32576 walking to Christ
By his walking on the sea in a storm, when the waves were raised, he showed himself to be that God spoken of in Job 9:8. "That treaded on the waves of the sea." By his stilling the storm, and calming the rage of the sea, by his powerful command, saying, "Peace, be still," he showed that he has the command of the universe, and that he is that God who brings things to pass by the word of his power, who speaks and it is done, who commands and it stands fast; Psalm 115:7. "Who stills the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves."
And Psalm 107:29. "That makes the storm calm, so that the waves thereof are still." And Psalm 139:8f. "O Lord God, who is a strong force unto thee, or to thy faithfulness round about thee, thou rules the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them." Christ, by casting out devils, remarkably appeared as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and showed that he was stronger than the roaring lion, that seizes whom he may devour.
We should all be in the sense of using each for himself the reason God has given him. For the freest thing in the universe is mind, and it is only true to its godlike descent when it is free—free as the eagle soaring in his bright eternities of sky, with all thought of chain or wall left far below with the ground he spurns. And a fit image for the mind that has forfeited its freedom is that same bird locked in the iron bars, his crest broken, his wings drooping, and the glory withered from his eye.
No: the memory of home and childhood is sacred, and the sacredness thing on earth is the memory of a mother's religious teaching. And the memory of that church into which our feet were first led is sacred, where we were taught to bend with our fellow-men in worship, where first perchance we felt the touch of God. And the associations connected with these things are often so sweet, so pure, clinging around the events of our early life like a very bloom of roses, that it seems a sacrilege to touch them.
But even that calm sanctuary of childish thought must be invaded. Our duty to God will not permit us to go on holding what we were taught in our childhood, simply because it was taught in our childhood— holding what was taught by a mother's lips, simply because it was taught by a mother's lips—holding what was taught in the church of our youth, simply because it was taught in the church of our youth. From father, mother, minister, we received what each had to give, but not one of them could give us, no living man could give us, yea, no angel from heaven could give us that something more we need, that overmastering sense of Truth which can only he born of the free exercise of our own mind.
This is our duty respecting doctrine, and it is also our duty respecting the management of Christ's Church on earth. It is probable that there is one form of Church government best suited to the healthy development of the Christian religion, and it cannot be a matter of indifference which we adopt. And which shall we adopt? This is the question for each intelligent person. For on every hand there are men, bitter partisans of opposing sects, who have no better reason for being what they are than that they were born so, or that they became so through some taste or accident.
Ask the stones on the road to account for their being there. They were thrown there! We have our choice our free will to make the right choice. We do not now argue for or against any religious or ecclesiastical opinions whatever. But we call upon you in the name of God to exercise the reason with which He has endowed you, and to be whatever you are because you see that it is right, and that it would be wrong for you to be anything else. We want to declare to you that concerning the doctrines we hold and the management of Christ's Church, “every one of us shall give account of himself unto God."