The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To Julia Finney
13 January 1858
[MS in Finney Papers, Supplement # 63]
Boston 13. Jan. 1858.
My Dear Julia.
Your la[s]t to Mother is recd
I have been quite sick & confined to my
bed for several days. I had first two boils
under my arm, These were immediately
followed by four more. These lingered day
after day & there was not not vitality
enough to bring them to a head. In
the mene [sic] time I would get up & make
a skeleton & go & preach & then
return to a restless bed. These 4 finally
discharged & were immediately followed
under the same arm two carbuncles.
We attempted to kill these with Lunar
caustic, But this only cut off the skin
& let the caustic into the blood. This
produced the most excrutiating suffering
for several days. With this I had the rheumatism
in my chest. These together used up my strength
rapidly. Your Mother nursed me day & night.
Slep[t] on the sofa, took a violent cold & is
now sick herself. I am able to preach
again, & hope Ma will be well again
soon. The work of the Lord progresses
hopefully. I had to omit preaching for
several evenings, & once on the sabbath.
The fact is we were & are neither of us
able to be here & work as we do. We have
thought seriously that we should be
obliged to give up. But I have
now more hope of holding out.
We are delighted with your letter,
& especially grateful to God for his
kindness to you in our absence
Mother will write you soon, & send you
Aunt Sarah's letter. Is Miss Tuck[e]rs eyes
so that she is unable to read to you.
I must write to her. I am too full of
labors to write much to any one.
Dear Julia. You spoke of the dying
agonies & outcries of the pig. Did
not even the outcries of a dying
swine excite your compassion?
I hope so. When you receive this write
us how much lard you had. How
much this hog weighed. &c. But will
you ask Wm Bryann to write me
what he has done since I left & how
he is getting on with matters.
Ask him to write about the horses,
& cows, & pigs, & the fruit trees &
whether he has ploughed any & where.
Give our kindest love to Miss Ranson.
By the by how do the apples get on.
Ask Bryan to write me about them.
I hope you will send some to Miss
Ranson. To Mrs. Weed, & Mr. Bunker,
Especially to those who need but are
not able to buy them. I promised to
supply Br. Morgan & I think your
Uncle Edward. I have now my sore
ear again. I suppose there are
boils or carbuncles in my ears.
They are painful. I hope Mr. Babco
ck will conclude to go to O. in the
Spring. But he is not yet quite decided.
If you see Prof. Cowles, Prof. Fairchild
or Dr. Johnson, tell them I am
in frequent conference with him
on the subject & am of opinion
that he will conclude to go. But
I am not yet authorized to
say that he will. Give my
kindest love to Miss Tucker.
To William & Olivia. We
rejoice to hear that Olivia is
about to join the church. Why
do you not do so, My Dear
child. The Lord bless you.
Ma joins in much love to
you all. Will write as soon
as she is able.
Your aff. Father
C. G. Finney.
P,S. I will write to Bryan about the
apples so that you need do nothing
The word "not" is repeated.
Lunar caustic or argenti nitras (fused or toughened nitrate of silver) was a concentrated mineral acid used for cauterisation. The word Lunar (from luna, Latin for the moon) was the old alchemical name for silver. See John A. Price, A Dictionary of Terms used in Medicine and the Collateral Sciences 12th edition (London: Whittaker & Co., 1892, pp. 128, 423.
This was William Spriggs a farmer from England. He and his wife Ann and their daughter Amy were living with the Finneys. See Census Schedule, Lorain County, p. 63, dwelling 442.