Acts 4:30

Robert Hawker

"Thy holy child Jesus."–Acts iv. 30.

There is somewhat so very sweet and precious in this expression, that, my soul, I would have thee to meditate upon it. Surely the apostles had a special meaning in calling the Lord Jesus, "the holy child Jesus:" and no doubt the Holy Ghost did not cause his servants thus to express themselves for nought. It will be thy wisdom, therefore, to inquire. I do not find a similar phrase in all the word of God. The Redeemer is spoken of, in the days of his infancy, as "the child Jesus;" and when twelve years of age, he is still called "the child;" see Luke ii. 27, 34, 43; but no where, that I recollect, does he receive the blessed appellation that he is here distinguished by, of "the holy child Jesus." It would be presumption in thee, to determine the cause of this distinction; but it can be none to inquire. Sit down then, this evening, favourable as it is to solemn meditation, and ponder well the subject. Child and servant, in scripture language, we are told, have the same meaning: hence the apostle observes, in his epistle to the church of the Galatians, that "the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be Lord of all," Gal. iv. 1. The phrase, therefore, may be accepted under this view, and it will be agreeable to the w hole tenor of the bible. See Isaiah xlii. 1. compared with Matt. xii. 18. Nevertheless, I am inclined to think, that somewhat more is intended by it, in this place of the apostles' prayer, when they called Christ "the holy child Jesus." Perhaps in allusion to his holy nature, contrasted to the unholy hands by whom he was crucified and slain; and in this view the subject is truly lovely and interesting. Christ was to be crucified by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God; but none but unholy hands were to be embrued in the blood of God's "holy child Jesus." And doth not the expression, "holy child Jesus," serve, in a very striking manner, and with peculiar emphasis, to bring home to thy thoughts the holiness of that nature, which, in the childhood of Jesus, and from the womb, was altogether "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens?" Hence, before his incarnation, the angel called him by a peculiar name, "that holy thing;" not that holy man, but that "holy thing;" Luke i. 85. And doth not the expression bring home, in a yet more endearing manner, if possible, the blessedness of all this in the cause. For "the holy child Jesus," that "holy thing," became the one holy representative of all his church and people; he was, and is, and ever will be, "the head of his body, the church;" and hence, in the sight of Jehovah, Christ and his members are one. Now, my soul, considering the phrase in this point of view, what a fulness of light, and life, and glory, and joy, doth it hold forth, and pour in, upon the believer's mind! Lamb of God! I would say, "holy child Jesus!" in thy holiness, cause me to behold myself always appearing before God, and my Father; for, sure I am, if the Lord Jehovah made thee to be sin for thy people, when thou knewest no sin, it was with the express design, in his holy purpose, counsel, and will, that "they should be made the righteousness of God in thee."


Robert Hawker

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