William Bradford Institute
for Study of the
Early Settlement of America

Count the Cost

from "The Poor Man's Portions" by Robert Hawker



"For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count
the cost?" Luke 14:28

Ponder, my soul, over this very striking image of your Lord's, concerning the
divine life. The picture of a builder is most aptly chosen; for the Christian
builder is building for eternity. And the figure of a warrior, which our Lord
also joins to it, is no less so, for the battle is for life, and that life is
eternal. Have you counted the cost? Have you entered upon the work? Is the
foundation-stone, which God hath laid in Zion, the rock on which you are

Pause and examine. Be the cost what it may; the loss of earthly friends; the
parting with every worldly pursuit; the scorn, contempt, and derision of all
mankind; indeed, the loss of life itself: if these come in the way of
competition, are you ready to give them all up?-When you has answered these
inquiries, go on, and see that your foundation be really fixed on Christ.

If so, it must have been previously sought for, by digging deep into the natural
state in which you were born. Jesus must have been first determined to be most
essentially necessary, and most essentially precious, before the spiritual
building of the soul was made to rest upon him. And, when found, unless the
whole of the building rest entirely upon him, it will, as a column out of its
centre, still totter. Oh! it is blessed to make Christ the all in all of the
spiritual temple; blessed to make him the first in point of order; blessed to
make him the first in point of strength, to support and bear the weight of the
whole building; blessed to make him the grand cement, to unite and keep
together, in one harmonious proportion and regularity, every part of the
building; and blessed to bring forth the top-stone of the building, by his
strength and glory, crying, "Grace, grace unto it."

Precious Jesus! May it be found that I have so sat down, counted the cost, and
formed my whole plan, in your strength, and to your praise; that whatever
oppositions, like the Tobiahs and Sanballats of old, I may meet with in the
work, I may feel the sweetness and encouragement of that blessed Scripture, and
exult with the prophet: "Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you
shall become a plain!" Zech 4:7


Promoting a Greater Understanding of the Discovery of the Americas