To Philo Carpenter

4 November 1871


[MS in the Finney Papers, microfilm, roll 6, #2138.]


Finney received the following letter from Charles A. Blanchard:


Wheaton Oct. 27. 1871

Rev. C. G. Finney

My dear brother,

Philo Carpenter, Esq. has

to day read to my father and myself a letter

from you wherein you "bitterly and personally" re-

proach the Editor of the Cynosure, and remark

that the Cynosure must be reformed before it can

reform others. Along with this rather insulting re-

mark, comes an insinuation, that, under other

hands the paper could accomplish much more

for the cause.

On account of this letter I beg leave to

call your attention to a few facts: and first,

That when the secret lodges were undermining

the liberties of Americans, and the religion of

Christ, the alarm was not sounded from Oberlin

but from Illinois. It is true that Clark, Burrell,

Cross, Morgan and other brethren, and above all

yourself have done noble work, but this does not

alter the fact that organized opposition to the

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secret orders commenced west of Ohio. and second,

That when the paper was called for Oberlin was

asked, by one of its Professors to lead the movement

and take the paper but Oberlin declined, the Prof.

writing that "we shall resign that honor to Wheat-

on: and third,

That the paper has lived and grown in spite

of the world, the flesh and the devil, to a

circulation of over five thousand, receiving the

heartfelt "God-speeds" of the same kind of men

who were the first to follow you to Christ, and

the opposition, secret or open, of the same sort of

D.D.'s, and Profs. who threw their whole weight

against Finney and Holiness and God, and fourth

That when the open enemies are beginning

to give way; when the denominational papers

have been compelled to say a little for God's

own truth; when the secular papers are begin-

ning to throw off the muzzles of secretism;

and finally when a great misfortune should

have stilled the tongue and stopped the pen

of slander, of envy or of malice: The man

who has kept the fires burning when his

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brethren were asleep; who started the paper

they lacked strength or courage to start, this

man is struck, and struck in the dark,

and in the back by a brother in Christ!

If you believe one half that you have said

in the letter referred to, you have sinned in not

warning in the spirit of Christ your brother who

was going wrong. But at such a time, in such a

way, to attack a paper which has contended as

best it could for principles you profess to love; to

seek to draw it from the one who started [it] to a place

or able

where there is no one who has been willing ^ to

take any responsibility for it, and to seek to put

it into the care of strangers; this is past belief.

Did I not know you[r] earnest work for the Mas-

ter; your long and faithful fight with sin; your

elevated christian character, I should say that

the author of such a letter was a trickster and

a coward. Nor can I now think that my own

C. G. Finney, whose name I have reverenced sin[ce]

I breathed prairie air, could have written such

a letter unless he had been (unconsciously) in-

fluenced by a small ambitious spirit, which

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seeks to obtain from strangers a place for

which his best friends most thoroughly

know his complete unfitness.

It seems to me that a confession is

due from yourself to Prest. Blanchard and

also a Christian reproof if you think him

to be wrong. Hoping and knowing that

you will put this matter, before Him who

has so abundantly blessed your labors and

that we may both be drawn nearer to Him by this affliction

I am your servant in Christ Jesus

C. A. Blanchard


Finney replied to this letter on 2 November, and then sent Blanchard's letter to Philo Carpenter with the following endorsement at the end:


Dear Br. Carpenter. I have just recd this

letter & have replied to it. In my

reply I said I would send the above to

you for your judgment whether I deserved

it. I hope you will be frank & say I do deserve

the castigation form this young man if you

think so. He may show you my reply.

It never occurred to me me as possible that any one

could suspect me of seeking to sustain any other

relation to the paper than I have done. C. G. Finney


[Along the left hand margin]

Please return this after

reading it


This endorsement was subsequently crossed out by Finney, who received the following letter from Carpenter:


[MS in Finney Papers, microfilm, roll 6, #2140]


Aurora Nov 8th 1871

Pres Finney

My dear Sir

Yours of the 4th was duly

recd with C A Blanchards letter & your reply.

I regret that I have given you trouble & anxiety

in allowing Br. B & son to know the contents of a

private & friendly letter from yourself, dictated

in the kindest spirit & expressing my own

views, & I doubt not the views of a great

number of Br Bs warmest friends. In the

simplicity of my heart I thought that your

frank & kind letter would have a good influence

on father & Son, and stopped, in reading

the letter, to say Now Br B you are not to betray


confidence, in my showing you thisŸletter,

from our mutual friend. But the young

Mans letter to you is a gross extravagance,

a Blanchard freak, and I shall tell him

that he owes you no slight apology.&emdash; I have

entertained a high opinion of Mr C.A.Bs ability

& goodness of heart, & have hoped very much

from his labors, & still hope, he is more popular

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with an audience than his father, generally

I think, more cool & deliberaly , & many think

less objectionable in the use of language, &

possessing greater power to hold an audience

than most men of his age, and after all I

am not without hope that your letter will have

a salutary influence, Your views are

entertained by nearly every member, if not all,

of the ex committee, but I think have not been

as freely expressed to the Pres as they should have

been. The paper is again out in a small form,

and I hope for its continuance & improvement.

I have had Mr. C A Blanchard,s letter to you & your

reply copied, and also your letter to me, calling out

the correspondence,- and which I returne to you

with Mr Bs as you request.

If I have erred in this thing, it has been on

the side of charity, and you will please

pardon me.

Yours with great esteem

Philo Carpenter



See Finney to Philo Carpenter, October 25, 1871, Finney Papers, Microfilm, roll 6, #2136.

The date here seems to be when Finney sent off his note on Blanchard's letter to Philo Carpenter.

Carpenter had intended to write "deliberate" here.

Written thus.