To Edwin Lamson

5 January 1860


[MS in Finney Papers, 2/2/1]


Envelope: Edwin Lamson Esq

5, Beacon St, Boston




Postmarks: BOLTON JA 6 60



Stamp: removed.



Bolton, Lancashire

5. Jan. 1860.

My Dear Brother Lamson,

I presume Mrs. F. has acknowledged

the receipt of yours & also informed

you of our labors. I have only time

to write a few lines. In one of your

letters you speak of my being destined to

meet opposition. This has always been the case.

Somehow I have been directed especially to

those fields where there are many adversaries of

the truth as I hold & preach it. Nevertheless

a wide & effectual door has been opened

to me every where. I came to this country

because I knew that this is the strong hold

of Antinomianism. The very reasons urged

by my friends against my coming, to wit,

the opposition I should encounter, were

with me, the decisive reasons for coming.

I kne[w] the bond[a]ge of the people & of ministers

to the protestant pope, Alias, Catechism.

I am not afraid to expose its absurdities.

The Lord is constantly extending our

field of influe[nce] & the newspaper attacks

upon me the Lord is turning to good

account. O, if I were 20 years younger!

I know nothing of the Finney of whom you

[page 2]

speak, save that there is a man calling

himself by that name, & hailing from

Ohio, who is a mighty Spiritist, & an

infidel, as I understand. I presume

he is from this country, or from Ireland,

as there are of this name a considerable

number in these Islands. Do you not

recollect that some 15 year ago or more, a

man by the name of Barnabus Finney

or Phinney, a Rev. was convicted of adultery

near Providence R.I. & silenced, & excommunicated.

Soon after this a Toledo, Ohio, paper informed

the publick that that "same notorious Phinney

was professor of theology at Oberlin". I presume

that no one ever publickly contradicted it.

We are expected home in the spring, but if

our health holds out I fear we can not

get away. There is immense labor to be performed

here & constantly growing encouragement to labor.

I never saw the gospel take more uniform effect

than since we came to England this time.

The uniform testimony where we labor is, "the

gospel as you preach it, is new to us, & the

religion you preach is a different thing than

that of which we have ever conceived. This

is surely the Old fashioned gospel as taught

[page 3]

& lived by the Apostles & primitive

Church". Br. Lamson the orthodoxy of

Calvin & his follow[er]s, The Arminianism of

the Methodist & kindred denominations

are logically & practically Antinomianism.

They all hold to a justification in sin,

i.e. that christians are justified while they

are living in known sin. I have a Book

in my head & in my heart, showing up

the the [sic] Antinomianism of all the so called

orthodox denominations who dream of a state

of justification that neglects & rejects the

doctrine & the experience of sanctification.

Any system that justifies any farther & faster

than sin is relinquished, ex animo, (You &

Mary will pardon the latin), is, & must

be essentially Antinomian. Just think,

the church opposing sanctification, &

yet hold to justification, by an imputed

righteousness. Why, on the face of it, this

is naked Antinomianism. Why if the

law is still in force it is impossible

that a man should not be condemned

by it if he persists in any sin. Justifica

tion in any sin is & must be Antinomianism.

[page 4]

But it was not my design to have broached

this subject. If a man never lives without sin

in this life, then he is never justified in this

life, be the moral law is repealed. If repentance

is not the present giving up of all sin, then men

are not forgiven when they repent. Or sin is

forgiven that is still persisted in. This is antin

nomianism & abomination. If any say that sin

is only forgiven so far as it is abandoned & that

sin is never for a moment fully abandoned in this

life & therefore never fully forgiven. This is the

same as to admit that men are never justified

in this life. The fact is that the true gospel knows

nothing of justifying men except upon condition

that they, ex animo, remove all sin.

Calvinism & Arminianism, though antagonists in

other respects, are both utterly at fault in

holding alike that men are justified while

living in sin. That is, they hold that justifica

tion precedes the giving up of all known

sin. If they did not hold this how many of their

church members would they regard as in a

justified state? This I constantly charge

them with, in this country, & ask them if

they are not Antinomians, how many of their

members are in a justified state. In Scotland

I constantly pressed them with this question.

Love to Mary & a 100 kisses the the [sic] children. C.G.Finney