The unconditioned priority of God in His universe is a truth celebrated both in the Old Testament and in the New. The prophet Habakkuk sang it in ecstatic language, "Art thou not from everlasting, 0 Lord, my God, mine Holy One?" The apostle John set it forth in careful words deep with meaning, "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."
This truth is so necessary to right thoughts about God and ourselves that it can hardly be too strongly emphasized. It is a truth known to everyone, a kind of common property of all religious persons, but for the very reason that it is so common it now has but little meaning for any of us. It has suffered the fate of which Coleridge writes, "Truths, of all others the most awful and interesting, are too often considered as so true, that they lose all the power of truth, and lie bedridden in the dormitory of the soul, side by side with the most despised and exploded errors." The Divine Priority is one of those "bed-ridden" truths. I desire to do what I can to rescue it "from the neglect caused by the very circumstance of its universal admission." Neglected Christian truths can be revitalized only when by prayer and long meditation we isolate them from the mass of hazy ideas with which our minds are filled and hold them steadily and determinedly in the focus of the mind's attention.