The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To John Campbell
17 January 1859
[Extract published in The British Standard (London), 7 January 1859, p. 20.]
The following article was published in The British Standard (London), 7 January 1859, p. 4:
REV. CHARLES FINNEY, PROFESSOR
OF THEOLOGY, OBERLIN COLLEGE, U.S.
Multitudes will rejoice to hear that Mr. FINNEY has just arrived safely at Liverpool, in perfect health, and full of his usual energy. We were in some measure prepared for the arrival of this remarkable man, from a letter dated Oct. 11th, 1858, in which he states that he had been strongly importuned once more to visit England for a season, and might probably do so.
Mr. FINNEY, we believe, has had a considerable hand in the mighty revival which is now going on in the United States. We have already referred to the fact of his having made more than one prolonged visit to the rich, gay, and godless city of Boston, when he preached without intermission in the meeting-houses of the various denominations, and in that city, as appears from the letter addressed to Mr. JAMES which will be found in another column, the first daily prayer-meeting began, and lasted the long period of seven years, before the cloud of mercy gathered and burst in blessings on the whole nation.
It may be presumed that Professor FINNEY, in the course of his British labours, will take an opportunity of expatiating on the subject of the American Revival. In the meanwhile, a few letters from his pen, when he shall have obtained a little repose, might be greatly useful, as we are sure they would be specially welcome to the churches of this country. By this means, the benefits which we have no doubt will result from his pulpit labours amongst us might be vastly enhanced. Such letters would operate as a prelude in many places to his evangelistic efforts. Should Mr. FINNEY see it good to act on the suggestion, we shall have the utmost pleasure in giving currency to his addresses in the columns of the BRITISH STANDARD.
For the convenience of all who may wish to communicate with Mr. FINNEY, we may just observe, that, for a season, he will reside with his generous and devoted friend, POTTO BROWN, Esq., Houghton, Huntingdonshire, the gentleman who, we believe, was mainly instrumental in securing both the first and the second visit of Mr. FINNEY to this country.
The following article appeared in the same paper of 21 January 1859, p. 20:
REV. PROFESSOR FINNEY.
In a letter just received from our esteemed friend Professor Finney, dated St. Ives, Jan. 17, we find the following, which, although the letter was not at all meant for publication, we deem of sufficient interest to warrant its extraction:--
In regard to your suggestion respecting some articles from my pen, I would say, I shall gladly avail myself of your columns, so kindly offered, to communicate any information relative to the Great Revival in America, that may seem to be important, and to make any suggestions in relation to the subject of Revivals of religion in this or other countries, that may appear to be called for, and which I can command time to make. I must not spend time to write commonplaces, but first learn what needs to be said, and then write as I am able.
The present great work in America is a striking exemplification of the justness of the views expressed in my lectures on revivals; so many of which have been published in this country. Prayer, closet prayer, social, public, earnest agonizing, prevailing prayer, "praying everywhere, lifting up holy hands without wrath or doubting," has been the great fundamental fact in the use of means. The pulpit has done much because many ministers have been revived. A revival of ministerial piety is the want of the age; and, as far as this has been enjoyed in America, the pulpit has done its legitimate work, and I am constrained to say, no further. But the union efforts of the various evangelical denominations has been a most striking feature of this great and growing work, for the past three years more particularly. The sacramental host has rallied. The membership of the churches have entered into the work. Personal, individual, lay effort, in the way of private conversation and prayer, has been wonderfully owned and blessed in the conversion of scores of thousands.
But I did not take my pen to write you so long a letter. I wish to say to my friends through your columns, that my visit to England is solely for the purpose of labouring for the Revival of religion and the conversion of souls, and therefore I must decline going here or there to make platform addresses, or to preach sermons for the collection of money. I must leave such work for others. I have preached but two sermons in St. Ives. I have appointments here for three weeks; after which I shall probably take some one of the numerous fields opened and opening for Revival labours elsewhere. I probably shall be in London for a time soon, as the call from that quarter is pressing. Many fields are open before me. Will you not pray, my brother, that the Lord will direct and help in these labours?
We trust our readers,--those especially who may wish to command the services of the great Evangelist for collection purposes,--will attend to the hint here given, and not augment unnecessarily his constant press for labour by answering applications that must be in the negative.
We hope Mr. Finney will be able to come on at the close of the articles of Mr. James, which, our readers will be glad to hear, will extend to several more.
This letter was copied into other newspapers. See, for example, The Christian World (London), 28 January 1859, p. 342; The Wesleyan Times (London), 24 January 1859, p, 55; The Evangelist (New York), 10 March 1859, p. 4; and The Revivalist (London), Vol. 2, No. 5 (February 1859), p. 32.