To Edwin & Mary Lamson

10 December 1863


[MS in Finney Papers 2/2/1]


Oberlin 10th Dec. 1863.

My Dr. Br. & Sister Lamson.

You are aware before this time

that my Dear Wife has gone to heaven.

Gone to Heaven! O Wonderful! Yes verily,

there can be no doubt of that. But how

marvelous "that a mortal, & a sinner,

should put on immortality," that

death should be swallowed up of

life." That a sinner should be translated

to Glory. I am almost lost in the contemplation

But you will wish to know something of

the last illness of my Precious wife.

She wrote our Dear Mary while at

Clifton. You are therefore aware that

she supposed herself & was pronounced

by her Physician to be better. But her

strength continued to decline. Her

Physician recommended her going

to the sea side. She went to Brooklyn

but was much fatigued by the journey.

She grew weaker & her Physician called

[page 2]

her back to the water cure. She

started with her son, spent a day

in Albany & left in an evening

train in the sleeping carr for

Clifton. In the neighborhood of

Utica she was suddenly cut

down with a shock that rendered

her quite insane, & to all appearances

near the end. At Syracuse she

was taken to a hotel, & by a council

of Physicians pronounced past help.

She however rallied & after two days

the physicians said she might be


safely ^ taken on to Clifton. They

wrote to me that she was better &

that they expected to be in Clifton

at a certain time. There I hoped

to be able to meet her. But just

before they were ready to leave

the hotel, she fell under another

shock. From this she never recovered

she was to all appearance, uncon

scious after this & passed away in

[page 3]

sleep. On conversing with her

Brooklyn friends I find that she

had several light strokes of

paralysis. At last the paralysis

became general. Her Brother, both her

sons & a lady cousin were with her

when she passed away. I met them

with the corps at Rochester, where,

in accordance with our understanding

for years past she was buried in the

family burying ground on the beau

tiful "Mount Hope." There we laid

her remains beside her former hus

band & 6 children. I only saw her

dear face through the lid of her

coffin. She had not lost much flesh.

She looked many years younger

than when I last saw her racked

with pain & suffering as she was.

She was beautiful in her shroud.

A sweet, calm, smile was spread

over her face, as if she would express

her love for her friends even in her coffin.

[page 4]

She continued to the last to be what

you saw her to be when we were your

guests. As a wife, she was one of the

most affectionate. As a mother one of

the wisest & most successful. As a christian

one of the most loving, confiding, uniform,

exemplary & useful of christian women

I think I have never known her superior.

As a wife. A mother. A neighbor. A Christian

female laborer for christ. She was most

loving & lovely in all the relations of

life. She has conversed much of dying

for years & for the last year was making

constant arrangements to depart. But she

was at last called at a time, & in a

manner, unexpected to herself & all her

friends. It is all well with me My

Dear Br & Sister. She loved you & your

Children to the last. He[r] love for you

never abated. I am deprived of the

company, sympathy & help of my

sweet companion, & must make the

short remainder of my journey without her.

[page 5]

But I shall not go alone. The savior

will not leave me nor forsake me.

I have almost never seen a christian

who, from personal experience, could

so fully sympathize with me as

my Precious wife could. We always

on questions of religious experience,

saw eye to eye in a remarkable

manner. My spiritual nature is

fully sustained by grace in this trying

hour. The soul will mourn but though

I gro[a]n I accept the will of God &

would not have it otherwise than

it is. So unspeakable is her gain

that I must not think or speak

of my loss. Ange is with me & she

& her sweet babe are a great com

for[t] to me. Julia is also at home &

these precious daughters do all for

me that daughters can. Ange went

to the funeral. My health has recd a

shock, yet I am not laid aside. I

hope to preach the gospel for a time

before I depart. However I hold my

[page 6]

self in readiness to depart. I am a

soldier under marching orders.

I should much delight to see all our

Boston friends again. O, how I should

like to attend prayermeeting at old

south Chapel. Will you not give

my christian love to such of our dear

Christian friends as you may see & tell

them of my bereavement, & that I accept

the sweet will of the Blessed God in

this dispensation. The Lord both bows me

down with grief & lifts me up in

hope. It is upon the whole a relief

to me to have my Precious wife relieved

from further suffering & enter into

her eternal rest. My frail body trembles

under the stroke, but my soul does not

lose its confidence in God.

With much love to you both, with

love & many kisses to the children

I am your brother in the Lord


C. G. Finney.