James P. Boyce
Prayer and a Biblical Educator
James Petigru Boyce was a fine scholar and very popular in his ways. He received his college education when it was not unusual for students and faculty to meet for prayer every evening. The spiritual welfare of Boyce became of great concern to some of his fellow students, and he became the object of special prayer that his gifts and graces might all be consecrated to Christ.
Shortly after one of these times of special prayer and fasting, Boyce took a ship from New York to Charleston, South Carolina. During this long journey, it was observed that he spent a great deal of time in his stateroom. A friend discovered that he was reading his Bible, and after much discourse together, Boyce came under deep conviction. Upon reaching the city, he found that his sister was also concerned with her spiritual welfare and that a close friend had just made his profession of faith.
Dr. Richard Fuller was preaching in the city with great effect, and a spiritual awakening was under way. Boyce’s conviction of sin increased, and he felt himself a ruined sinner and looked to the merits of Jesus Christ alone for his salvation. On April 22, 1846, he was baptized on that profession of faith. Boyce graduated from Brown University in 1847 and studied theology at Princeton from 1848 to 1851.
Dr. Dale R. Hart from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, p. 1623
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James P. Boyce
From a Proper Child to the Prince of Preachers
Charles Haddon Spurgeon was the first-born of seventeen children and was born on June 19, 1834. Almost as soon as he was old enough to leave home, he went to his grandfather’s house. Under his grandfather’s oversight and the devoted guidance of an aunt, Charles developed into a thoughtful boy, commonly fonder of his books than of his play.
A pious minister, Richard Knill, who was visiting his grandfather, took an interest in this young lad as he was waiting some days for a preaching engagement. Spurgeon wrote some years later, “Calling the family together, [Mr. Knill] took me on his knee, and I distinctly remember his saying: ‘I do not know how it is, but I feel a solemn presentiment that this child will preach the Gospel to thousands, and God will bless him to many souls.’”
Of course, there is often no greater influence on a man’s life than his mother. Mrs. Spurgeon trained her children with prayerful concern, and she was rewarded by seeing each one of them make a public profession of their faith in Christ. Two of her sons were preachers, and one of her daughters was the wife of a minister. Speaking one day to her son, Mrs. Spurgeon said, “Ah, Charley, I have often prayed that you might be saved, but never that you should become a Baptist.” To this remark, Charles replied, “God has answered your prayer, mother, with His usual bounty, and given you more than you asked.”
We cannot overemphasize the importance of those influences in the early life of a child. Many saw the boy Spurgeon through the eyes of faith the same as Moses’ parents saw Moses as a “proper child.” This “proper child,” Charles Haddon Spurgeon, became known as the “Prince of Preachers”!
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 251-252.