by George H. Morrison

Beginning to Sink
George H. Morrison
Matthew 14:30

There are two sights in human life which fill the heart with profound sorrow. The first is that of a person who has sunk. When we see a face made loathsome by iniquity and think that once it was innocent and childlike; when we hear of somebody who bore an honored name, but is now in the depths of degradation-that is one of life's most piteous spectacles. It arrests even the worldly-minded who cherish no ideals for humanity. How much more must it sadden one who has anything of the vision of Christ Jesus. Men who are sunken-women who are sunken-are the heartbreak of the home and of the city. There is such infinite, pathetic waste in a wasted, miserable life. But to the seeing eye and the perceiving heart there is another spectacle which is not less tragic-it is that of the man who is beginning to sink. Beginnings are always mighty and momentous for every eye that has the power to see. Much of our knowledge and our power today springs from our modern study of beginnings. And here in our text tonight we have an instance, not of a man who has sunk into the depths, but of a man who is beginning to sink. Shall we look at him in that light for a little bit?

The first thought to force itself upon me is that it was Peter's temperament which put him in this danger. He began to sink not because he was wicked; he began to sink because he was Simon Peter. The other disciples were all safe and sound. It never occurred to them to leave the vessel. They were men of sagacity and commonsense and knew the difference between land and water. But Peter was reckless, headstrong, and impetuous, acting on the impulse of the moment. Peter followed the dictate of his heart and never waited for his laggard reason. In a sense that was the glory of his character. It made him do what no one else would do. It gave him the charm of daring and enthusiasm of that unexpectedness which always fascinates.

But those very qualities that in the ...

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