The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To Edwin Lamson
29 May 1863
[MS in Finney Papers 2/2/1]
Oberlin 29. May 1863.
My Dear Br. Lamson.
Some time since wife wrote
you for some little tracts & you sent
the same paying little postage on them
amounting to fifteen cents. When I
learned the fact I requested her to
write immediately & pay you. Ange is
with us & has a babe about 5. weeks
old. This, together with her poor health
has caused her to delay until I
can stand it no longer. I enclose 25
cents to pay the postage of the tracts & also
postage on the letters you wrote me on
my own business regarding the note against
Br. Sears. / I recd the tracts of your Society
for the support of Evangelists. They are very
good. Pastors have opposed Evangelists
so much that I think it a good work
to gather & publish statistics showing
what the Lord has done & is doing by
[along the left hand margin of page 1]
Printed matter in a wrapper with one end open, pays only book postage. If closed
like a letter it pays letter postage.
the various instrumentalities that are
employed for the conversion of the
world. It will do pastors & churches
good. I have long known that published
statistics on this subject would surprise
the church, & mortify many of the pastors.
As long ago as 1830. An agent of the
Home Missionary society came to Rochester
N.Y. when I was laboring for & in a
great revival, & wanted me to present
the claims of that society to the churches
& prepare the way for him to make a collec
tion for his society. He handed me some
papers giving a statement of what the
Missionaries of that society had accompli
shed that year. If I remember rightly
they had gathered less than two souls to
each missionary. The whole number was so
small & the whole details so discouragi
ng that, after praying over it, I dared not
to present & recommend his society to the
Churches. I told him so. I had known
& I believe I told the agent that I knew
Laymen, one at least, who was doing
more for the conversion of souls than
all the missionaries employed by that society.
I was grieved when from your tract I learned
that pastors are now doing about as they
did then. The world can never be converted
at this rate. But the more experience I have
the more ripe is my conviction that the
Church must return to God's order &
employ Evangelists on a scale equal
to the work to be done, or sinners will
continue to go to hell by millions.
It is insanity in the churches & in the
Pastors to oppose or neglect the employm
ent of evangelists. As well, & even
better for the church, might evangelists
oppose the employment of Pastors.
The fact is both are of God's appoint
ment & both must be employed.
What a picture your tract presents of the state
of Churches where no evangelists have been
employed. How are your Dear Mary &
the Children. By the bye did you know that
we have gotten the sweetest little grand
daughter that ever was of course. Doubtless
you & all the world must have heard of
it. Well, soberly Ange has bourne a sweet
little child & grand mother is much
delighted with it. Mrs F. is suffering
a good deal, at times, with her cough.
My own health is steadily improving.
Indeed I am quite well as its [sic]respects
any active form of disease, but have
not strength to labor as I used to do.
Whether I shall ever so labor again,
I can not say. Where are you going
this summer. May not Mary & the
Children come & spend the summer
with us? Can not you leave your
business & come with her. If you cannot
spend all the summer with us, Mary & the
children can & you can come out
to commencement the last of August &
take her back after the fall rains
have cooled your Boston streets.
Give our best love to our dear friends in
B. & many kisses to the children & your dear Mary
C. G. Finney.
[along the top of page 1, upside down]
P.S. My "zeal has provoked sife to love & good work" so that
she writes with this & encloses 50. instead of 25. cents.
God bless you forever
A slash stroke here probably indicates where the comment in the margin should be inserted.