1 Peter 2:13-16
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;…
1. The great purpose for which the powers and the liberty of thought were bestowed was for the discovery of truth; for the discovery of those speculative truths which conduct us to the love of God, and of those practical truths which enable us to be the ministers of good to man. When, therefore, freedom of thought is employed as means to these its destined ends, it is a virtuous principle, and he who feels it is acting from some of the most respectable motives of his nature. He is acting, in the first place, in conformity to the laws of his constitution, and has the secret voice of conscience applauding him amid every difficulty of his progress. He is acting, in the second place, with the dignity that belongs to the character of man; and, while the world around him is swayed either by the prejudices of antiquity, or by the idler prejudices of novelty, he stands as the superior to all the prejudices which influence lower minds.
2. When freedom of thought is employed as an end in itself, it is a principle which arises from very different causes, and is productive of very different effects. There is naturally much admiration due to that strength and independence of mind which can detect error, or which can discover truth; and there is accordingly, much sincere admiration paid to it. It is in this admiration that the danger and the snare consist. Because freedom of thought has been the great instrument of the discovery of truth, it is hastily concluded that all this is due to the freedom of thought itself rather than to the effects produced. If you feel that opinions are valuable in your estimation, not because they are free but because they are true, then go on, in the sight of God and of man, to the true honours of your moral and intellectual being. It is in this discipline you can acquire for yourselves permanent fame. But if in the employment of the powers of thought you look only to your own distinction, and care. not for the ends for which they were given, pause, I beseech you, before you advance farther.
Parallel VersesKJV: Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;