The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To Edwin Lamson
23 February 1864
[MS in Finney Papers, 2/2/1]
Oberlin 23d. Feb. 1864.
My Dear Br. Lamson.
Your favor of the 17th inst is
recd. You are surely a good correspondent
for you tell me just what I need to
know. I do not see that there is much
reason to expect much from the
efforts of the "Union Evangelical Missions"
I have written to Mr Cooli^ge that, on making
trial of my strength, I found I could not
endure revival labors. We are having a
work of grace here & I am doing what
I can, but I find I can not attend
daily prayer meetings, nor can I preach much.
I preached twice last sab, but it made
me nearly sick. Laboring with enquirers
draws too much upon my strength. It affects
my head so seriously that I can do but
little in this way, to what needs to be done.
I supposed that my last to Br. Coolidge would
be understood by him as final in regard to
my coming at least until I have more
strength. Some one else wrote me from
the tract house urging my coming. I
refered him to what I had written
Br. Coolidge. My health is such as to forbid
my attempting to do any thing in Boston
at present. J. T. Avery I know very well.
He is the ablest evangelist I know of.
I wish he would go & try Boston, & yet
such is the state of things there that
I fear he would effect but little.
I find that since the death of my Dear
Wife my brain has suffered a good
deal from the unavoidable excitement
resulting from it. I should like exceed
ingly to make you a visit. But our term
is just about to commence & I must try
my strength in teaching. I shall not, at
present, attempt more than one recitation
per day. If I find that too much for
me & think I can endure the journey
I may travel east when the weather is warm
As Julia is my housekeeper she can not leave
home unless we give up house keeping.
I am almost afraid to make the request
to which I feel strongly impelled. It is,
Can not Mary & the child ^ spend the
warm months with ^ & you as much
of the summer as will consist with
your business. It would refresh us
so much to have you all with us.
I know how it tries you to have your
family so far away & therefore I must
not urge this selfishly. Yet there is no
body whom I so long to see & ^ you &
your dear family.
Our revival has been steadily on the incre
ase for several weeks & indeed month.
My health prevents my pressing the
application of means. The brethren do
what they can but they can not do what
is needed to give the work an overwhel
ming sweep. Last sab. was a day of
greater power than any we have seen here
for many months. I am much obliged by
you in sending me your check for $50. It is
very kind in you. I thought at first that
as it was intended to pay my expenses to Boston
I would of course return it immediately.
On reading your letter again I see that
you did not much expect me & that you
requested me to use it for my private
expenses in case I did not come.
In Mary's silence in regard to the union
movement I read or thought I read her
want of confidence in it. However great
the obstacles may be if I were able I should
try & see what prayer could do to overcome
them. But as my health is I must not move
in the matter now. God bless you my
Dear Br. Give much love to Mary & many
kisses to the little sweets.
C. G. Finney.
John Thomas Avery (1810-1896) had been a convert of Finney's in New Lebanon in 1827. He made his home in Cleveland, Ohio, and was employed as an evangelist mainly in the West. See Finney, Memoirs, p. 214.