Friday, August 28, 2009

Looking to the Lord for Help

A selection from a letter by James Petigru Boyce to his good friend and fellow laborer in the gospel, John A. Broadus. The Seminary in Greenville, South Carolina, of which Boyce was president, was moving to Louisville, Kentucky. Boyce faced much opposition in heading up this move and was attempting to raise funds for the school. The cause of the school was in doubt but due to the laborers of J. P. Boyce and the power of God, the school, now known as The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, was firmly established. This letter was written December 10, 1872.

I have had some blessed experience in this work of mine. I fear I came in too great self-confidence and conviction that so good a cause must commend itself. The Lord has taught me that all hope in man is vain and as I have been able to look to Him alone I have some wonderful evidences of His aid. Do you wonder then that in the moment of real disdain, and when all felt that nothing could be done, I was enabled to rise and say all is right? I shall succeed. I have no fears. And I feel confident, thought human flesh sometimes fails and I fear. My experience was like that of David in the cave (Ps. 142). Even the temptation was put before me to destroy my enemies, and I was graciously enabled by my publications of minutes to show what I could have done. And I believe God had blessed by peaceful intentions and answered my prayers and accepted my trust. Or shall I not rather say others’ prayers, for all of you have been praying for me—or rather none of ours but only those of Christ whose Spirit has taught us what to ask for and who has himself asked that the prayers be granted. All the glory be to God. The work is succeeding I am sure. Yet I have no more subscriptions yet to report, but my plans are working.

James Petigru Boyce: A Southern Baptist Statesman, by Thomas J. Nettles, P & R Publishing, 2009, pp. 252-53.

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