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

[page 2]

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

[page 3]

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

[page 4]

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.

Your Br.

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.