Friday, April 1, 2011


A selection from a letter by John Broadus to his good friend and co-laborer in teaching, J. P. Boyce. Boyce was president of the Baptist seminary in Greenville, SC. He was responsible for raising funds for the relocation of the school to Louisville, KY. His task was difficult. He faced, in the words of Tom Nettles, "post-Civil War distress, Landmark contrariness, and institutional suspicion." These things made it difficult to secure sufficient financial interest in the school. At a particularly low point, Broadus wrote a letter to boost his low spirits. Eventually Boyce met with success but his endurance through the difficult days was helped by the encouragement of friends like Broadus. The letter was written March 4, 1873.

I do not wonder that you sometimes feel discouraged, painfully. The task is difficult, and the kind of opposition encountered is very depressing. But life is always a battle. My dear Fellow, nobody but you can do this thing. I believe you can do it, and it will be, all things considered, one of the great achievements of our time. To have carried it through will be a comfort and a pleasure to you through life, a matter of joy and pride to many who love and honor you, an occasion of thanksgiving through eternity. Opposition—every good thing encounters opposition. Think of Paul, of Jesus! Nay, Nay, no such words as fail. Somehow, somehow, you are bound to succeed.

James Petigru Boyce: A Southern Baptist Statesman, by Thomas J. Nettles, P & R Publishing, 2009, p. 255.

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