The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To Edwin and Mary Lamson
19 January 1864
[MS in Finney Papers, 2/2/1]
Oberlin 19. Jan 1864.
O My Dear Br. & Sister Lamson.
What dear precious letters
you have written us. Thank you
both many many times. We are getting
on as well as we could expect
since the departure of my sweet
wife. Dear Mary, your appreciation
of my Dear wife is very affecting to me.
Was it not a wonderful thing that
God should have given me such
a wife. He did so in answer to prayer
Not that I prayed him to give her
in particular to me. I needed a wife
but feared to take any step to obtain
one lest I should take a false step.
I laid it before the Lord with much
importuning & with strong faith that
he would choose for me & point
out in some way the woman he
was desirous to give me. He sent
her to my door in a remarkable
manner & in a way that too
clearly indicted his will to leave
room for rational doubt. I received
her from the Lord, & a better wife
& a more precious & efficient help
meet I could not have desired.
She was to my own heart & head
& to my family & to the church a
most precious treasure. She wore out
& the Lord who gave or lent her to me
took her I have not a word to say.
Only I can at times hardly forbear
shouting when I realize her state
in heaven. Bless the Lord O my soul
two of God's most precious & accomplished
& faithful & loving daughters, have been
my wives, & help meets. They have
both sympathised & labored with
me for the Lord until worn
completely out with the exciting
labor. When they could no longer help
me the Lord took them to the places
prepared for them. I am sometimes
sad for a little season & the soul
feels torn in two, but then God
comforts me. I enclose with this
a letter to the committee of the
Union Evangelical Mission.
Please read & forward it, & please
give me your own impression
regarding that enterprize. I wish
to know how Br. Stone stands in
relation to it. He & I wrought together
too lovingly to now get alienated
by getting into such relations as
to produce that result. Br Stone
is too popular as to have any fears
of the influence of such a movement upon
his own congregation. Why then should
he not be expected to pursue it if it
promises good? I think he would.
Perhaps he does, but he is not mention
ed as one who favors it. Indeed he
is not mentioned at all. I would not make
Br. Stones cooperation a condition of taking
hold of the work, but his sympathy would
be of great importance. What do you
say to the objections suggested to
the committee in the letter to them.
I dont think I had better undertake
that work if I must work against
the ministers & churches. Where is
Br. Hammond? Will he not do?
Or can is he not to be obtained.
By the by Br Lamson how is this
movement related to the association
for the support of evangelists, & to
the brethren who are sustaining that
enterprise. Is there harmony between
the two enterprises. Julia will
write to Mary when she gets time.
Julia & Ange send much love to
you & we all send love & kisses
to the little sweets.
God Bless you My Dear Br. & Sister
C. G. Finney.
This was in reply to the following letter to Finney from J. Wyeth Coolidge written on printed letter head of the American Tract Society of Boston:
Tract House, 28 Cornhill, Boston, Jan 12, 1864.
Rev. Prof. Finney
The Committee of the Union Evangelical Mission, (concerning which Dea. Lamson may have written you) that started into public existence on the first day of January 1864, in the Meionaon Hall, under Tremont Temple, having consulted together as to the best method of advancing the interests of Christ's kingdom in this city, & having come to the conclusion that we need the concentrating & controling efforts of an Evangelist, to organise the brethren of various denominations into an efficient working body, do hereby earnestly request that you will preach to us, for a season, whether shorter or longer. A host of your friends who are panting after God, & groaning for the coming of his kingdom, & travailing for souls, are praying God for your speedy coming amongst us. -- You can spare yourself as much as you deem necessary; you need not preach more than twice or thrice a week; only please come over & help us.
I may say that this movement is from brethren connected with the Revival Association, but is not leagued with it, as the Association is denominational in its government.
It is to be acknowledged that some of the leading Pastors of the Congl church are not in favor of this enterprize, but ministers of the other Evangl denominations seem quite cordial towards it, and several of our own Ministry such as Dr. Kirk, bro. Bixby, & others are fully committed to it.
We have funds subscribed & engaged nearly sufficient to pay for the Hall one year (viz $1200)- But perquisites for support of Evangelists have not as yet been secured; and it will be necessary for you to take the risk of your pecuniary support, if you should so favor us as to come. We have very little doubt about that part if we can only secure your services. Yours very respectly
for the Committee
J. Wyeth Coolidge,
Pray for us| Tract House
Edward Payson Hammond (1831-1910) was coming into prominence as a Presbyterian evangelist, particularly among children. He had had very successful meetings in Boston in September 1861, and was currently holding meetings for the revival of religion in the "Burnt Over District"of New York. See P. C. Headley, The Reaper and the Harvest; or Scenes and Incidents in Connection with the Work of the Holy Spirit in the Life and Labors of Rev. Edward Payson Hammond, M.A. (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1884); and DNB.