The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To Lewis Tappan
[MS in Finney Papers #2158]
Finney wrote to Lewis Tappan probably in late February 1872. Tappan quotes an extract from the letter in his reply to Finney dated 4 March 1872. The letter, in the hand-writing of his wife, is signed by Tappan himself. The extract is in bold:
Brooklyn, N.Y. March 4/72
My dear Brother Finney,
your note, and employ the hand of
my dear wife to reply .
I did not know before that you were
ill, and I deeply sympathize with
you, and hope with regard to both of
us, that these light afflictions will work
out an eternal weight of glory.
I remember well the letter, of which
you speak, written, I think, about
thirty-seven years ago, and I distinctly
recollect the impression it made upon
my mind. I considered it wholly
Mr Green's, and yet it was much
above anything I had ever seen from
his pen. It did not make me an-
gry, -- quite the contrary. As it
touched upon a variety of topics, I was
led to consider that there was probably
much that was faulty in me.
I can see now, that there were ex-
pressions in the letter peculiar to your-
self, that tended to allay angry feelings
and induce serious reflection.
Mr Green and myself differed
decidedly on two points, and I sup-
pose it was in reference to these that the
letter was written. I allude to his idea,
1st that I ought to leave the Antislavery
Committee and devote my time to Free
Churches; and 2nd that I ought to re-
main and sustain Chatham St.
Chapel, while you and he undertook
to support the Tabernacle.
My views were, that as he had left
the Antislavery Committee, it was
more important that I should re-
main; considering that the Anti-
slavery cause was as important, to
say the least, as the Free Church move-
ment, and that it would have been
right to have consulted me about the
Tabernacle enterprise and what was
my duty in regard to the Chapel.
I thought the letter was, on the
whole, written in a good spirit, and
intended for my benefit and use-
fulness. It rather increased my
love for Mr Green, and neither at
the time nor since did it occasion
in me any unkind feeling toward
him, but rather the contrary.
You say, "I pray you to forgive
whatever in your judgment may
have been amiss in my treatment
of you, at any period of my life."
As you wish me to answer this, I
can truly say I heartily do, and ask
the same of you in my own behalf.
It would give me great pleasure to
meet you again in this world, but if
that be not the will of God, may we
enjoy each other's society through
a blissful eternity. I can heartily
say I expect this only through the
atoning sacrifice of our Lord
Most sincerely can I recip-
rocate all you say in regard to
your affection for me. There
is no man whom I more sin-
cerely love and honor, or from
whom I have received more val-
uable instruction. God bless you,
dear brother Finney & your dear