To Jedediah Burchard

28 July 1826


[Present whereabouts unknown. It came up for auction at Swann Galleries in New York in a sale of Autographs on 6 November 1997. Oberlin College Archives obtained a photocopy.]

Jedediah Burchard (1791-1864) was a prominent revivalist who was associated with Finney in their early labours.

Address: Rev. Jedediah Burchard.

Sackets Harbor.

Jeff. Co. N. York.

Postmark: AUBURN. N.Y. July 28


Letter: Auburn 28th July 1826

My Dear Burchard.

Your letter came to hand

last night & 12 oClock. I think I can in some

measure enter into your feelings & will try to

pray for you. The State of things here was

horrid when I came. But God seems to have

taken hold in his great strength.

Opposition is dreadful. Something like 36 had

obtained hopes previous to last evening.

At our meeting of inquiry last night the

blessed Spirit came like a "mighty rushing wind."

The people were thrown into awful consternation.

They Strewed the floor & rolled & writhed

in dreadful agony. It was wonderful to see

them come in to the Kingdom one after another

& begin to pray in dreadful distress for others

that lay around them. How many got into the

liberty I can not say, as the confusion & distress were

so great. Mr Lansing says he can count 12 that he

remembers. How many more there may be that came

[page 2]

into the kingdom there I dont know-

To give you a description of this meeting were

imppossible. Almost all the conversions here as yet

have occurred at, or immediately after a meeting of

inquiry. I have seen the same - in other places.

Almost all are converted on the spot, in direct

answer to prayer, to all appearance.

Church here not awake. Some even of them

oppose most bitterly. But O Dear Burchard,

God is here!! How it will eventuate God only

knows. They come out against me here, as usual,

in the newspapers. God have mercy on them.


All their [difficulty] seems to be with my manner of exhibiting

truth - for they confess that it is the truth.

Now Burchard I am more & more convinced

every day that much, very much, & infinitely more

than has been supposed, is depending on the plain

pointed, cutting, severe manner of applying

truth to the conscience & heart. I believe that this

was the character of christ's preaching-

[page 3]

This made them say "he hath a Devil & is mad

why hear ye him." If our ministers preach the

same gospel that he preached, why do so many

sinners love & sp[e]ak well of them? Not because

they are better [ ] nor because they preach in

a better mann[er] nor because human nature

is altered, nor has the true gospel become more

palatable to wicked men. I most solemnly

believe that the defect lies in the manner so far

as human instrumentality goes. Our ministers soften

down the tone of their preaching & this takes off

the edge for fear of giving offence. O may God

lead us all in the right way. "Be not afraid [ ]

, says God, "lest I confound thee before them.["]

If a man fears to force home truth with all his

strength upon his congregation, I believe that his

unbelief will provoke the Spirit, that no blessing

will follow, "whatever is not of faith is sin" unless

we absolutely trust in God to give effect, & believe

that he will give effect to his word, we sin. O that

Ministers would take the sword of the Spirit out of its scabbard

& take of the garland of flowers from its blasing edges, they would

find that it would cut, & "pierce to the dividing assunder of

soul & spirit". This place & region is getting into a tremendous

uproar. A Revival has commenced in Cayuga. I have been there twice.

[along the left margin of page 3]

Several there, were converted many more convicted. People that come here from a


distance are smitten [here] & I hope they will scatter the fire

Lydia says give my love to Mr. & Mrs Burchard. Yours in haste. C. G. Finney