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J.R. GRAVES LIFE, TIMES AND TEACHINGS 16


 

HIS WORD AND HIS WORKS

 

 

There was a degree of mental and physical energy in Dr. Graves which was possessed by few men. A prominent minister says: “I heard him preach three and one-half hours before the General Association at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in 1860, to a great congregation whose undivided attention he held to the last.”

 

 

The same untiring endurance and application marked his daily habits. He would read, make notes and prepare matter for whatever book he had on hand from early morning until noon. Then, after lunch, go to his office and attend to editorial business and return in the evening to write and revise his editorials or his book manuscripts on into the small hours of the night and sometimes until almost morning. From this constant labor, he would go to meet a list of appointments to preach or lecture, even in distant states, and speak for hours at a time to enthusiastic audiences, traveling many miles from one appointment to another, and then return to his desk to write night and day. Could this tremendous drive be borne for long? Could brain or body bear the constant strain? We shall see later that a stroke did come.

 

 

Dr. Graves had accumulated a very valuable and extensive library. He kept the historian, S.H. Orchard, of London England, on the constant lookout for important books to be found in the secondhand stores and bought them with reckless prodigality. When Dr. Graves died, he gave his library to me, along with the files of The Tennessee Baptist. The books were so valuable and so much exposed to danger of destruction in a pastor’s home that I placed these papers and books in the library of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary at Seminary Hill, Texas. There they may be consulted by any student, whether he be of the Seminary or not.

 

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