To Benjamin E. Reed

28 July 1871


[Manuscript in Benjamin E. Reed Papers, 1855-1872, VFM 1150, Ohio Historical Society, Ohio Historical Center, 1982 Velma Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 443211-2497]


Finney had received the following letter from Benjamin E. Reed in September 1870:


Girard O Sept 16th 1870

Rev Mr Finney

Oberlin O Dear sir,

I have written to two different

persons at Oberlin, recently, and have

received no answer from either. Will

you please inform me whether there are

any cheap issues of your Book on masonry,

and if there are none, then how much money

and to whom I must send to obtain a

single copy. I have the work but a

friend of mine wants it. I am 47 years

old, have always been an antimason, and

have lectured a little on the subject. Good

Templars as well as masons are down on

you in this region. I have much desired

to converse with you on the subject of masonry.

I believe that notwithstanding your

advanced age, they would kill you if they

could get you one side when the testimony

would not be too clear. What is your opinion?

Without men who have been in the lodge

and have the courage to reveal, we could only

assail it from external and visible works.

Must we not assume the agg[r]essive, and

wage unceasing war against it? I believe

this movement is begun that, with Gods

blessing will drive it into the dark recesses

of the earth.

Very truly Yours B. Reed



In answer to a second letter from Reed, which is not in the Finney Papers, Finney wrote:


Oberlin 28th July 1871

B. Reed Esqr.

Dear Sir, Yours of the

26th is just recd. I am

glad to hear of your

contemplated movement

against the secret orders,

& sincerely wish you the

fullest success.

I dare not venture abroad

to aid in such movements

My health & strength are

not sufficient to allow it.

God bless & help you

& your associates in the

good work.

C. G. Finney.