The GOSPEL TRUTH
Charles G. Finney
THERE is always something due to the instruments of eminent usefulness in the cause of God. To honour the servant is, in effect, to honour the Master. Among such instruments a very high place is due to the Rev. C. G. Finney, who has left behind him, in England, an impression such as was never made by any other American among the British Churches. The visit of the celebrated Dr. Mason was memorable in the circles of genius; British Biography has accorded to that most eloquent man a niche in her temple in connection with the record of the life of one of her most illustrious sons; but we have yet to learn that Dr. Mason was the means of turning even one soul to God. In his case attention was fixed on himself rather than on his Master. It is, however, but justice to say, that Dr. Mason came not to the Mother Country for the purpose of labour but of repose, that he might recover the health he had lost in the work of his Master. It was otherwise with Mr. Finney, who came with the express purpose of sounding the Gospel trumpet, that he might both animate the living and quicken the dead; and, we presume, he is the first American minister that ever visited England solely with that view,--unless an exception must be made for that amiable, and, in his way, celebrated enthusiast, Lorenzo Doe. The just and the beautiful conception of Burke, relative to Howard and his philanthropic pilgrimages, is most strikingly applicable to Finney. The great Orator said of the former, "He visited all Europe and the East, not to survey the sumptuousness of palaces, or the stateliness of temples; not to make accurate measurements of the remains of ancient grandeur, nor to form a scale of the curiosity of modern art; not to collect medals, or to collate manuscripts;" so may we say of Mr. Finney; he came not for these things, but to point lost men to the Cross of Christ. He has left London with little more knowledge of it than he possessed on his arrival.
It was under the influence of these feelings, of what is due to men by whom it pleases God to bless their fellows, that the present publication was projected. Although in itself small, yet from its subject, and its relation to the highest of all causes, it is precious, and, notwithstanding its frail aspect, it will survive when all who have been concerned in it will have mouldered into dust. It will tell the generation to come of an event which, in connection with the cause of God, was considered at the time as far from unimportant. It will, moreover, explain the history of a volume from the pen of Mr. Finney, which has just been added to the catalogue of English Theology.
The Observations of his Preaching first appeared in the British Banner, as also the account of the Valedictory Services. The Sermon, which was delivered amid the heavy pressure of manifold engagements, and not without a measure of personal indisposition, was taken by a Special Reporter, and revised by the Preacher himself. J. C.
April 4, 1851.
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