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A Far, Far Better Read

It is a strange fact that people remember the first lines of a book more than its last lines! Obviously the first sentence must be striking in order to capture the readers interest and imagination. But the last lines ought to finalise the essential emotional theme and objective of the book.

An example of a famous opening line is in Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” But one of the few famous endings occurs in the same book, when the supposed Evremonde sacrifices himself, and standing at the guillotine, declared, “It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” The author completes the message of the book with a dramatic, poignant finale.

The Bible has a grand introduction, “In the beginning God.” But it also has a fitting and necessary conclusion, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” The grace of God being needed to believe the truth of this divine Book. Yet it also has a very sage and apposite middle verse, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” (Ps.118:8). We may correctly and lovingly say, It is the best of books, and a far, far better read.