In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
I have seen one out of whom had gone all heavenly resemblance, and in whom all rudeness, coarseness, profanity, worldly lusts were incarnate. There was no pressure that inclined him downward, to which he did not yield. Had his soul been of stone, it could not have been less responsive to the Divine solicitations. There was not a function in him which was not petrified on its heavenward side; there was not a capacity in him that did not, so far as righteous action goes, lie dead. Well, mark now; one night, while he was lying on his bed, the Lord, in the shadow of the darkness — not violently, but still as the stillness around and above his bed, more dreadful, perhaps, because of the stillness; perhaps more gentle because of it — drew near to this dead soul; breathed on it once, gently took its hand and said, Soul, arise! And that dead soul felt strange currents run through all its frame; felt the thrill of Divine life charge through its veins, until the frozen current melted, ran, became warm, began to throb, and life came into it — life to stand, to move; and that dead soul arose and stood before the Lord, and then full of rapture bowed down and worshipped. And, ever after — for I knew him well — that man lived a life that took knowledge of all God's mercies, a life as innocent as the bird's is that has no beak nor talons, and cannot wound nor strike, but can only sing; yea, as innocent as the little stream that has no deep, dark places in it, into which children can fall, unawares, and be drowned, but which runs clear and cool, shallow and safe — content to minister to the roots of flowers that fringe it, and be drunk up of thirsty cattle and labouring men. So he lived his life, I say, and in him I saw what regeneration meant: what the life that Christ said He was, meant.
(W. H. H. Murray.)
Parallel VersesKJV: In him was life; and the life was the light of men.