The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
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
against the secret orders,
& sincerely wish you the
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
C. G. Finney.