To Edwin Lamson

1 February 1862


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


Oberlin, Ohio. 1st Feb. 1862

My Dear Br. Lamson,

I recd your kind letter of

last summer & have been so ill

until recently as to let writing

alone. I was able to meet with

my class twice a week last summer.

About the first of Sept. I became

much worse & was confined to my

bed for more than two months. Since

that I am gradually gaining

strength & am beginning to renew

my correspondence with loved friends.

Norton came home last night to spend the

sabbath, says he wrote you yesterday.

I recd the pamphlets you sent me & thank

you for them. "The experience of a congrega

tional minister", I had recd before from the

Author. "The Divine Order" has much in

it that is true & some things dangerously

false. It is monstrously out of joint in

[page 2]

its Psychology. This is all the more

unfortunate as the professed object

of the book is to clear up the mental

phylosophy of sanctification & tell us

what mental acts to perform.

1. He rightly teaches that all holiness or virtue

belongs strictly to voluntary & acts & states.

That holy love is benevolence or good will.

2. That strictly speaking there is no moral

character in involuntary states of mind

i.e. in mere feelings or emotions. But

3. That the heart of the mind is the

sensibility & not the will. Hence the

heart is altogether involuntary & hence

again the heart can have no moral

character according to his own teaching.

4. That entire consecration is entire obe

dience to God, but not sanctification.

5. That the will cant act until desire

in the sensibility is excited. &c &c The

will has no power to act in simple

obedience to conscience but must have

the imperator of corresponding desire.

This is a old dogma in philosophy

[page 3]

but it is contrary to consciousness. Who


does not know that he affirms ^ obligation

to obey God & conscience whatever his

desires may be & whether he has any

desire about it. & what virtuous

man does not know that often

he must deny his desires & go

against them with the whole

force of his will.

What he says about giving up our own

will & accepting the will of God uni

versally & unconditionally is true &

excellent. Now if he had told us

that this is sanctification, as it is

the whole of true obedience, & that

the baptism of the Spirit & the cons

equent state of sensibility is the

consequence & the seal of sanctification

he would have cleared the subject

of some of the fog in which his

false psychology had enveloped it.

But I can not go into the subject now

O, how I wish I could preach a

[page 4]

few times in Boston on this subject.

How does Br. Stone like this, Divine

["o]rder". It is a pity that the Divine

order should be misconceived.

How is Dear Br. Stone. Give our

kindest love to him & his dear wife.

How is our dear Mary? Do let us know

all about you all. Thank you & Mary

for your kind interest in Nortons

affairs. The Lord has given him

a good place I think. Mrs F. is

as well as usual. Ange & Julia

are at present with us. The

Lord has been teaching me most

graciously & lovingly. Will not Mary

spend the next summer with us.

Now do think of this. Dont say it is

too far. Do you not know that the

difference of latitude & longitude is just

the thing for her. She needs another

climate for several months & to be

where she can rest & have home

friends & society. This is the place for her &

the children. God bless you & her & the children

C. G. Finney.



[along left-hand margin of page 1]

P.S. Mrs. F. & Norton & Julia & Ange all join in abundant love to you all.



At the start of this line Finney had written:

4. T

but smudged it out and continued the sentence form the previous line.

A smudge at the beginning of the line has obscured the start of this word.