The Incarnation of Christ, Before and After
1 John 1:1-4
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked on…

Midway down the Simplon Pass, the traveller pauses to read upon a stone by the wayside the single word "Italia." The Alpine pines cling to the mountainsides between whose steeps the rough way winds. The snow covers the peaks, and the brooks are frozen to the precipices. The traveller wraps his cloak about him against the frost that reigns undisputed upon those ancient thrones of icebound rock. But at the point where that stone with the word "Italia" stands, he passes a boundary line. From there the way begins into another world. Soon every step makes plainer how great has been the change from Switzerland to Italy. Humanity has crossed a boundary line between two eras. Up to Bethlehem was one way, growing bleaker, and more barren, and colder, as man hastened on. Down from Bethlehem has been another and a happier time. The one civilisation was as Switzerland shut in among its icy Alps; the other is as Lombardy's fruitful plain. The one led up to Stoicism; the other opens into charity. Judaism, also, and the gospel are as two different climes. We need deny no pagan virtue, we need exaggerate no pagan vice, in order to bring out the greatness of the change which began at Bethlehem. For it is not simply a difference in men, or in civilisation, which we have to observe, great as, without historical exaggeration, that may be shown to be; but the advent of Christ works a difference in motives, and in the motive powers, which make human life, and which are creative of civilisations. It was the coming of a new power to change the world. The impulse which was imparted to humanity by the presence among men of Jesus Christ can be compared to nothing less potential than the impulse which was given, we may suppose, to the creation when motion first became a fact and law of primeval matter. And from the advent of motion dates the order of the worlds.

(Newman Smyth, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

WEB: That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we saw, and our hands touched, concerning the Word of life

The Divine and Human in Christ
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