To Edwin Lamson

5 January 1864


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


Oberlin 5th Jan. 1864

My Dear Br. Lamson.

Your favor of the 1st inst is recd,

I thank you my Dear Brother for

writing me in my loneliness. I say

loneliness, because no earthly surrou

ndings can compensate for the

loss of the society of a wife. I was

so shocked with the death of my

former wife that I have ever since

thought I could not survive the loss

of another. For the last few years my

nervous sensibility has so increased

that I shuddered at the thought of

my wife being taken from [me]. To look

forward to the prospect almost overcame

me, at times. I did not rebel, nor think

of objecting to the will of God. Yet I

was so nervous that a kind of fear

fulness that the shock would overcome


Ÿwould take possession of me. Yet

I felt at times, & indeed generally


[page 2]

that whichever of us might be called

first the other would have sustaining

grace equal to our necessities. My

Dear wife was called first, & in

circumstances & with a suddenness

that I should have thought would

have overcome me. But grace has thus

far triumphed. God had evidently

so arranged for me that with his

help I should be able to abide

the shock. I am devoutly thankful that

the Lord has taken her. Her brain had

become so much inflamed that this

world was too rough for her. She was

so sensitive that the least thing gave

her unutterable pain, & no one who

had not known by experience what

her disease was could at all under

stand her case, or appreciate her

feelings. Sometimes her distress would be

so great that she would lose her

discretion in the use of remedies & in

her distraction would if they were at


[page 3]

ha[n]d, use remedies that were dangerous.

The precious woman was a wonderful

sufferer. No one could appreciate it

except those who knew what effects

are produced by congestion of the

brain. The disease was of long stan

ding, but increased steadily the

last year or two years, of her life.

O, how she loved you dear Mary,

& your children. She was full of love.

The affection as a wife was wonderful.

She was very demonstrative & used to

express her love to me & to her children

daily & hourly. She was unhappy if

our love was not expressed to her in

words & acts continually. If we failed

to do it she feared she had done

something to cool our affection for

her. That she had been too much

trouble to us. But I must not tell

you more at this time. She was

a precious Christian woman. I fear

such women are rare in this world.


[page 4]

I know My Dear Br. that you have gotten

one of the best of women & I trust you

appreciate her. May God spare her to

you for a long time. Do ask her

not to neglect to write me now my

Dear wife has gone. I need to hear

from you both more than ever.

I can preach once on sabbath & two

or three time during the week. But

whether I could endure labor enough

to promote a revival in Boston I know

not. They need a course of sermons on christian

experience, in the churches, at present, more

than any other. The revivals have been filling

the churches with converts who need strengthening


I find shuchŸsermons greatly useful here.

If the way was open & my health as good

as now, I should like to preach again in

Boston. But I fear that unanimity there is

out of the question. I do not want to stru

ggle again against such a jarring influence

as that which distracted the people when I

was last there. If only Old Park street were

united something good might be done. C. G. Finney



[in the left hand margin of page 1]

Of course I send love to Mary & the children. I have replied to Br. Stones consolatory letter.




D. L. Leonard, in his "Notes upon Talks with Pres. Fairchild" Vol. 2, 1 Jul 1897, p. 19, wrote about Mrs Finney: "Gt on exper. Had queer spells wd shut hers. up & was thot by some th she "took something". Died off E. in such a spell, in hotel."