The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To Joseph Emerson Worcester
6 October 1855
[MS in Massachusetts Historical Society.]
Oberlin O. 6th Oct 1855.
J. E. Worcester L.L.D.
My Dear Sir.
I have recd your note
of the 1st inst. together with a
copy of your Dictionary. I am
much obliged by this kindness.
I have examined your dictionary
in respect to those things in which
all others are, in my estimation,
deficient, & am of opinion that
for the English reader, this work
will meet the wants of the Amer
ican people, far better than any
thing hitherto published. Within
the last quarter of a century, many
foreign words have come into common
use, especially in our periodical
literature, the signification of which
few English readers understand.
The advance of science in all its
departments is also brin[g]ing before
the common reader many terms
& phrases not generally understood.
Our youth went in vain to the
English or American Dictionaries
for the definition of those words
& phrases. Our language is consta
ntly receiving additions from about
every language of Europe. Besides
many foreign terms & phrases not
understood in this country, because
of their origin. Many obsolete
terms are coming again into
use. We hardly take up a news
paper, & seldom a quarterly,
without finding something to puzzle
the English readers, no explanation
of which is found in our standard
dictionaries. This want has pressed
more heavily upon the reading publick
from year to year. I have looked
over the pages of your work & have
been pleased to find nearly every
thing of the kind I refer to that
could be desired. It is a timely
& highly important work. It is needed
in nearly every family & will be
much valued by the readers of
the present day. That it may have
the circulation it deserves is my
earnest wish. Yours truly
C. G. Finney.
Joseph Emerson Worcester, A Pronouncing Explanatory Dictionary of the English Language (Boston: Hickling, Swan and Brown, 1855).