Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
When the battle was fought between the Monitor and the Cumberland, you remember that the Cumberland was sunk in water so shallow that her topgallants remained above the waves. A friend of mine, who was in Governor Andrew's cabinet, had a friend in the hold of the Cumberland as she went down. tie was the surgeon, and was so absorbed in his attention to the wounded that he didn't escape from the hold of the vessel, and came near death by the rushing in of the howling brine. But, being a bold man, he kept in view" the light which streamed through the hatchways, and, aiding himself by the rigging, at last, almost dead, reached the surface, and was taken into a boat and saved. Now, the insidious and almost unseen expectation that works in human nature is, that when we go down in the sea of death and eternity we shall in some way escape out of ourselves, and swim away from our own personalities, and thus leave the Cumberland at the bottom of the sea. The trouble with that theory is, that we are the Cumberland, and the Cumberland cannot swim away from the Cumberland, can it? You will not get away from yourself and the laws that are implied in the structure of that nature. How can you walk with yourself unless you are agreed with yourself — that is, with the plan of your soul? And I hold a man's soul is made to be conscious and be in harmony with God, just as assuredly as the hand is made to shut toward the front and not toward the back. You will not get away from that plan of your individualities. You drop your body, but that is not you. How do I know but there are many empty sleeves of soldiers of the Union here? They may have left all their limbs at Gettysburg, and have been trundled here to-night, yet we should have said they are here. Thoreau said .he had no interest in cemeteries, because he had no friends there. The body is not you. Your dropping the body is not the dropping of your personality. You are going as a personality into the unseen holy with your consciousness, your reason, your whole mental nature, social and moral. Your intellectual perceptions, perhaps all that is moral in you, may be quickened in activity when the flesh is dropped. That seems more probable than the reverse; and now, "How can two walk together unless they be agreed?" The plan of your nature is not likely to be changed to-morrow, or the day after; unless you come into harmony with it always, the dissonance of your nature with itself will be its own great and lasting punishment. The Cumberland cannot swim out of the Cumberland.
Parallel VersesKJV: Can two walk together, except they be agreed?