The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions
Robert Hawker (1753-1827)
"I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one."—John xvii. 23.
Think, my soul, to what a transcendant honour, to what a state of unspeakable happiness, the truly regenerated believer in Jesus is begotten. Who shall declare it; what heart shall fully conceive it? Mark, my soul, how graciously thy Redeemer hath pointed it out, in those sweet words. Observe the foundation of the whole, in that glorious mystery of union between the Father and the Son. This is at the bottom of all our mercies, and becomes the source and spring of every other. "Thou in me," saith Jesus; not only as One in the nature and essence of the Godhead, in a sameness of nature, of design, of will, of perfections, and in all the attributes which constitute the distinguishing properties of Jehovah; but peculiarly as Mediator, the head of the church and people, in communicating all the fulness of the Godhead to dwell bodily in Jesus, as the Glory-man, the God-man, the Anointed of God. Thus, being one with Christ, and dwelling in Christ, in such a way and manner as the Godhead never did, and never can, dwell in any other. And as Jesus is thus One with the Father in the essence of the Godhead, and the Father in him, dwelling in him, and being in him, in all the work of redemption, as Mediator - so is Jesus one in the nature of the manhood, with all his mystical members. "I in them," saith Christ," as thou art in me. "Jesus is the Head of his body, the church, and he is their fulness; and they members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. Hence result the blessed effects which his redeemed all derive from him," that they may be made perfect in one. "Sweet and precious thought! in Jesus they are made perfect. From him they derive perfection. As one with him, they are counted, and beheld perfect before God; and by him they will be found so to all eternity. And what particularly endears this lovely view of the believer's perfection in Christ Jesus, is this; that every individual member of Jesus's mystical body, is all alike equally interested in this perfection in Jesus. For as it is from the same Spirit dwelling in them all, that they are quickened to this spiritual life in Christ Jesus, and are all of them made living members, and united to Jesus, their one glorious head; so there must be an equally near and dear union to Jesus, and to one another. Delightful consideration! as the apostle-reasons upon another consideration - "The eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee; nor the foot say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body. "In Jesus they are all one; neither can any touch the least of his people, no more than the apple of his eye, without touching him. Is it so, my soul? And art thou one with Jesus, one with the glorious Head, one with the precious members? Hast thou communion in all that concerns Christ; communion and interest in his Person; communion in his righteousness; communion in his life, in his death, in his resurrection, in his church, in his people, in his ordinances, in all that concerns Jesus? Oh then, rest assured that thou shalt have an everlasting communion, and nothing shall separate thee from Jesus - neither in time nor to all eternity. Go down, my body, go down to the grave with this perfect confidence - "That if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal body, by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."
"And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lift up his eyes, and looked, and behold, there stood a man over against him, with his sword drawn in his hand. And Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, nay, but as Captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship."—Joshua v. 13, 14.
Behold, my soul, what a most blessed portion here is, for thee to feast upon, in almost endless thought. Who could this be, that appeared to Joshua, but the Lord Jesus Christ? Who ever called himself the Captain of the Lord's host; but he whom the Holy Ghost hath called," the Captain of our salvation? "Heb ii. 10. is he not the same who appeared to Adam in the garden, to Abraham in his tent, to Jacob at Bethel, to Moses at the bush? And though he diversified his form, upon these and several other occasions; yet all were only intended to familiarize his people to the knowledge of him. And wherefore, dearest Jesus, was it, that thou didst thus graciously condescend to visit thy chosen, so long before the time appointed for the open display of thyself, when tabernacling in flesh, but to tell thy church, that thy whole heart was towards them in love, and that the thoughts thou hadst towards them, were thoughts of good and not of evil? And although, in this thy appearance to thy servant Joshua, thou didst assume the human form; yet as Captain of the Lord's host, he instantly knew thy glorious character of Mediator, and fell to the earth in adoration. Hail then, thou almighty Lord, thou Captain of the Lord's host, and of my salvation! thou hast indeed, indeed entered the lists of the holy war, and in thine own person, led captivity captive, and fully conquered Satan and sin, and death, and hell, for thy people: and thou wilt assuredly conquer all those tremendous foes of ours, in thy people, and bruise Satan under our feet shortly. Indeed, indeed, dear Lord, thou hast already brought them under; for by thy sovereign grace in the hearts of thy redeemed, thou hast made thy people "willing in the day of thy power." By the sword of thy Spirit, thou hast convinced my soul of sin, and by the arrows of thy quiver, thou hast wounded my heart with deep contrition for sin. Lord, I fall before thee, as thy servant Joshua did, and worship thee; and with all the church of the redeemed, both in heaven and earth, cheerfully confess," that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. "Amen.