To James and Alice Barlow

3 June 1871


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


Oberlin, Ohio, U.S.A.

3d June 1871.

My Dear Brother & Sister Barlow,

Miss Catherine Hill is here, &

informs me of her acquaintance

with you & has delive[re]d your

message of love to me. Besides

this, a Mr. Lowe from

Manchester# has been here,

within a few days, & has

refreshed me with intelli

gence from you. Now I can

no longer remain silent

but must write to you, at

least a few lines, to thank

you for your kind remem

brance of me, & to assure

you of my undying love

& regard for you. Miss

Hill has told me of your

children & that one of them

has been in this country

of late. & Mr. Lowe informed


[along left hand margin:]

# Now of Grand Rapids, Michigan

[page 2]

me that you are meditating

a visit to this country, & to

Oberlin. This has revived my

hope of seeing your dear faces

again, before I "put off this

Tabernacle". I beseech you to

come if the Lord will.

You have an interest in Oberlin

apart from your acquaintance

with me. I want to have you

see the place & the college, or

University as in England

it would be called. And

I should like to have you

see with your own eyes what

good your two scholarships

are doing. I keep them con

stantly in use, & give the

benefit of them to such good,

but indigent students as

I think will prove themselves

worthy of such help.

Miss Hill informed me that

[page 3]

Thomas is a Physician. I was

fearful that he would

over study & break down

his nervous system prem

aturely. How is he, & is he

likely to be able to practice

medicine on a large scale?

I suppose the son who was over

here could not well pay us

a visit, & probably did not

remember much of me. Our

college is in a highly flour

ishing condition. We are

needing to much enlarge

our buildings - Apparatus,

library, & generally our

accommodations, & we are

making enlargements

& improvements as fast as

we can obtain the means.

Much has been done &

much more projected which

[page 4]

we trust God will enable

us to secure. My own health

holds out remarkably.

I contin[u]e to preach & to teach.

I am still Pastor of the first

Church, & Prof. in college. I have

succeeded in getting relieved

of the Presidency & have twice resigned

all official relation to the college, but

without success. I also failed of

success in resigning my Pastorate.

I am therefore in the harness

& doing what I can. Are you

aware that our Friend Potto

Brown of Houghton is dead?

He died the death of the

righteous in April last, & his

works do follow him. I have

known but few like him.

The state of religion is highly

interesting with us, & continues

so from year to year. The

number of new students

[page 5]


from term to term affords

constant material for

revival work, & God most

graciously pours out His

Holy Spirit upon us, & a

constant work of grace

is in progress in our

midst. I want to hear

from your own lips or

pens how you get on as

individuals & how all

the dear souls around

you are progressing.

Do come & see us if you can

this summer. At any rate,

do write me without delay.

My Dear Mrs Barlow you

promised to write me

long ago, & I have waited

as patiently as I could.

but since I have seen the

friends & hear of you I

[page 6]

long more than ever

to hear direct from your

own lips or pen how your

soul is prospering. From

your long silence I have,

I hope erroneously, inferred

that you are indulging

in your old habit of self-

crimination & unbelief.

That the old fiend of dispon

dency has gotten the advan

tage of you again. Do not,

my precious Sister, "give place

to the devil". What business

has he with you? Dear Br.

Barlow I hope your great

popularity, success in busin

ess, & influence with worldly

me[n], will not prove a snare

to your feet & lead you into

complications that will mar

your spiritual life. I can

truly say the older I grow the

[page 7]


more precious is Jesus to me.

As I realize more & more

that I must be near

my home, the more

unspeakably great

precious, & wonderful

does the salvation of

God appear. Sometimes

it clears up to my spiritual

vision like the lifting of

a cloud from a glorious

scene from a mountain

top, & the vision is so over

whelming that the body

could not endure the

excitement but a very

short time. I can see

clearly that "blindness

in part" is essential to

our earthly existence &

mental sanity. We could

not live except in the shade.

[page 8]

I have of late been led to

pray that God will temper

my light to my strength & my

duties, giving me just

the measure of spiritual

perception that will make

me most useful whilst

I abide in the flesh.

I should be physically

prostrate in a few moments

if any thing like the full

blaze of these great realities

should lie open to me.

O, how little we can bear

of the light in which God

resides. The wonderful thought

of living with, & like Jesus.

O, when we realize it how

overcoming it is. Dear Wife,

though unknown to you in body

yet loves you in the Spirit,

joins in much love to you &

yours. My warmest love to all the

dear ones who care to hear from me.


[along the right hand margin]

C. G. Finney.



This was John Robert Barlow (1852-1923). Thomas Barlow, in a note-book containing details about his brother, John Robert, referred to: "Trip to USA with Slyman" ("Remembrance Book for John Robert Barlow" Barlow Family Papers, Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, BAR M/6)

II Peter 2:14 reads:

Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me.

Ephesians 4:27 reads: "Neither give place to the devil."

Romans 11:25.