The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To Theodore Dwight Weld
27 March 1828
[MS in Weld-Grimke Papers, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan. Published (with a number of errors) in Gilbert H. Barnes, and Dwight L. Dumond, editors, Letters of Theodore Dwight Weld, Angelina Grimké Weld and Sarah Grimké 1822-1844 (Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1965), pages 10-14.]
Address with alterations (in italics) by George W. Gale:
Mr. Theodore Weld
Fabius Whitesboro. Oneida Co.
First Postmark: PHIL ? MAR ? crossed out
Second Postmark: WHITESBORO' N.Y. APR 5
Letter (with additions in italics by George W. Gale):
Philadelphia 27th. March 1828.
My Dear Weld.
I seize upon the present moment
as it rushes past, to write you a single line.
The good work of God is deepening & spreading
in this AntiRevival city, much to the joy of the
friends of revivals, & I have no doubt to the no
small annoyance of many who would be
thought to be the greatest friends of the Redeemers
Kingdom. I am told that from [by] some of the
ministers the people are warned against
the false doctrine which is getting into the
city & forbidden to go after strange ministers.
I believe however that as yet the people are
not considered as very obedient in this parti-
cular. I hear nothing here recently about the
distinction contended for at the east between
old & new measures. The fact is, that here
we are all hereticks, Alias Hopkintians, who
dont sit quietly down in a corner of the
Triangle & wait God's time.
Last sab. was an awfully solemn day in Br P's cong.
Numbers were convicted, & several hopefully
converted during my morning's discourse.
One gay lady who came to meeting in her pride,
was so overwhelmed as to be unable to stand or even
to sit up without being held. She got relief before
she left the church. A man who is supposed to be
the richest in Mr P's congregation of about 50 years of age
was completely confounded. He obtained hope either
that evening or on monday. About Between 40 & 50
I believe are already examined for admission into
Br. P's church at the communion. Numbers of the
young converts have been received into some of the
other churches, & many are yet unexamined
for admission anywhere. We want 10 times as
much help as we have. 100dreds are willing to be
visited, & anxious to be, who we can not go & see.
Some young men from Princeton have spent some
time here. Many families are so anxious to be
visited, who have been hitherto wholly inaccessible, that
when they are called upon, they will ask you to
stay till they call in some of their anxious
neighbors, & when you leave them they
express gratitude & seem not at all disposed
to cavil. As nearly as I can learn, there
are many hundreds in this state.
Br P. says that he has never seen any
thing like it since he has been in the
city. I am called upon by anxious persons
almost continually some days, & often
requested to go & visit anxious persons &
am not able, on account of my health
& multiplied duties. O how much I want
your help & that of 20 others who u[nder]stand
revivals. There is hardly any one [torn]
or in this region who can help [torn]
The young men in this region dont know
how to visit, & most of the ministers would
adopt the soothing system. O what shall
be done? "The harvest truly is great, but the
laborors are few." `Pray ye the Lord to send
forth laborers". I should insist upon your
coming on & staying until the Assembly
meets, did I think that I could prevail.
Do pray for me mightily. My Wifes health is
feeble. The churches here are in a dreadful
state. This city insted [sic] of being the "radiating poi
[along the side of page 3]
the "mainspring & rallying point of ian enterprise of the presbyterian
church," is almost solid darkness, f corruption & in her putrid
embrace, she holds all the regi & south, locked up in loathsome
horrid death. The work goes on eral of the congregations.
F N.B. I am in a land where many wo entangle me in my talk. Be careful
what you do with my letters." Love to all Friends. Yours affectionately C.G. Finney
[Addition (in italics) is by George W. Gale]
[page 4: the first section is inserted below the address]:
March 5th This letter was received nearly a week since but as I was
then expecting you so soon I did not of course think best to send it. I was
expecting you daily until day before yesterday when Mr Stuart's letter came
to hand. I had begun to be apprehensive something was the matter. I was
quite relieved to day by receiving a letter from your own hand. Your ill
ness is unpleasant to us all as well as it must be to you at this time as it is
a disappointment to us all. But it ought to be sufficient to silence all com
plaining & more, much more than this, that the Lord has done it. He does
all things well. You must not be in a hurry to return and when you do you
must not walk You now will be in danger of attempting to get out to soon
a relapse might prove fatal you know. The young men are coming in and
applicationsdaily from various quarters Send on those young men if you
can soon, if not let us know Your brother must go out soon as practicable
we ought to have two or three agents out immediately & constantly. I have
been expecting him here and have not sent him a Report I will send one
I was in Utica to day & saw Mr Wilson He spent last sab with
brother Finney in Philada. The good work goes on there. He was well preach
ing for brother P. and attending meetings of enquiry in his and Mr Livingstons cong.
He had been invited to preach last sab for Doct Wilson but did not think best to leave
the congregation of Mr P. all well Yours affectionately
I am to ask - G.W. Gale
[page 1 along the side of the page]
P.S. You will hardly think an apology ne ssary for breaking open this letter when
I remark that I knew the handwriting. Returns are received from all the Towns
in the county respecting bibles How many families think you are foundes destitute
of a bible in the County of Oneida? Between 13 & 14 hundred!! Many in Philadelphia
have strong hopes of getting Doct. Beecher in Philada. My affectionate regards to your brother
our common and particular friend Stuart and to your parents sister &c. Tho I have not seen them they
do not seem like strangers We want to see you here much but you must not be
in haste nothing here of special interest on the great subject. We are still sinking down
into stupidity I fear. Mrs G. sends love the little ones remember Weld.
Photocopy has cut the edge of the letter off. ? point.
A tear in the paper has removed parts of several words in this section.
Finney had originally written ... enterprise" th but he smudged out the quotation marks and altered th to of.
March here is incorrect. Gale should have written April.
This will have been Charles Stuart.
The next section is inserted above the address.
Gale has omitted the second o from too.
His brother was Charles Weld.