Daniel Webster (1782-1852), was a famous American politician and diplomat. He is considered one of the greatest orators in American history. He served as a US Congressman, a US senator and the Secretary of State for three different presidents. Webster stated:
“if religious books are not widely circulated among the masses in this country, I do not know what is going to become of us as a nation. Its truth be not diffused, error will be;
if God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy; If the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupting licentious literature will;
If the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breath of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation or end.
if we work on marble, it will perish; if on brass, time will efface it; if we rear up temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal minds and embue them with principles, with the just fear of God and to love our fellow men, we engraved those tablets something that will brighten to all eternity.
The Lord’s Day is a day on which the Gospel is preached… And although we live in a reading age and in a reading community, that the preaching of the Gospel is the human agency which has been and still is most efficaciously employed for the spiritual good of men. That the poor had the gospel preached to them was an evidence of His mission which the Author of Christianity Himself proclaimed.
I believe that the Bible is to be understood and received in the plane and obvious meaning of its passages; for I cannot persuade myself that a book intended for the instruction conversion of the whole world should cover its true meaning in any such mystery and out that no one but critics and philosophers can discover it.
I shall stand by the Union, and by all who stand by it. I shall do justice to the whole country… And all I say, an act for the good of the whole country and all it do. I mean to stand upon the Constitution. I need no other platform. I shall know but one country. The ends I am that shall be my countries, my Gods, and Truths. I was born an American, a living American; I shall die as an American; and tend to perform the duties incumbent upon me in that character to the end of my career.”
In the discussion as he sat in a drawing room, Daniel Webster laid his hand on a copy of the Holy Scriptures and proclaimed:
“This is the Book. I’ve read the Bible through many times, and I’ll make it a practice to read it through once a year. — It is a book of all others for lawyers, as well as the divines; and I pity the man who cannot find in it a rich supply of thought and of rules for conduct. It fits a man’s life — it prepares them for death.
My brother knew the importance of Bible truths. The Bible led him to prayer, and prayer with his communion with God. On the day he died he was engaged in an important cause in the courts than in session. But this cause, important as it was, did not keep him from his duty to God. He found time for prayer; for on his desk which he had just left was found a prayer written by him on the day, which for fervent piety, a devotedness to his heavenly Master, and for expressions of humility I think was never excelled.”
In stating his convictions, Daniel Webster declared:
“The Gospel is either true history, or it is consummate fraud; it is either a reality or an imposition. Christ was what He professed to be, or He was an impostor. There is no other alternative. His spotless life in His earnest enforcement of the truth — His suffering in its defense forbid us to suppose that He was suffering an illusion of a heated brain. Every act of His purer and holy life shows that He was the author of truth, the advocate of truth, the earnest the founder of truth, and the uncompromising sufferer for truth.
Now, considering the purity of His doctrines, the simplicity of His life, and the sublimity of His death, is it possible that he would have died for an illusion? In all His preaching the Save your made no popular appeals; His discourses were always directed to the individual. Christ and His apostles sought to impress upon every man the conviction that he must stand or fall alone — he must live former self, and die for himself, and give up his account to the omniscient God as though he were the only dependent creature in the universe.
The Gospel leaves the individual sinner alone with himself and his God. To his own Master he stands or falls. He has nothing to hope from the aid and sympathy of Associates. The deluded advocates of new doctrines do not so preach. Christ and His apostles, had they been deceivers, were not so have preached. If clergymen in our days would return to simplicity of the Gospel, and preach more to the individuals and less to the crowd. There would not be so much complaint of the decline of true religion.
many of the ministers of the present day take the text from St. Paul, and preach from the newspapers. When they do so, I prefer to enjoy my own thoughts rather than to listen. I want my Pastor to come to me in the spirit of the Gospel, saying: “You are mortal! Your probation is brief; your work must be done speedily; your immortal, too. You’re hastening to the bar of God; the Judge stands at the door.” When I am thus admonished, I have no disposition to muse or to sleep.”