The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To Edwin and Mary Lamson
15 November 1864
[MS in Finney Papers, 2/2/1]
Envelope: Edwin Lamson Esqe
5 Beacon st. Boston.
Postmark: OBERLIN, O, NOV 15 '64
Oberlin 15. Nov. 1864.
Dear Br. & Sister Lamson.
Many thanks for your dear letters of the
3d & 10.th inst. I did not know where you were & in
my loneliness it seemed a great while since I
had heard from you. I thank the Lord that
Mary is better. I do pray that the Lord may
spare her, for it would kill you to lose her.
O, Br. Lamson, if you should lose Mary you would
understand what I pray that you may never
know. How often have Dear Wife & I talked
of the kindness of God in giving us the acqu
aintance & sympathy of our Br & Sister Lamson.
Now wife has gone I am more than ever
thankful for this kindness. From your letter
Mary, I infer that you have relinquished
the thought of paying us a visit.
So, Delia Woods is with you. Dear Precious
Child, she is. Give abundant love to her. I do
wish she would come & spend next summer
with us. I hope your sister Mrs Moore is
sustained in her affliction. Ange & her babe
are still with us. We are enjoying a blessed
revival of religion. It commenced about 2
months ago on sabbath. & last sab. we recd.
50 converts to the Church as first fruits.
A few of this no. were by letter. The number
recd are only a part of those who appear
to be converted. We have had no extra
preaching. I preach twice on sab. & once
during the week. We have had but few
extra prayer meetings. Meeting[s] of enquiry
have been held more frequently than usual.
I have been preaching mostly to christians
through the summer. About 2 months ago
I turned & opened the batteries of heaven
upon God's enemies. The first discharge
slew & wounded a great number. I saw,
as I was preaching, that the word was taking
effect. At the close I called on those in the
congregation whose minds were made up to listen
to Christ's call, & respond to it immediately,
to stand up. It being the beginning of our
College year many new & unconverted students
were present. A large number arose. But
as they were scattered over the vast con
gregation I called them out to the body
slips before the pulpit. This was like the
pouring out of a flood. They came so
thick, & fast, & many, as to choke the iles [sic]
& finally to fill all the body slips to quite
back under the front gallery. The word had
been set home with such pow[e]r that many submitted
upon the spot as we have since learned.
Since then I have kept up the fire
upon the unconverted so far as I deemed
it wise. The work has gone on powerfully.
We soon close our fall term. The students
generally are greatly blessed & I hope will
spread this revival spirit in many places.
Until this fall I have not dared to make
any revival efforts for some years. And now I
have changed the direction rather than in
-crease the number of services. I am sorry
that Boston ministers will make no revival efforts
the coming winter. I guess they will before
spring. I am glad to hear Mary speak so
well of Br. Kirk's political efforts. God bless him.
I have the spirit of thanksgiving for the
special blessings connected with the
recent election. When this college was first
established, our faculty & students were held
in great abomination almost all over this state.
Hissed, pelted with eggs & stones, & hooted,
& hunted, as the enemies of the country. But
we quietly & firmly bore our testimony. Our
students have scattered all through this state,
& through the west until the tables are completely
turned. Thank God for this. Our Eastern friends
are not aware of the part Oberlin has taken
in making Ohio & the north west a unity for
freedom. You know only a little of it.
I mention it only as cause of thanksgiving.
I do thank the Lord that I have lived to see
this marvellous change. My health is better
than ever you saw it. I do not know how
long I can hold out but at present I enjoy
my labors quite as well as ever in my life.
Julia & Ange are much blessed in spirit.
Charles still with Sheridan . My so ^ in law
Cox, is with Sherman, in command of the
23d Corps. Baby sends kisses to little "Daisy."
Julia & Ange send much love. Julia will
soon write to Delia Woods D.V. Norton has the
charge of constructing a R.R. from Ashtabula
Ohio to Franklin Pa. Is well, Full of business &
enjoying peace with God, as he writes. Give
my love to Brs. Sears, Stone, Hoit & all friends.
Finney had written thak and later inserted the n just above.
The following notice appeared in The Lorain County News, 19 October 1864, p. 2.:
ADDITIONS TO THE CHURCH.--The scene at the Communion at the First Church, last Sabbath afternoon, was deeply gratifying and encouraging to all friends of religion. Fifty-one, mostly young people, united with the church and partook of the Sacrament. As their names were read, they took their places in the aisles, and lines were formed, on either side, extending from the pulpit nearly the entire length of the church. The usual ceremonies were then performed, some twenty receiving baptism, the remainder having previously been baptized elsewhere. The occasion was one of solemn joy and will be remembered with pleasure, in after years by the converts, as the commencement of their Christian life.
The following advertisement appeared in the local paper, The Lorain County News each week, from 12th April through to 12th October 1864, on page 4, under the heading "Church Directory":
AN INQUIRY MEETING, for the purpose of personal religious conversation, is held under the joint supervision of the Pastors of the First and Second Congreg'l Churches, on Sabbath at 6 P.M., in the Theological Society Room, Chapel building.
That was Sunday, 25th September 1864. The following report appeared in The Lorain County News, 28 September 1864, p. 2:
A RELIGIOUS INTEREST.-- Last Sabbath afternoon was a season of great interest at the First Church. President Finney preached a discourse of more than usual power, and, at the close, a large number of enquirers went forward, at his invitation, to signify their interest in the subject of religion. The enquiry meeting on Sabbath evening, and the young people's meeting on Monday, were crowded and of impressive solemnity.
The following notice appeared in The Lorain County News (Oberlin), 11 January 1865, p. 2:
THE RELIGIOUS INTEREST manifested during the Fall Term, attending the earnest labors of Pres. Finney still continues, as is evidenced by the number who united with the First Church on last Sabbath. Eighteen new members were added--a good beginning for the new year. The Young People's Meeting on Monday evening is always crowded now, and we may hope that much good is being done.
Philip Henry Sheridan (1831-1888)
In fact Cox was not the official commander of the 23rd Corps; he was second in command under Schofield. However he was effectively the commander in the field; and at the battle of Franklin, Tennessee, which was about to take place, Cox directed the entire battle. "The Battle of Franklin was one of the bloodiest of the war, .... It was also Cox's finest moment and his greatest victory of the war." (Schmiel, "Jacob Dolson Cox" , p. 126). As a result he was at last promoted to Major General. Cox was not put in permanent command of the 23rd Corps until March 1865.
Willard Sears (1803-1890), was a building contractor in Boston, who had been a trustee of Oberlin College.
Probably Henry Hoyt, a publisher in Boston and a deacon of Park Street Church.