these past tokens of favour: consider present evidences of mercy, and say, Is not Jesus still precious? Are not my desires after him? And small as you sometimes think your hope, yet would you, my soul, relinquish it for a thousand worlds? Oh, then, my soul, hang upon Jesus, cleave to Jesus, hold fast on Jesus. Never would the Lord have showed me the beauty, glory, fulness, suitableness, and all-sufficiency of Jesus, nor enabled my soul to hold up Jesus in the arms of my faith for acceptance, if the Lord had been pleased to kill me.[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Morning Portion (p. 291). New York; Pittsburg: Robert Carter.

November—22 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

The Lord’s free-man.—1 Corinthians 7:22.

And who is the Lord’s free-man? Jesus himself hath given a decided answer to this inquiry. “Whosoever committeth sin (saith Jesus) is the servant of sin.” Now as by nature we are all born in this state of bondage to sin, and by practice have fully manifested the stock of servitude to which by nature we belong; we are vassals and slaves to sin, and in bondage to all the dreadful consequences. “But,” saith Jesus, “if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed!” (John 8:34–36.) Hence, then, my soul, learn what it is to be the Lord’s free-man, and the blessed effects resulting from this freedom. If this be thy portion, thou art no longer in bondage to “the curse of God’s broken law.” Jesus hath freed them from this; having “redeemed thee from the curse of the law, in being made himself a curse.” Thou art no longer under “the penalty of sin;” Jesus delivered thee from the wrath to come, when “he, who knew no sin, became sin for his people, that they might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Thou art no longer under “the dominion of sin:” Jesus hath taken away this power also; for “the law of the Spirit of life which is in Christ Jesus, hath made his people free from the law of sin and death:” thou art loosed from “the yoke of Satan;” for by the conquest of Christ on the cross, thou art “delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son.” Thou art freed from “the slavish fears of death:” for through death Jesus hath destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil, and hath delivered them “who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Are these among the privileges of the Lord’s free-man? Is it thus to be a citizen of the Jerusalem above, which is free, and the mother of us all? Hail then, thou almighty Lord of thy people! It is thou who hast redeemed them to God by thy blood! And therefore to thee we wave the palm of victory, ascribing all our salvation to God and the Lamb![1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 327–328). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

November 22 The Poor Man’s Morning Portion

22.—Come, buy wine and milk, without money, and without price.—Isaiah 55:1.

Surely no man can plead poverty as an excuse for not buying, when the things sold are not only without money, but without even the proposals for money: not only without ready money, but without any money. Here is not even a price given. My soul, remember this. The poorer the wretch, the more welcome to this market. But what are the things sold? Both wine and milk. A blessed variety in the gospel feast—wine to cheer, and milk to nourish. Yes, blessed Jesus, thy love is better than wine; and thy salvation more healing than milk. Besides, it comes free, it comes pure, it comes in plenty. And it far, very far, exceeds the strongest wine, and the richest milk. For though wine may remove a temporary heaviness, yet it was never known to raise the dead. But thy love, blessed Jesus! hath raised, and will keep alive for ever, sinners dead in trespasses and sins, and preserve the languishing graces of thy saints. Come then, my soul, obey the gospel-invitation this day, and every day; come, buy these precious things without money, and without price. Come, ye poor, needy, perishing sinners; come, every one of you, and buy—there is enough in Jesus for us all. And depend upon it, not one of you will be sent empty away, if you come empty to be filled, and hungering to be satisfied. This is the only mark and evidence of every real purchaser. If Jesus, with all his blessings, be welcome to your heart, you are welcome to take of his free salvation. Lord! I am come this day, and every day. Now let me hear thy voice: “Eat, O friends! drink; yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Morning Portion (p. 290). New York; Pittsburg: Robert Carter.

November—21 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth; for thy love is better than wine.—Song 1:2.

And what are the kisses of Jesus, but the manifestation of himself to his people? Old Testament saints longed for this blessing; and New Testament believers live by the same faith in the enjoyment of it. The cause is most evident indeed; for the love of Jesus passeth knowledge. Nothing of the nether-springs in comforts can even describe the blessedness of it: for corn, and wine, and oil, when they increase, cannot satisfy those desires, which Jesus in himself and his upper-spring mercies can alone fulfil. Wine, indeed, may act as a temporary cordial to the body’s weakness, and it may, for the moment, relieve worldly sorrow; but in both cases, the maladies will return, sometimes with double violence, and baffle all its powers: nay, if wine be used too freely, so far from affording relief, it will add drunkenness to thirst. But thy love, blessed Jesus, never fails of its gracious end and design. The power and efficacy is not confined to the relief of bodily distresses, but extends to those of the soul: yea, it raiseth the sinner, who is dead in trespasses and sins, and infallibly saves him from the second death. And such is its cordial and refreshing nature, that it not only gives the body ease, but cheers and gladdens the soul; and unlike the juice of the grape, where large draughts injure both, he that drinks deepest into thy love, thou blessed Jesus, can never find an excess of injury, but delight. Every one that hath only tasted of thy love, is constrained to cry out, with the Church: “Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.” (Song 2:5.) Shall I not then join in this sweet scripture, and say, as she did: “Let Jesus kiss me with the kisses of his mouth; for thy love is better than wine!”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 326–327). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

November 21 The Poor Man’s Morning Portion

21.—And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reigns.—Isaiah 11:5.

Mark these expressions, my soul, concerning thy Covenant God in Christ. The Lord condescends by them to represent both his righteousness and faithfulness, as they are engaged to make good the purposes of redemption, in the Father and the Son. Jehovah’s righteousness, and Jehovah’s faithfulness, are blessed securities for this purpose; for so saith the Holy Ghost. God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. Wherefore? Because Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, to every one that believeth. And do not overlook the striking figure of the girdle which is chosen to represent it by: for as a man binds on the girdle round his loins as a strengthener, so Jehovah takes to himself the righteousness of his dear Son. Let him take hold, saith Jehovah, of my strength, to make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me, Isaiah 27:5. This is the girdle of Jehovah, which compasseth him about, and cleaveth to him all around. So that his people, whether they are behind or before, may lay hold of the girdle of his perfections, and hang upon them, and depend upon them: and even when God’s providences seem to frown, or the Lord seemeth to have turned his back upon them. Oh for grace and faith both in Jehovah’s covenant faithfulness, and Christ’s righteousness, thus to trust, and thus to stay; for he is faithful that hath promised.[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Morning Portion (pp. 289–290). New York; Pittsburg: Robert Carter.

November—20 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and saw him, and said unto him, Zaccheus, make haste, and come down; for to-day I must abide at thine house.—Luke 19:5.

Precious Jesus! what an instance is here of the freeness, fulness, and sovereignty of thy grace! And was there a needs be, O Lord, that thou shouldst go to the place where this publican was? a needs be to look up and see him? a needs be to call him? and a needs be to abide at his house? Is this thy manner, O Lord, in calling sinners? So then it was not Zaccheus seeking Jesus, but Jesus seeking Zaccheus. His curiosity, as he thought, led him thither; but it was the prevenient grace of Jesus in the poor man’s heart that first awakened that curiosity in him. And did Jesus seek Zaccheus, call Zaccheus, incline Zaccheus to receive him, and bring salvation to his heart and house that blessed day? Oh! then for grace to see, and enjoy Jesus in all. Yea, I see, Lord, now plain enough, that all is thine; and of thine own, all we give is from thee. When first my heart felt inclined to seek Jesus, it was Jesus who inclined my heart to this Christ seeking. Never should I have looked on thee, nor felt an inclination to see thee, hadst thou not first looked on me, and given me that desire. And what it was first, so is it now, in all the after enjoyments of thy sight and of thy presence. If I am at any time looking after thee, I may cry out with Abraham’s hand-maid, “Thou, Lord, seest me,” and art looking after me. For never, even after all my knowledge of thee, should I look to thee, with an eye of desire, except the eye of Jesus glance on me as it did on Peter, in quickening and awakening grace. Oh! then, thou dear Lord! let me daily, hourly hear thy voice calling me down from all creature-concerns, and creature-confidences, to receive my Lord; and be thou constrained by thy love to come, not as the wayfaring man, to tarry but for the night, but to abide, and dwell, and never more depart from me. Be thou my God, and make me thy servant for ever.[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, p. 326). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

November 20 The Poor Man’s Morning Portion

20.—Christ, the Wisdom of God.—1 Cor. 1:24.

Think, my soul, what wisdom is contained in that one word, and that one person, Christ. An whole eternity will not be sufficient to read over the immense volume! Wisdom in planning, wisdom in executing, wisdom in completing, thy great salvation. And what a world of wisdom, in the two natures united in one person—the God-man, the Glory-man, the Wisdom-man, Christ Jesus. And oh! what wisdom in making sin, which strikes at God’s sovereignty, the very means of manifesting God’s power and love. Such is the wisdom of God in Christ, that sin, which in its nature becomes productive of the greatest dishonour to God, should be rendered subservient to produce the greatest glory. My soul, ponder these things. Then ask thyself, Is there not a wisdom in this vast subject, as far as it concerns thee, yet more wonderful than all? Yes, for surely the greatest of all mysteries in this wonderful volume, to thy view, is, that thou, even thou, shouldest be made the subject for the exercise of such wisdom, as Christ the wisdom of God, and the power of God, for thy salvation. And all this even against thy determined resolution to ruin thyself. Well mayest thou join the apostle in his overwhelming song of praise, and cry out, Oh! the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and goodness of God![1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Morning Portion (p. 289). New York; Pittsburg: Robert Carter.

November—19 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

The eyes of all wait upon thee, and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing.—Psalm 145:15, 16.

What a full and comprehensive scripture is here! and what a view doth it open to the mind in the contemplation of God, in all his works of nature, providence, and grace! Pause over it, my soul, and as thou meditatest, apply it to the several circumstances of thine own wants, and the wants of Jesus’s Church in Zion. Remember, that as all eyes of the redeemed wait upon thy God, as well as thine; so it is Jesus, and Jesus only, that can satisfy the desire of all. Figure to thyself, at this moment, the court of Jesus thronged with waiting petitioners! and behold Jesus coming forth to supply, and answer all and every one. Think how many, how great, how diversified their cases. And then behold Jesus as not only having the suited blessing for all; but that when the desire of every living thing is satisfied, Jesus is no less full than before; neither is an atom of the riches of his grace abated. Oh! could this great truth but be once thoroughly impressed upon the minds of sinners, yea, not only needy, but wretched, worthless sinners, how would the heavenly court be crowded day and night to watch for, and to partake of his bounty. My soul, hasten with thy petition, for the king is on his throne, and waiting to be gracious. And as thou goest, invite every poor creature whom thou seest, to go with thee. Tell him there is enough for thee, enough for him, enough for all. And tell him to accompany thee with full confidence: for however ready and earnest his soul is to seek, Jesus is infinitely more ready to bestow. Tell him, moreover, that while Jesus will be making him blessed in receiving, Jesus himself will be abundantly more glorious in giving; for it is on such poor sinners that he makes his grace to shine. Say, dear Lord! art thou not more blessed to the view and love of thy Church in proportion as they receive of thy grace? and the happier thy people are made in thee, the more glorious art thou in them. And whence all this, thou dearest Lord, but because thou art, hast been, and will be, for everlasting to everlasting, Jesus?[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, p. 325). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.