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In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things, were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life: and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that light. That was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God; even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the word vas made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the father,) full of grace and truth.-JOHN i. 1-14.
THE idea of a beginning involves that of antecedent
existence, from which that beginning originated. The VOL. IV. B
beginning of a man's life implies parentage; the being of a tower of a city, necessarily supposes a pre-existent head to plan, and a hand to execute. The vast frame of Nature must have had its commencement from a preceding skill to contrive, and a power to perform. The Mosaic account of the Creation is the only one that sound reason can admit. If GoD created the heavens and the earth, GoD was before the heavens and the earth. Moses the historian, and John the evangelist carry us back to one and the same era, carry us up to one and the same all-wise, all-powerful Being. Nature and Grace issue from the same source and tend toward the same grand consummation. The prophet and the apostle employ the self-same terms to describe the same objects. "He that built all things is Gov."
It has been remarked that the four Evangelists introduce their great subject in a retrogade series of representation. Matthew's gospel opens with a display of the Saviour's humanity, and presents us with his descent as a man. Mark conveys us back to the age of prophecy, and "the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God" is traced up to the predictions of Malachi and Isaiah. Luke the beloved physician refers us to the Levitical preisthood, to the altar of incense, and the services of an earthly sanctuary, "a shadow of good things to come." But John soars above all height; he recurs to the birth of nature, and ascribes that birth to a pre-existent, omnific WORD, which in the fulness of time was made flesh, and dwelt among us." We have beheld his glory displayed in the ages before the flood, in the persons and predictions of patriarchs and prophets, by whom "GOD at sundry times and in divers manners spake unto the fathers." But Moses and Elias have disappeared, the "voice crying in the wilderness" is heard no more; it is lost in a "voice from heaven," saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him."