Admittedly this post should run on the 28th, but that’s Thanksgiving day and this wouldn’t fit so well then. We trust you will bear with us.
John Holt Rice, the second son of Benjamin and Catherine Rice, was born near the small town of New London, in the county of Bedford, on the 28th of November, A.D. 1777. From the first dawn of intellect, he discovered an uncommon capacity for learning, and a still more uncommon disposition to piety. We have seen some reason to believe that like Samuel, he was called in the very morning of his life; at so early an hour indeed that he could not distinguish the voice of God from that of his own mother—-so soft and so tender was its tone. It was, in truth, the first care of this excellent woman to train up her infant child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; and you might have seen the weak and sickly boy always at her knee, reading his Bible or Watt’s Psalms, to her listening ear, and catching the first lessons of religion from her gentle tongue. No wonder that he ever retained a most grateful sense of her special service in this respect, and warmly cherished her sacred memory in his filial heart.
As a further evidence of his early piety, we are told that whilst he was yet a boy, and hardly more than seven or eight years old, he established a little private prayer-meeting with his brothers and sisters, and led the exercises of it himself with great apparent devotion. We are not informed however, at what time exactly he made a public profession of religion; but we understand that it was probably when he was about fifteen or sixteen years of age.
[excerpted from The Charleston Observer, VII.7 (16 February 1833): 27, column 2.]
Words to Live By:
Parents, don’t wait to talk to your children about the God and His wonderful work of salvation, made possible by the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. Little ears can understand more of Scripture than you might think, so long as you keep your words simple and work to answer their questions. In his book, Children of the Covenant, Thomas Dwight Witherspoon speaks to parents in a chapter that takes up this very theme: A Word to Christian Parents.