The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To Edwin and Mary Lamson
19 February 1863
[MS in Finney Papers, 2/2/1]
Oberlin 19th Feb. 1863
My Dear Br. & Sister Lamson.
Your sweet letters within ^
darling little faces came duly.
If wife has been well I think
she would have danced with
delight on seeing those little
bright faces. She exclaimed
O! O! O! do see. But the poor, Dear
woman has been quite ill for several
weeks. Her cough ^ better at present,
I am almost ashamed to tell
you how much we wish you had
sent your own Dear faces with
those of the children, but you
should think we covet too much.
We are so glad that Dear Mary
is likely to recover her health
which we infer from your last.
I could not think the Lord had
done using her for good in Boston.
We rejoice to hear so good an account
of Br. Stone in the Army. God bless
him. Give our kindest love to him
when you write. By the bye My
eldest son C. G. Finney Jr. has recently
joined the army of the Potomac.
I wish Br. Stone could see him.
His address is Capt. C. G. Finney,
Head- Quarters, First, Brigade, Sec.
Division, Sixth Corps. I would write
to Charles to seek Out Mr. Stone but
know not Mr. Stone's address. Besides
as Charles is acting Division Quarter
Master he is intensely employed
day & night that I fear he would
not get time to go in search of Br.
Stone. What a miserable failure
that McClellan has made of that
Army of the Potomac. It seems as
a whole to be fit for nothing but
to be muster[e]d out of service.
I can not but feel that McClellan
deserves the execration of the country
I thought & hoped well of him as
long as I could, but can not think
well of him now. I can not see that
he has proved himself to be either a
a great Gen. or a patriot. But I
must not say too much he may have
been more honest than yet appears.
A few words about the Boston Society
for the support of Evangelists. They
sent me their constitution & documents.
Afterwards I saw a letter to Rev.
J. T. Avery of Cleveland, & another
to Rev. George Clark of this place. These
letters gave an entirely new view of
the designs of the Society. From the
constitution I understood that the
Society aimed to support Evangelists
in Churches where they were unable
to support them. The rich churches
East & especially in the large cities
proposed to sustain Evangelists
to labor among poor churches.
This, I thought was well. But the
letters alluded to proposed, to my
surprise, a directly opposite course.
Viz. That Evangelists should support
the society & not the society support
Evangelists. They refused to be responsible
to pay the Evangelists any thing, but
simply commissioned the Evangelist
to collect of the poor churches where
they labor, & pay into their treasury all
that they collect over the amount of
their salary. This would not help the
poor churches, but if it succeeded at
all, would collect form the poor to
support a society located among
& managed by the rich. Another
objection is that the Evangelists must
be the collecting Agents. Now every
successful Evangelist knows that this
is just what must not be. Make him
collecting agent, & you have tied
his hands. I am pursuaded that
a society conducted on such princi
ples can not succeed. I could give
many reasons for this opinion. To succeed,
the Society must sustain the Evangelist & leave
him with nothing to do but win souls. But if the
Evangelist must sustain the Society it is worse than useless
[page 1 along the left hand margin]
But I can not enlarge. Wife will write. Many kisses for the little sweets.
Love to all friends God bless you. C. G. Finney.
George Brinton McLellan (1826-1885) had been appointed major-general in charge of all the Ohio forces. By November 1862, his over-cautious approach to the war resulted in him being relieved of his command, which went to General Burnside. See DNB.
John Thomas Avery (1810-1896) and George Clark (1805-1888) laboured as evangelists.