To Henry Cowles

8 February 1847


[MS in Oberlin College Archives, 30/27]


Pontiac 8. Feb. 1847.

Dear Br. Cowles.

I recd your communication on saturday last & delay

not to answer. I suppose the salary of Br. Allen should not

be less than $.500. in all. I have no sympathy with the spirit

that denies, in theory or practice, that the laborer is worthy of his

hire. If the Institution cant afford to give Br. Allen $.400 he

ought not to come. If the professors can not be paid, let the

enterprize be given up. But with an efficient agency they

can be paid. Br. Allen's influence is good & our musical

department is of great importance. I am for continuing him

by all means.

I came here with great reluctance, after spending a week

at Detroit. The interest there became such that I never left

a place with so much reluctance. But I had suffered my

self to be drawn into an engagement here from which they were

so unwilling to release me, that I literally tore away & came

here. But a few days labor here assured me that the church

were in any thing but a state of preparation for a revival.

I have therefore been preaching mostly to them. They seem almost with

one consent to see that they had lost the true idea of religion. Why

Br. C. it is amazing to what an extent this is true in all the churches.

The work of the Lord has been going on in the church with increasing interest

& power from the first. A few from without were hoping last week.

Yesterday preached as usual twice, & last evening was truly a solemn

time. Many professed consecration. The house was too full to use the


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anxious seat as no one could stir from his place. Every place literally

jammed full & multitudes went away that could not get in at all.

I preached on consecration & called for decision. Multitudes that

could not be numbered rose & vowed to be wholly the Lords. The

last day will show with what degree of intelligence or sincerity

they did it. The Lord had so prepared the way & enabled me

to present the subject with such unusual clearness for me,

that I can hardly doubt that the consecration was real, at least


with numbers of them. We haveŸfull houses & increasing interest

from the first. For the last few days I have preached every P.M.

& evening. Shall not attempt to do this long. But as so many

impenitent attend in the evening I thought it a pity to preach

every evening to the church & found it impossible to do anything

without beginning at the bottom with them. I therefore preach

to the church in the P.M. & to a promiscuous audience in the evening.

Dont know when I shall get through here. Think now that I shall

return when I am through in this place. It is a hard & difficult

field in consequence of the dreadful state of professed christians.

The impenitent are more easily converted than the churches.

Dont publish any thing from me in your paper on this subject

yet. The Detroit presbytery, within whose bounds I am & in

one of whose churches I am laboring, had their annual

meeting about 20 miles from here last week. Three of their number

were for passing resolutions against my laboring in their churches

but Br. Duffield of D[et]roit & others opposed it. So they did nothing.

I have written Br. Duffield a letter thanking him for the course he

took & begging his Pres. to be careful what they do.

Your Brother. C. G. Finney.


George Nelson Allen (1812-1877). See William E. Bigglestone, "George Nelson Allen: Teacher In Spite of Himself" Northwest Ohio Quarterly Vol. 48, No. 1 (Winter 1975-76), pp. 3-23.