To Jacob Helffenstein

9 December 1828


[Autograph signed letter in Finney Papers, Box 9, Oberlin College Archives. The letters to Hellfenstein were given to the Archives in 1984 by Mr Brian McMurdo of Escondido. See his letter to William E. Bigglestone, 22 July 1984. He was possibly a descendant of Helffenstein]


Philadelphia 9 Dec 1828.

My Dr. Br. Helffenstein, Yours of the 1st inst came

duly to hand before which however Mrs H. had left

P. for F. The state of things here is onward.

Probably more than 100 in the anxious room last

night. We had to fetch in additional seats, until

the room was full. Several professed submission.

A considerable number are hoping, since you left.

But Br. H. I fear that unless you come back soon

these young converts will scatter to the 4 winds.

Your Father I understand favors the Idea of

your comming & going in with him by & by.

But I think that he must be mistaken in

deferring calling you back. Until you do

come, & until this can be settled & known,

the converts will not many of of them join

there. Why wait then, until they are all gone

to other churches? Now is the most important

time for you to be here conceivable. if they wait

until these converts have joined other churches,

then they can do nothing of course. Strange that

we dont see this. Some here do see & feel it to.

Something must be done, & that soon or I

dont see what will become of that congregation.

Mrs F & myself were disappointed in not seeing

your dear wife before she went. I called just

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after she had gone. My Dr Wife was confined by her

health & her babe that she hardly became acquainted

with Mrs H. Your people & friends I believe all well.

Let me hear from you whenever it is convenient.

Did you write to Br. Post as you promised?

My health is not very good, so however that I have

attended meeting every evening for the last 2 weeks.

Am to preach to morrow evening, Deo volente,

at Germantown. Rev Mr Rooker of that place Died

last week almost instantly.

To night, am to attend meeting at the Mary

St. presbyterian chh of colored people. The Lord is in

this city. I think that you should have staid here.

How are you getting along there?

Dr Wife joins in most cordial love to Mrs H & self.

Yours fraternally,



[The following note is in pencil in Helffenstein's handwriting]:


Mr Finney was now preaching in my father's

Church - Race near 4th. Str