To James and Alice Barlow

8 January 1868


[MS in Finney Papers, 2/2/2]


Oberlin College. Ohio

U.S.A. 8th Jan. 1868.

My Dear Br. & Sister Barlow.

Some one kindly sent me the

News paper containing an account

of your installation into the very

honorable & responsible office

of Mayor of your city.

This was, & is, all the more interesting

to me because it speaks well of the

moral tone of that community.

Their elevating Br. Barlow to that

station indicates the highest

respect for, & confidence in

you, & a desire to have an ear

nest Christian man fill that office.

I regard your election as an

honor alike to the people & to

you. I hope your health will prove


adequate to ^ efficient discharge

of your new & responsible duties.

& that grace may be vouchsafed

to you, that you may govern with

[page 2]

wisdom, & to the general satisfaction

of all concerned. Incidentally

I learn from these proceedings

that you have been in feeble

health during the last summer.

Of this I had not been aware, & I

am happy to learn that your

health is so far restored. In your

last, I had the promise of a letter

from Dear Sister Barlow. I have

waited & hoped for her letter in vain

until now. I earnestly hope she

is not ill. I so long to see you

both that I sometimes think I

might visit England once more.

Since I left you I have had several

seasons of protracted illness, Each

of which however has resulted in

better health than I had before

I was ill. I have pursued my

labors here steadily, & by the rich

blessing of God successfully during

the intervals of my illness. My health

[page 3]

is now good. Better than for many

years past. We have had an

allmost constant revival since

my last return from England.

I can not endure the amount

of excitement & labor that I

formerly endured, but I bless

the Lord for giving me health

& strength to still perform my

college & Pastoral duties

with comfort to myself & with

as good success as ever, so

far as I can see. In addition

to my other duties, I am now

engaged in writing out some

account of my labors in revivals.

This duty has been pressed upon

me by many friends in this country

& in Europe. Of late the Trustees

of our College have repeatedly

urged this upon me. I have

had a great reluctance to

undertaking it because I

[page 4]

have a strong repugnance

to Autobiography, & it is imposs

ible to write such a narrative


with ^ speaking much of myself.

If this narrative is ever published

I do not intend it shall be while

I live. Your two scholarships are

constantly made useful to

some indigent, but promising

students, who express to me

from time to time, their gratitu

ude to both of you for the

use of them. Our college remains

in a very flourishing condition

in every respect. I am most happy

& blessed in my last marriage.

My present wife has excellent

health & spirits, &is a woman

universally respected by my

congregation. She is just the

woman that I most need under

all the circumstances. If all women

are like the three that I have had for

wives I must think they are far better than men.

[page 5]

And how are all your family.

Mary Ann, Mrs B's sister is

not with you, I suppose. I hope

she is well, & both useful & happy.

God bless her. Please give my

kindest regards to her when

you write. And how & where

is Thomas? Is he at home or

abroad? & how is he employed?

Give my love to him & ask him

when he is coming to see me

at Oberlin. Kiss all the children

for me, & give them my heart's

love. And how are all the dear

Christian friends in Boloton?

How I long to see them again.

How is that Dear Br. & Sister Bell?

whom we so dearly loved. I have

heard occasionally from Bolton,

& especially from sister Best, through

a young man by the name of

Blinkhorn, who used to live at

Br. Bests, & with who Mrs. Best

[page 6]

keeps up a most maternal

correspondence. He has been here

but has now gone. How is brother

Morris of Manchester. When

you see them please present to

them my most affectionate regards.

And now, My Dear Sister Barlow

How are you, in body & soul.

Are you rooted & grounded in

faith & love & hope. & does

your joy in the Lord abound.

Bro. & Sister Barlow, I can not

tell you how much I long to

see you. I hope Dear Sister B. that

you will not delay to write me

any longer. Br B. your hands

are full, but can you not

drop me a letter more

frequently. I do so yearn

to see some of those dear

Christian friends in Bolton & in

Manchester. How are your old

neighbors the Johnsons who removed

to Manchester. The state of religion

here has been uncommonly interesting for

the past year. God bless you all.

C. G. Finney



This word should have been written "Bolton".

This was probably Oliver Blinkhorn from "St. Helens, Eng." who was later a student in the Preparatory Department of the College in 1872-73, and evidently spent time in Oberlin subsequent to that. See Oberlin College Catalog for 1872-73, p. 21, in Oberlin College Archives, 0/00/1; and Finney to Alice Barlow, 3 May 1875, Finney Papers, 2/2/2.