The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To George Whipple and Henry Brewster Stanton
18 January 1835
[MS in the Finney Papers # 1153]
New York 18th Jan 1835.
Dearly Beloved Brethren.
I recd your interesting letter this
morning & improve this as the first leisure moment
I have had in which to reply, & must now answer in few words.
1. I understand & feel all you say in relation to the state of the
ministry & do not believe there is much difference between
those of the west & the great mass of those at the east, as
many of those there were educated here.
2 I see & have long seen that without a new race of ministers
we can not possibly go much further. The churches very
extensively have gone as far as their present ministers
will go. Here we must stop & go back unless something
can be done either to quicken the present or create
a new ministry. There are now materials for a more efficient
ministry but no school to train them in where they will not
be spoiled. I hoped [a] good deal from Lane. but alas that
expectation has failed. We have been anxiously looking
the subject over & were waiting the openings of Providence.
when Brs Mahan & Shipherd arrived. The following is the state
of this matter at present.
3 My church consent to let me go to Oberlin on the condition
that I be at liberty to spend 3 or 4 months in the winter of
each year in this city. & this is better than they feared as
my health is such that the more intelligent ones
expected that I would leave them altogether in the
spring. Besides, the brethren here feel as you do about the
ministers & that something must be done. They seem also
to accord with you in the importance of my taking
a theological professorship.
4 They have already pledged about 90, thousand dollars or the interest
of it to sustain professors, which is the same thing, I understand
upon the condition that I will go. How much more will
be obtained here I dont know. Probably not much, as none here
will give but abolitionists. The professorships are all endowed &
funds are now wanting for buildings library, Philosopical apparatus &c.
The Trustees of Oberlin have not elected me as yet as my
name has not been forwarded to them by Br. Shipherd until
to day. I have stated to him certain conditions upon which the
Lord willing I will go. They are, that the question of receiving students
without distinction of color be left with the faculty & that
I may be absent 3 or 4 months each winter. We do not wish
the Trustees to hold out an Abolition or an Antiabolition
flag but let that subject alone for the faculty to manage.
Whether the Trustees will appoint me I dont know.
My heart is set if God opens the way upon complying
with your wishes in regard to lending you any
aid in my power in getting into the ministry with
such qualifications as are needed to meet the present
exigency of the Church & the world. I dont know
as I could be of much service to you, but what I can I
am willing to do.
5. My health is slowly improving but not such that I
can preach with safety more than once upon the sab.
& once or twice in the week. O were I in health
there is a wide & effectual door opened here. My congre
gations are immense & the harvest is ripe but my
strength is so small that I cant reap much.
We have however had a considerable number of conversions
recently & hope for greater things. We have been trying
all winter to obtain some one to help me. But
for some reason we cant as yet obtain one who can
6. If I go to Oberlin. I can as well go in the spring
as at any other time so far as I know. The sooner
you are in the field the better. If their accommoda
tions will admit the earlier we can be there in the
spring the better
7 How far have your class advanced in your
theological course? Can you send me Dr. Beechers
course & inform me how far you have progressed?
8. I have given them no encouragement of
going except they collect the requisite funds
to put the institution immediately into a situ
ation to receive a large number of students.
9. I do not know whether the Trustees will see
fit to appoint me. However this my be, I should
like if we can bring it about to spend some
time with you previous to your entering
the field as ministers.
10. If Weld could go through this state, the
interior I mean, & collect funds I doubt
not he would in three months secure all
the funds necessary to put the school on
the high ground in regard to privileges
which is so desirable. Will he do it? I dont
know where to address a letter to him.
11. Will he surely be at Oberlin? Why dont
he write to me? I fear he will destroy his
health lecturing so much. Dont let him
delay to get into the ministry.
I have written in such haste that perhaps
you will hardly be able to read or understand
but I have no time to transcribe.
Love to all the brethren.
Your brother forever.
C&endash; G&endash; Finney
Henry B. Stanton.