The reader of A Memoir of Rev. John H. Rice, D.D. by William Maxwell will realize that here was a man who in spite of difficulties sought to be faithful to the Lord and His inspired word.
Dr. Rice was the editor of the Virginia Evangelical and Literary Magazine and in the first issue (January 4, 1818) he laid down some of the ground rules for the publication wherein he stated:
"We have been taught to call no man master upon earth. Fathers and Reformers are esteemed by us as pious, and sometimes able me- but after all, mere men, whose opinions may be freely questioned, and ought always to be tried by the standard of revealed truth. The Bible is the only inspired book in the world, and to its authority alone do we pay implicit submission. Nevertheless, we do not depreciate creeds and confessions of faith; and, although we do not consider ourselves as pledged to vindicate every expression to be found in any thing of man's devising; yet we do believe that the system of doctrine taught in the holy scriptures, is contained in the Confession of Faith of that Church to which we have the happiness to belong. Yet, while we firmly maintain that "form of sound words" which we have adopted, we shall, as conductors of a religious work, endeavor continually to imitate that example of liberality, and brotherly kindness, which has been displayed by our predecessors"...
These words give a consummate sense of this man and his ministry.