Daniel Webster's Greatest Thought

DANIEL WEBSTER was one of America 's best-known statesmen and orators. From his career of brilliant oratory and ability to captivate audiences, many stories have been handed down concerning his words. It is worthy to note that he once said of himself, "If there is anything in my style or thoughts to be commended, the credit is due to my kind parents in instilling into my mind an early love for the Scriptures ."

He also said, "If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will prosper. But if we and our posterity neglect the instructions and authority in this Book, no man can tell how sud-den a catastrophe may overtake us and bury our glory in profound obscurity."

"This is the Book that inspired thousands of men and women to travel to a New World where they could live and worship God in freedom. This is the Book our forefathers drew upon for the great principles included in the Declaration of Inde-pendence and the Constitution. This is the Book that the people of America , in every walk of life, have turned to for strength, for comfort and for guidance. This is the Book that is in every court of this broad land, a reminder of America 's ideal of freedom and justice for all. This is the Book that its enemies burn. The Book they smear and fear, because it proclaims the dignity of the individual and teaches that all men are created in the image of God."

One time, it is told, he was asked what he regarded as the greatest thought that ever occupied his mind. He replied: "The sense of my individual responsibility to God."

That man is responsible to God, and must meet Him, the Scriptures plainly testify. This thought is not pleasant to those who are living in their sins and out of relationship to Him, and consequently are not prepared to face the tremendous issues involved. But whether the issues are faced or not, the fact remains: "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Romans 14:12). We all are responsible to God, as the Word of God declares, and we must do with Him and cannot escape our responsibility.

Another incident in Daniel Webster's life gives his testimony to the fulfillment of his responsibility by his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. During a summer holiday in a district far away from the Capitol, he went each Sunday to a little country church building. His niece asked him why he went there, when he paid little attention to far abler sermons in Washington .

"In Washington ," he replied, "they preach to Daniel Webster the statesman. But this man has been talking to Daniel Webster, the sinner, and telling him of Jesus."

Reader, will you allow me to do the same for you? Will you, for just a few moments, completely set aside any thoughts you may have about your name or title, your reputation and station in life, your religion or lack of religion; and think of yourself as God sees you in His sight - a sinner, in need of the Saviour. I should like to tell you of what can meet the desperate need of your soul, bring peace to your conscience and joy to your heart. It is all summed up in the one word that meant so much to Daniel Webster: JESUS!

God has thought of you with thoughts of deep-est, truest compassion. Your sins made it impossible, however, to take you into favor, for He is holy and hates sin, because, " Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look upon iniquity." (Habakkuk 1:13).

But He has found a way to extend His mercy to sinners without compromising His holiness in the least degree. He sent Jesus, His own Son, to come "into the world to save sinners." (1 Timothy 1:15). On the Cross of Calvary, Jesus willingly stood in the sinner's place to bear the consequences of the sinner's sins, and to exhaust the judg-ment righteously due to the sinner, "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8). "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree." (1 Peter 2:24). This is what Jesus has done. This is the work that He accomplished when He hung as our Surety on the Cross and cried, "It is finished." (John 19:30). He atoned for our sins by His sufferings and death. The judgment due to us fell upon Him, and now God freely pardons and saves the sinner who trusts in Jesus, the resurrected, living Saviour. God is Just, and "the Justifier of him who believeth in Jesus." (Romans 3:26).

The sinner who believes is free,
Can say, 'the Saviour died for me!'
Can point to the atoning blood
And say, 'This made my peace with God!'

No wonder Daniel Webster, whose greatest thought was his responsibility to God, should, as a confessed sinner love to hear of JESUS!

Reader, this same Jesus longs and waits to receive you and save you from your sins and their dreadful, eternal consequences. He says: "Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out." (John 6:37). "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." (Acts 16:31 ).

-D.T.J.