To Robert and Elizabeth Best

13 September 1864


[MS in Finney Papers 2/2/2. The presence of this letter among the Barlow family letters which were sent to Oberlin College probably indicates that the Bests passed it on to the Barlows, and it was not returned.]


Oberlin. Ohio. U.S.A.

13 Sept. 1864

My Beloved Br. & Sister Best.

Your Dear Letters of last March

were recd. & would have been answered long

since but for the fact that I had written

so many letters to sympathizing friends, & had

thus kept the fountain of my sorrows open & flowing

that my health was suffering. I ceased to write

on the subject of my bereavement & from the result

or the apparent result on my health I think it

was wise to turn my thoughts away from my

bereavement made doubly afflictive by the

circumstances the [sic] my Precious wife's death.

She died suddenly, as you are aware away

from home at a hotel. The material circum

stances you have seen in the newspapers.

O how delighted she would have been to have

recd. letters from you both before her departure.

It is not possible for any one who did not know

my Dear Wife intimately & in her home life,

& in her domestic character, to conceive adequ

ately of the nature & extent of my loss. You

had an opportunity to witness something of her

importance to me as an evangelist. You might

also infer what she was as a Pastor's wife. & also


[page 2]

as the wife of a Pres. of a college having among

the number of its students nearly 500 young

ladies. In all my publick relations she was

rarely qualified to be a helper. Rare as her endow

ments were as a help meet in my Publick Relations

her qualities as a wife & a mother were still

more rare. In these relations she was a most excell

ent modle [sic]. But I must not dwell upon what she

was. I rather think of what she is. Now glorified!

O how much that means! Ah if I could see her

now. She suffered much the last year, especi[a]lly,

of her life. But she has done with suffering forever

& probably can hardly realize that she ever suffe

red much.

I wrote a letter to Brs. Best & Davison soon after

the death of my Dear Wife. I think it was

after her death. You do not mention the

receipt of it. I also wrote to Br. & Sister Barlow

immediately after her death but have recd. no

answer. I wonder if they recd. it.

It is not strange, perhaps, that you should take

the view you do of our publick affairs. The

press has misinformed you on many points.

I am astonished at the course taken by the

Christian News of Glasgow. From the London

Times I have expected nothing fair or christian


[page 3]

But of the Christian News I had expected

some little degree of candor. But on the

subject of our war I find none.

We are progressing hopefully & I think surely

to the total extinction of slavery & to the

subjugation of the rebel teritory. Our

army & navy are victorious & the end

can not be far distant. It is a great

wheel & at least appears to people

abroad to move slowly. But in fact

progress has been astonishingly rapid. To

us who know what has to be done & what

has been accomplished the changes have

been unparalleled in the world's history

both in magnitude & in rapidity.

We are now once more & I trust for the last

time to have a political contest with the

sympathies with rebellion at the north.

I feel confident that the right will triumph

& that in this political triumph that corr

upt party that was so long in league with

the slave power had every thing in

[ ] wrong way, will be finally used up.

I do greatly long to see you all again. I have

not heard from Bolton since the receipt of

your letter. My own health is much improved.


[page 4]

I preach twice on sab. with but slight sense

of fatigue. I lecture to my Classes 4. times

a week, preach often during the week &

perform much parochial labor. Indeed

I am in better health than when I was

at Bolton. Whether I could stand as

much labor I do not know. My Dear

Mrs Best I shall never forget my parting

with you at Manchester & Dear Mrs.

[ ]. Do you know where & how Mrs

Avery is? We wrote her soon after reaching

home but have never heard from her.

I wish I was able to send for a large number

of your Bolton people to come over here at


their own e expense. Wages are so high

& the No[r]th so prosperous that any number

of them male or female migh[t] do first rate

in this country & a considerable number

of them in Oberlin. I should like to employ

a good faithful man of all work & two

permanent female house servants. I shall

write to Mrs Barlow & see if there is not some

way to get a number of the Bolton converts

male & female to come to Oberlin. Please give

my Christian love to Br Davison & his Dear Wife

To your people & to his & to all our Dear friends who

may be interested to hear from me. The Lord is with

us in Oberlin. God bless you forever.

C. G. Finney.



This newspaper, started in 1846, and the first to be published in Glasgow, Scotland, was the organ of the Evangelical Union, edited by the Rev. John Kirk, at whose church in Edinburgh Finney had held meetings for the revival of religion in 1859.

This word is unclear.

This word is unclear. It looks like Avely, but may have been meant to be Avery.

Finney appears to have started to write their own expense, but stopped just after the first e of expense, crossed out their and inserted my instead, then restarted the word expense.