The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
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
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
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
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.
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.