To George Whipple and Henry Brewster Stanton

18 January 1835


[MS in the Finney Papers # 1153]


New York 18th Jan 1835.

Dearly Beloved Brethren.

I recd your interesting letter this

morning & improve this as the first leisure moment

I have had in which to reply, & must now answer in few words.

1. I understand & feel all you say in relation to the state of the

ministry & do not believe there is much difference between

those of the west & the great mass of those at the east, as

many of those there were educated here.

2 I see & have long seen that without a new race of ministers

we can not possibly go much further. The churches very

extensively have gone as far as their present ministers

will go. Here we must stop & go back unless something

can be done either to quicken the present or create

a new ministry. There are now materials for a more efficient

ministry but no school to train them in where they will not

be spoiled. I hoped [a] good deal from Lane. but alas that

expectation has failed. We have been anxiously looking

the subject over & were waiting the openings of Providence.

when Brs Mahan & Shipherd arrived. The following is the state

of this matter at present.

3 My church consent to let me go to Oberlin on the condition

that I be at liberty to spend 3 or 4 months in the winter of

each year in this city. & this is better than they feared as

my health is such that the more intelligent ones

expected that I would leave them altogether in the

spring. Besides, the brethren here feel as you do about the

ministers & that something must be done. They seem also

to accord with you in the importance of my taking

a theological professorship.

4 They have already pledged about 90, thousand dollars or the interest

of it to sustain professors, which is the same thing, I understand

upon the condition that I will go. How much more will

be obtained here I dont know. Probably not much, as none here

will give but abolitionists. The professorships are all endowed &

funds are now wanting for buildings library, Philosopical apparatus &c.

[page 2]

The Trustees of Oberlin have not elected me as yet as my

name has not been forwarded to them by Br. Shipherd until

to day. I have stated to him certain conditions upon which the

Lord willing I will go. They are, that the question of receiving students

without distinction of color be left with the faculty & that

I may be absent 3 or 4 months each winter. We do not wish

the Trustees to hold out an Abolition or an Antiabolition

flag but let that subject alone for the faculty to manage.

Whether the Trustees will appoint me I dont know.

My heart is set if God opens the way upon complying

with your wishes in regard to lending you any

aid in my power in getting into the ministry with

such qualifications as are needed to meet the present

exigency of the Church & the world. I dont know

as I could be of much service to you, but what I can I

am willing to do.

5. My health is slowly improving but not such that I

can preach with safety more than once upon the sab.

& once or twice in the week. O were I in health

there is a wide & effectual door opened here. My congre

gations are immense & the harvest is ripe but my

strength is so small that I cant reap much.

We have however had a considerable number of conversions

recently & hope for greater things. We have been trying

all winter to obtain some one to help me. But

for some reason we cant as yet obtain one who can

help any.

6. If I go to Oberlin. I can as well go in the spring

as at any other time so far as I know. The sooner

you are in the field the better. If their accommoda

tions will admit the earlier we can be there in the

spring the better

7 How far have your class advanced in your

theological course? Can you send me Dr. Beechers

course & inform me how far you have progressed?

[page 3]

8. I have given them no encouragement of

going except they collect the requisite funds

to put the institution immediately into a situ

ation to receive a large number of students.

9. I do not know whether the Trustees will see

fit to appoint me. However this my be, I should

like if we can bring it about to spend some

time with you previous to your entering

the field as ministers.

10. If Weld could go through this state, the

interior I mean, & collect funds I doubt

not he would in three months secure all

the funds necessary to put the school on

the high ground in regard to privileges

which is so desirable. Will he do it? I dont

know where to address a letter to him.

11. Will he surely be at Oberlin? Why dont

he write to me? I fear he will destroy his

health lecturing so much. Dont let him

delay to get into the ministry.

I have written in such haste that perhaps

you will hardly be able to read or understand

but I have no time to transcribe.

Love to all the brethren.

Your brother forever.

C&endash; G&endash; Finney

Geo. Whipple

Henry B. Stanton.