Monday, June 17, 2013

I will have a guest post by Noah Webster, an important man in American history. Born in 1758, he went to Yale at 16 but left twice to fight in the Revolutionary War.  One of his life's work was the Webster's Dictionary of 70,000 words.  He learned 20 languages so as to get to the root of each word in its original language.  Then he published an updated King James Bible.  He believed in the inerrancy of God's Word, but updated ancient words with more modern meanings such as the King James English "kine" with "cow or cattle."  The selections are from a private letter later made public.  I believe it is an answer to a question of evangelicalism vs moralism. 



"Intelligent creatures must give to Him first place in their hearts, 'that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom;' (Psalm 111:19, Prov. 9:10)  While God makes His own glory the chief object of this world and government, He has made holiness or conformity to His image, the condition on which His rational creatures are to enjoy supreme happiness.  The connection between holiness and future felicity is inseparable.  The happiness of a future life is represented as consisting in the enjoyment of God's favor and Presence...How can a soul be delighted with the favor of God in heaven, which has never loved Him supremely on earth?  Is the heart to be changed after death? 

...But the natural heart is enmity (hatred) against God and if such moral man dies without a change in the affections of his heart, what qualification will he possess for that in heaven whose employment consists in loving and praising God?  How will he relish the joys of pure and holy spirits?`  It is impossible...An unholy being cannot be happy in the immediate presence of a Holy God...Hence it appears that regeneration (born again) and holiness of heart are in the very nature and fitness of things necessary to the enjoyment of Heaven...

We are placed on this earth in a state of trial and probation, furnished with intellectual powers to learn the character of God and our duty; with the Word of God to direct us and a free will to accept or reject the offer of salvation.  To complete the means of salvation a Mediator has been provided to make an offering of Himself for our sins and satisfy the law that we have violated and we ourselves are certainly unable to satisfy.  In this state, the seeds of holiness are to be planted in our heart and are destined to grow and ripen into a full harvest of felicity in the future life. Holiness, in this life is the germ of Heaven.  But, holiness in a Scriptural sense, and indeed in any sense is a distinct thing from a principle of morality, or good works, respect of fellow men; holiness respects God... (HOLINESS) IS THE STATE OF THE HEART WHICH PROCEEDS FROM SUPREME LOVE FOR GOD AND FAITH IN CHRIST, AND ENTIRE SUBMISSION TO THE DIVINE COMMANDS.  WITHOUT THIS HOLINESS, THE BIBLE INFORMS US, NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD.  (My emphasis with caps)

...If the its natural state is not qualified to be an inhabitant of heaven, and must be renovated, how is the change to be effected?  The Scriptures everywhere represent the change of affections in the heart as a new birth or creation; and if such is the change, who but God is to be the Creator?

REGENERATION CONSISTS IN AN ENTIRE CHANGE OF AFFECTIONS.  The natural man's affections are placed on temporal enjoyments and objects of this life...The affections of the regenerate heart are placed on God, as the first and noblest object of love... IT LOOKS TO GOD AS THE AUTHOR OF ALL GOOD; TREMBLES AT THE THOUGHT OF OFFENDING HIM; SUBMITS CORDIALLY TO HIS COMMANDS...AND REPOSES (RESTS) WITH DELIGHT AND UNSHAKEN CONFIDENCE ON HIS  PROMISES.

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