Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
Robert Hawker (1753-1827) was a Devonian vicar of the Anglican Church and the most prominent of the vicars of Charles Church, Plymouth, Devon. His grandson was Cornish poet Robert Stephen Hawker.
Hawker, deemed "Star of the West" for his superlative preaching that drew thousands to Charles to hear him speak for over an hour at a time, was known as a bold evangelical, caring father, active in education and compassionate for the poor and needy of the parish, a scholar and author of many books and deeply beloved of his parishioners.
He was a man of great frame, burly, strong and with blue eyes that sparkled and a fresh complexion. His humour was deep and razor sharp and his wit popular although he had a solemn exterior and in conversation would resort to silence while contemplating a difficult retort. He played the violin well and was an excellent scholar. Almost as soon as he arrived as curate he started writing and poured out over the year a long list of books, volumes of sermons, a theological treatise, a popular commentary, a guide to communion and also books of lessons in reading and writing for the schools. For a work of his on the divinity of Christ (combating the rise of Unitarianism) the University of Edinburgh conferred upon him a degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1792. He also produced the "Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions" that were used long after his death.
the First Week of Advent