To Edwin and Mary Lamson

19 February 1863


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


Oberlin 19th Feb. 1863

My Dear Br. & Sister Lamson.


Your sweet letters within ^

darling little faces came duly.

If wife has been well I think

she would have danced with

delight on seeing those little

bright faces. She exclaimed

O! O! O! do see. But the poor, Dear

woman has been quite ill for several


weeks. Her cough ^ better at present,

I am almost ashamed to tell

you how much we wish you had

sent your own Dear faces with

those of the children, but you

should think we covet too much.

We are so glad that Dear Mary

is likely to recover her health

which we infer from your last.

I could not think the Lord had

done using her for good in Boston.

We rejoice to hear so good an account

of Br. Stone in the Army. God bless

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him. Give our kindest love to him

when you write. By the bye My

eldest son C. G. Finney Jr. has recently

joined the army of the Potomac.

I wish Br. Stone could see him.

His address is Capt. C. G. Finney,

Head- Quarters, First, Brigade, Sec.

Division, Sixth Corps. I would write

to Charles to seek Out Mr. Stone but

know not Mr. Stone's address. Besides

as Charles is acting Division Quarter

Master he is intensely employed

day & night that I fear he would

not get time to go in search of Br.

Stone. What a miserable failure

that McClellan has made of that

Army of the Potomac. It seems as

a whole to be fit for nothing but

to be muster[e]d out of service.

I can not but feel that McClellan

deserves the execration of the country

I thought & hoped well of him as

long as I could, but can not think

[page 3]

well of him now. I can not see that

he has proved himself to be either a

a great Gen. or a patriot. But I

must not say too much he may have

been more honest than yet appears.

A few words about the Boston Society

for the support of Evangelists. They

sent me their constitution & documents.

Afterwards I saw a letter to Rev.

J. T. Avery of Cleveland, & another

to Rev. George Clark of this place. These

letters gave an entirely new view of

the designs of the Society. From the

constitution I understood that the

Society aimed to support Evangelists

in Churches where they were unable

to support them. The rich churches

East & especially in the large cities

proposed to sustain Evangelists

to labor among poor churches.

This, I thought was well. But the

letters alluded to proposed, to my

surprise, a directly opposite course.

[page 4]

Viz. That Evangelists should support

the society & not the society support

Evangelists. They refused to be responsible

to pay the Evangelists any thing, but

simply commissioned the Evangelist

to collect of the poor churches where

they labor, & pay into their treasury all

that they collect over the amount of

their salary. This would not help the

poor churches, but if it succeeded at

all, would collect form the poor to

support a society located among

& managed by the rich. Another

objection is that the Evangelists must

be the collecting Agents. Now every

successful Evangelist knows that this

is just what must not be. Make him

collecting agent, & you have tied

his hands. I am pursuaded that

a society conducted on such princi

ples can not succeed. I could give

many reasons for this opinion. To succeed,

the Society must sustain the Evangelist & leave

him with nothing to do but win souls. But if the

Evangelist must sustain the Society it is worse than useless


[page 1 along the left hand margin]

But I can not enlarge. Wife will write. Many kisses for the little sweets.

Love to all friends God bless you. C. G. Finney.



George Brinton McLellan (1826-1885) had been appointed major-general in charge of all the Ohio forces. By November 1862, his over-cautious approach to the war resulted in him being relieved of his command, which went to General Burnside. See DNB.

John Thomas Avery (1810-1896) and George Clark (1805-1888) laboured as evangelists.