The GOSPEL TRUTH
Charles G. Finney
The Editor happening one day, in conference with Mr. Finney, to refer to the Welch Independent Churches, apprised that gentleman that his Lectures had been translated into the Welch language,--an intimation which brought out the fact that Mr. Finney had had some correspondence with the ministers of those churches, relative to this matter, and that he had some of the communications among his papers. The Editor on reading the same, and considering them important as facts connected with the history of the labours of his honoured guest, as also of religion in Wales, requested copies of the same; and now that on issuing the present pages he finds that there is space to spare, he deems it proper, as well as highly pertinent to the subject of the publication, to set them forth. The first, which is from North Wales, runs as follows:
"TO THE REV. C. G. FINNEY.
"Rev. and DEAR BROTHER,
"We, the undersigned Ministers of the Congregational Denomination in North Wales, being assembled at a Meeting held at Mostyn, Flintshire, on the occasion of the departure of our much-esteemed brother, the Rev. Benjamin W. Chidlaw, of Cincinnati, Ohio, avail ourselves of the opportunity of forwarding to you our Christian regards.
"Although we are on another continent far apart, your name is familiar to us: with your Christian labours we are also acquainted, and we bless God that you have been so eminently successful as an instrument in His hands in the conversion of souls.
"Your work on 'Revivals' has been translated into our native language, and under the blessing of God has been the means of rousing the dormant energies of our churches. Your 'Sermons on Important Subjects' are also in course of translation, and will shortly issue from the press. We humbly trust and pray that their publication may be followed by the same desireable and happy effects.
"We have great pleasure in being enabled to inform you that the Lord's work is progressing rapidly in the northern counties of the Principality of Wales. We have been greatly refreshed by the evident tokens of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our churches. Within the last two years, several thousand souls have been added to our churches, and the increase is still proceeding onward.
"We have also great pleasure in informing you that this happy state of things is to be attributed, in a great measure, to the reading of your works. This, combined with the readiness with which the Total Abstinence principle was received and acted upon, both by ministers and people, and the zeal with which we engaged in its propagation, we believe to have been the means, under the Divine blessing, of producing life, prosperity, and joy in the churches.
"We sincerely and deeply regret that an afflictive Providence has incapacitated you from your public ministrations. We deeply sympathise with you, under this affliction. Our prayer is, and shall be, directed to our gracious Lord, that he may be pleased to produce good out of evil,--turn the cup of bitterness into sweetness, and reveal His goodness, not only to you personally, but to his Church in general, by a means of what we cannot but view as a public calamity.
"Accept our most affectionate Christian regards. It is not likely we shall meet each other face to fact in this world, but we look forward confidently to another and a brighter day, when we shall meet in heaven, as faithful soldiers of the Cross, and partake of the spoils of victory. Hail, glorious day!"Signed at Mostyn, Flintshire, North Wales, February 27, 1840.
"MICHAEL JONES, Llannwehllyn, near Bala.
"WILLIAM REES, Denbigh.
"JONATHAN DAVIS, Pennel.
"THOMAS GRIFFITHS, Rhydlydon.
"RICHARD JONES, Ruthya.
"THOMAS RIDGE, Hangwyfan.
"LEWIS EVERETT, Llanrwst.
"HUGH PUGH, Mostyn.
"ELLIS HUGHES, Holywell.
"ISAAC HARVIES, Mold."
From this it will be seen that Mr. Finney's Sermons also were translated into the Welch language. These Discourses have had a most extensive circulation in England, although they have not commanded the same public attention as his Lectures, in the blaze of which the lustre of his other writings, published in England, have been lost.
This frank and interesting letter, shows the power of the printing-press in diffusing truth and extending the labours of men. When Mr. Finney was pouring forth these vigorous effusions in New York, he little dreamed that the echoes of his voice would resound in the valleys of Wales,--entering the ear, penetrating the hearts of a multitude of fervent men, who should respond to his appeals, adopt his counsels, and betake themselves to the labours which have had so happy a result. The next communication is from South Wales, and comprise the resolutions which follows:
"St. David's, July 13th, 1840.
"It is gratifying to me to be employed in transmitting to you the following Resolution of the Conference, at an annual assembly of the Independent Ministers in the counties of Carmarthen, Pembroke, and Cardigan, South Wales, hold on the 4th of June, 1840, at Brynberian, Pembrokeshire; viz.,--
"'That the Chairman be requested to write to the Reverend Charles G. Finney, of America, offering him the cordial thanks of this Conference for the publication of his valuable 'Lectures on Revivals,' and to state to him that those Lectures have proved the means, under the blessing of God, of awakening in the minds of many ministers, and also in churches, a feeling which has led them to seek the revival of pure religion in a more suitable manner than they had done before.'
"There were present at the Conference between forty and fifty ministers, many of whom professed to feel, in an unusual degree, the importance of the work, and their responsibilities as ministers. It was also stated, that a like feeling seemed to prevail, in some measure, in the churches generally, which was ascribed to the perusal of the above Lectures, as a means, accompanied by the powerful influences of the Holy Spirit. A far greater number has been added to the churches in the Principality, during the last year, than in any former year; and we are willing to hope that it is the beginning of a new era in the cause of the Redeemer in Wales.
"Thus, dear Sir, does our Divine Master seem to honour you with usefulness in promoting His blessed cause, not only in your own country, but also in distant parts of the world.
"That it may please Him to prolong your valuable life for many years yet to come, and grant you the enjoyment of health and strength to labour in His vineyard, and that all your efforts may be attended with continued tokens of His approbation, is the sincere wish and prayer of, dear Sir, your unknown, yet very respectful brother in the Lord,(Signed) "JAMES GRIFFITHS,
"St. David's, Pembrokeshire."
We have much pleasure in appending these testimonies, so interesting in themselves, and to Mr. Finney's labours as honourable, as we have reason to know their communication was highly gratifying to his feelings.
An example, moreover, is here set to individuals and public bodies in one nation, of the duty which they owe to men who have rendered them service in another nation. We know not if any action has been taken, for example, by Ecclesiastical bodies with respect to the Rev. Albert Barnes; but certainly nothing could be more graceful, nothing more worthy and illustrative of the spirit of England, than the transmission of expressions of the sense of obligation which is entertained towards that excellent man for his labours as a Commentator on the Sacred Scriptures.
London: Printed by William Tyler, Bolt-court.
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