The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To Gerrit Smith
22 July 1840
[MS in Gerrit Smith Papers, Syracuse University Library]
Oberlin 22nd. July 1840.
Beloved Br. Smith.
I have just recd the "Friend of man
Extra", containing your letter to Br. Blanchard & have
read & heartily approve the sentiments of that letter.
I have from the first taken this ground, & when
the question of a third party in politics was
brought forward at the meeting of the A. A. S.
at Cleveland last fall, I was ready to defend
in substance the resolutions to that effect, but
was obliged to leave before the discussion of
that subject came up. I was not at the meeting
of the State A. S. at Massiolon & one of my
principle reasons for not attending was that
I understood, from report, the ground which the
leading Abolitionists of the state intended
to occupy & was advised that if I went &
advocated my views I should meet with
much opposition. As I am no politician &
love peace, & as I can not consistently enter
the lists of controversy upon the subject, I declined
going. I can not vote for an enemy of God
& man to legislate for any people. Prehaps I
have ered [sic], but hitherto my disgust at the
course which the politics of this nation have
take has prevented my voting altogether.
If a party shall arise who will take consistent
ground I shall go to the polls, but if not I shall
leave the political aspirants to get votes
as they can.
I am happy to hear that you are about again.
My Br. how is it that we are not acquainted
with each other? I desire exceedingly to see you
& your Dr. Wife & hear what the Lord has done
for your souls. Shall we not have the pleasure
of seeing you at Oberlin this summer or
Autumn? My Wife & self have desired to see
you so much that we have sometimes been
almost pursuaded to make you a short visit.
We should rejoice greatly to see you at our house.
My precious Br. You will not take it amiss
if I touch your elbow & say, "guard your spirit
when your feelings are greatly tried & when you
take your pen to reprove or rebuke a brother".
Your rebuke was merited by Br. Blanchard in
my apprehension, but I almost feared as I read
that Br. Smiths spirit was a little caustic.
Prehaps however I am entirely mistaken in this
respect, if so you will pardon the suggestion as
I am sure it [is]the jealousy of fervant love that
has prompted it.
I have been almost sorry that I did not attend
the meeting at Massilon as perhaps I might have
done more good than by staying away. But I say again
that I am no politician & have for a long time been
too deeply disgusted with the political course of things
in the U.S. to have any connection whatever
with either of the political parties.
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Addressed: Gerrit Smi[
Peter[ sheet cut away]
Postmarked: OBERLIN O. JUL 22