In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.…
1. What is it which makes men different from all other living beings we know of? Is it not speech — the power of words? The beasts may make one another understand many things, but they have no speech.
2. But where did this power of uttering thoughts come from? The beasts have been on the earth as long as man, and yet they can no more speak than they could when they were created. But Adam could speak at once, and could understand what God said to him. Who gave him that power but Jesus, the Word who was in the beginning with God, and lighteth every man that cometh into the world?
3. By Christ the Word God has spoken to man in all ages. It was He whom Moses and the seventy elders saw, for "no man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father He hath declared Him. He put rote David's mouth those glorious Psalms. "The Lord... hath put a new song into my mouth." He, as the Word of God, came unto the prophets. When He became incarnate, He spake as never man spake. And since then He has given to all wise and holy poets, philosophers, and preachers the power to speak and write the wonderful truths they have thought out.
4. Ought not the knowledge of all this
(1) make us better and wiser;
(2) make us reverence the Bible;
(3) reverence all good books?Except a living man, there is nothing more wonderful than a book, a message from a human soul thousands of miles away which can amuse, terrify, comfort, teach us. Why is it that neither angels, nor saints, nor evil spirits appear now to speak to men as they once did? Because we have books by which Christ's messengers and the devil's can communicate with us. If they are good and true, they are the message of Christ, the Teacher of all truth. If they are false and wicked, we ought to fear them as evil spirits loosed among us. This is an age of books, a flood of writings of all sorts is spreading over the world. We ought not to stop that. It is God's ordinance. It is of His grace and mercy that we have a free press. It was dearly bought. The men who died to buy us this liberty knew that it was better to let in a thousand bad books than to shut out one good one, for a grain of God's truth will outweigh a ton of the devil's lies. We cannot silence evil books, but we can take care what we read, and that what we let others read shall be good and wholesome.
(Charles Kingsley, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.