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

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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

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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

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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

In haste,

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

Dear Sir:

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.