To Theodore Dwight Weld

30 March 1829


[Autograph signed letter in Weld-Grimké Papers, William L Clements Library, University of Michigan. Published in Barnes and Dumond, Letters of Theodore Dwight Weld, pp. 22-25.]


Reading 30 March 1829

My Dr. Weld.

Your letter, as usual without

date, came to hand on Saturday & I hasten to reply.

I have been on the point of writing to you for some

time, but have been so pressed with other duties, that

it has hitherto been neglected. God has done & is

still doing a glorious work here. It is particularly

powerful among the men & those of the higher class

in society. Numbers of young men are among the

hopeful subjects. I wish I knew whether there is any

place for them at your School.

I left the revival in Philadelphia in as promising a

state & I think more so than at any former period.

The fire was carried to several of the other congregations

after I left, as the young converts & convicted sinners

& praying christians scattered about &c.

I was laid up last week [with] a severe inflamation

in my eye. I am now convalescent. My eye is yet so

weak that I cant write long.

This is a most horribly wicked place. Those who know,

say it exceeds New Orleans. Nothing like a revival

here, ever before. The mass of the people are germans.

They are nearly all members of the church. But Oh

such churches. Why Weld, they dont pretend to select

pious men for Elders. You would be astonished at

such ministers & professed christians.

[page 2]

In learning the conduct of these german ministers, I

often think of Polloks discription.

"Most guilty, villanous, dishonest man!

Wolf in the clothing of the gentle lamb!

Dark traitor in Mesiahs holy camp!

Leper in saintly garb! assassin masked

In virtue's robe! vile hypocrite accursed!

I strive in vain to set his evil forth.

The words that should sufficiently accurse,

And execrate such reprobate, had need

Come glowing from the lips of eldest hell!"

I cant begin to describe the state in which this region is,

& has been for many years. Such horrid wickedness Ÿ of every kind.

Such a state of society. Such wealth & pride & abominations,

I hope have not been seen since Sodom. And yet, they think

they are a very religious people. Whenever they are going to the

communion they abstain for several days from sottish

drunkenness, fighting, publick gambling generally, brothel hunting

&c &c, & when it has gone by, they to their abominations again

with most voracious appetite. This is the way they say, that

their Fathers went to heaven & they choose to go to heaven in the

good old way. In these infernal delusions their ministers

I am told uphold them, & indeed tell them they are good enough

I have labored under much disadvantage here from

not understanding the german language, as the mass

of people understand English but very imperfectly. If I

could speak the german, I have no doubt that thousands

of those ignorant creatures would be soon converted, as the

[page 3]

scales have fallen from so many eyes that the rest are

disturbed & the charm seems to be breaking up, & the

sorcery of hell in which they have been bewildered

appears to be desolving. Among that class who

understand English the work has already been

very general, nearly all the first people in the

congregation are hoping & many m who have

attended our meetings from other congregations.

But I promised to leave a place for Dr. Wife to add a

poscript. I shall leave here as soon as I can feel it

duty. May spend the summer at the north.

Am as usual pressed many ways. How is your heart?

I want to say 10000 things. Love to "all the holy brethren."

Have you! Have the young men generally a spirit of prayer?

I meant to have written to brother Gale long since, but

[h]ave been so overrun as not to do it. Love very

particularly to him & to his D family. I am under

great obligations to them. Do you pray for me?

I am exceeding glad to hear you speak of Burchard

as you do. I love that man Do give my love to him.

I am strongly inclined at times to recommend him

to this people as a Pastor, as his talent would fall in

peculiarly with the taste of this people. They need a

pastor immediately & it is greatly desirable if possible, to

obtain one who can speak german, this makes me

hessitate about recommending any man from the

north although they must have revival man, & I know

not where they can get one here. Yours as ever, C.G. Finney.


The following is added by Lydia Finney across the page in the margin:


Dear Brother,

Husband has left a little space for me to add a line. I have just returned from a female prayer meeting, and have only time to thank you for your kind P.S. That dear Sister of mine is ripe for heaven, and why should I wish to detain [her] here, to drink the bitter cup of life any longer. If it is the Lords will to take her hence, then his will be done. My love to her, tell her I shall expect to see her again, if not on earth, in eternity. Love to all friends, Pray much fo[r] [m]e, your Sister in Christ L. R. Finney.


Addressed: Oneida Academy, Whitesborough, New York.