The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To Theodore Dwight Weld
21 July 1831
[Autograph signed letter in Weld-Grimke Papers, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan.]
Abany 21st. July 1831.
I dont know what to say about
Beman. Has promised to explain his views fully
to me but has not yet done it.
My opinion is that if his health were good
& he could get the right man to take his place
he would go to Whitesboro. But he thinks it
more than probable that he shall spend another
winter at least at the south.
A prime object in my staying so long
in this region is to see Cushman who has
been gone & who is expected home to day.
He is the only man in Troy whose judgment
will have great weight with Beman. I.E.
B. would have more confidence in his judgment
than in [any] other man's there.
I dare not touch Tracy on the subject.
The fact is I dont think that his people
mean to listen to the voice of reason, nor
to the cry of Sion for ministers. I feel exceedi
ngly grieved at the spirit manifested by him
& by his people about his leaving them & inter
nos. if I am not mistaken there is a rod
preparing for him & them if they dont open their
eyes. But keep this to yourself.
Perhaps I can make an impression upon
Cushman, if not I shall leave the matter with
God & we must turn to Hopkins. I am more
& more convinced that he is the man.
Feeling had sunk immensely low here & in
all this region. I have preached about every
night here & at Troy Lansingburgh &
Waterford. Shall probably leave here soon.
Your threat to leave with the young men
wont do. If B. Dont go there some one
else must. Dont be discouraged the Lord
will provide. Ambition is killing ministers &
young men preparing for the ministry.
Dr. Weld look out you are flattered there. If
you dont take care I fear you will be spoiled
by an idea of your own importance.
I fear that a want of cleanliness & good breeding, an
inattention to the decencies of life will injure
some of your young men if not the reputation
of that school. Such things are of more importance
in my estimation than they were formerly.
Ministers must have good breeding or they wil[l]
be hindered in the work.
You know that I am not recommending the
stiffness of Scholastic manners, from such
buckram refinement the Lord deliver minis[ters]
nor am I in favor of those petty dandy
airs which are sometimes affected by clowns
who set up for gentlemen. But when
a man appear[s] in good company let him
see that his boots & clothes are clean
so as not to create disgust by his
inattention to what they will insist upo[n]
as decencies. A word to the wise.
Some of your friends have given
me a hint upon this subject. Your own
example must teach upon this subject.
I am more afraid that you will be spoil[t]
with pride than I used to be. I hope you
entertain the same fears of me & will
pray for me, more in this behalf. We & all
our friends, are if we are not aware
going to be shorn of all our strength by this
insidious Delila. I see it on every
side. Do be on your guard. Your Brother.
C. G. Finney