The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To James Barlow
22 June 1865
[MS in Finney Papers 2/2/2]
Oberlin Ohio U.S.
22d June. 1865.
My Beloved Br. Barlow.
I wrote you soon after the death
of my beloved wife, I have not heard
from you since. Did you receive my
letter? I should have written you
again before this, but have waited
that I might be able to say that our
prayers are answered. Our horrid war
is over, Slavery, it cause [sic], is abolished &
things are settling we trust into a desira
ble shape. It really seems strange that
the war so suddenly coll[a]psed, & that
so great a change in national feeling
& opinion should have come about in
so short a time. We have some very impor
tant questions yet to settle, but they will
be settled without any more armed force
on our part or resistance on the part
of the South I trust. The rebels fully concede
their complete inability to withstand the
power of the government. Revivals of
religion are quite numerous in this
country. The great revival that swept
over the free states of the north just
before I was last in England, prepared
the north for this war by arousing the
northern conscience more thoroughly in
regard to the sinfulness of slaveholding.
That revival saved this country by preparing
the northern people to insist upon the
total destruction of slavery. Our leading
politicians, who by the bye are seldom
converted, would have dodged the question
had not God & the Churches rendered
all dodging impossible. When the
mission of Pres. Lincoln was fulfiled
God suffered him to be removed by
an agency that put the finishing
stroke to the last hope of any comprom
ise with the slave Oligarchy. Mr Lin
coln was a man so intensely kind
& accommodating that many of us felt
that he might be induced to leave
the power of the great slave holders unbroken,
by too lenient an exercise of the
pardoning power. Mr. Johnson will
be enough inclined to forgive, but
he better & more fully appreciates
the intensified wickedness of the
rebels than Mr. Lincoln did.
But you are probably posted in regard
to these matters. Your Mr. Bright has
all along understood the "situation"
& has kept Lancashire informed to
a good extent. God bless him.
Dr. Campbell, of London has taken
a strange course, of late. I have seen
the explanation. Dr Houghton who
owns the Standard, & on whom the
Dr. has leaned, had invested largely
in confederate cotton bonds. Well
he will lose every dollar of it & he
deserves to do so.
You will soon have all the Amer
ican cotton you desire. There is any
quantity of it ready for the market
as soon as the Rail Roads can be rep
aired & the way open to get it to market.
I want much to hear from you my
brother concerning the state of religion
in Lancashire. How are you getting
on? The state of our college is highly
interesting. It seems good to see our
young men returning in good heart
& Spirit from the war & taking their
places in society, & in their classes
much developed & improved. Many
have been killed. Many have died of
disease. Many return cripples for life.
But many also return safe & sound &
all return in the best of spirits.
How is your Dear wife? What is her state
of mind. How is Thomas & how are all
the children? Will you not write me
& tell me how you all are. How is Mary Ann
Is she happy in her marriage? O how
I want to see you all again. I am quite
well. God is blessing my poor labors yet
by giving his spirit to seal the truth.
We have an interesting state of religion
here. We are looking for a greater revival
of religion in this country than we
have ever had. With any amount of
love to you & your Dear family & most
Christian regards to all friends I am as always
your brother. C. G. Finney
[across the left hand margin of page 1]
P.S. Your two scholarships are much obliging some of the poor students
from time to time.
This word is unclear.
Andrew Johnson (1808-1875), the 17th president of the United States, succeeded Abraham Lincoln after Lincoln's assassination on 14 April 1865.
John Bright (1811-1889), the orator and statesman, was the son of a Rochdale miller. He supported the northern cause in the Civil War. See DNB.
John Campbell (1795-1867), minister of Whitefield's Tabernacle in London, was editor of The British Standard. Finney held revival services for nine months in his chapel in 1850-1851.
There was an impression that Campbell had fully supported the North in the War. His biographer wrote:
From the moment that the Civil War broke out in America, as soon as the North and the South stood to each other in the attitude of belligerents, Dr. Campbell not only ranged himself on the side of the Federals, but denouncing the Confederalists, poured out upon them vials of wrath, and to the utmost of his power held them up to the execration of the whole civilized world. ... Never did he waver in his belief that the North would conquer (Robert Ferguson and A. Morton Brown, The Life and Labours of John Campbell, D. D. [London: Richard Bentley, 1867], p. 475).
The following notice, however, appeared in The Independent (New York), 18 April 1867, p. 4:
The Rev. Dr. John Campbell, whose death is announced in the English papers, was well known as an English Congregational clergyman, ... "During our war," says The Tribune, "Dr. Campbell was equaled by few English journalists in his warm advocacy of the cause of the United States against the rebellious slaveholders and their sympathizers in Great Britain." This statement is inaccurate. Dr. Campbell publicly advocated the war for the Union, but not till after 1863; that is, not till after it became popular in England. He was in no sense such an early upholder of the American struggle as several well-known Englishmen honorably proved themselves--for instance, George Thompson and John Bright.