To Lewis Tappan

February 1872


[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,

I received

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

[page 2]

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-

[page 3]

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

[page 4]

enjoy each other's society through

a blissful eternity. I can heartily

say I expect this only through the

atoning sacrifice of our Lord

Jesus Christ.

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


Affectionately Yours,

Lewis Tappan.