The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To Julia Finney
28 February 1863
[Ms in Finney Papers, Supplement # 125]
Oberlin 28th Feb. 1863
My Dear Julia.
Your letter came duly.
From it & the one to Ange we some
expected to see Helen & Dolson
last night. But "no come." If they
do come so that I can I shall
telegraph for Norton & Willie.
Richard, at Miss Ransons, has gone.
He was buried several days ago.
The piece you refer to in the Independent
gives the correct meaning no doubt
of the church doctrine as set forth
in their prayer book. That is no
doubt real episcopacy. The new
school or low church party dissent
from some of those views. The question
of baptismal regeneration came
up before the courts in England
& the judges decided that the
views of the high church party,
i.e. the views set forth in the independent
are the true teachings of their prayer
book & of the episcopal church.
The new school or low church party
are really though not nominally
dissenters on several important points.
The piece you refer to was written
in the true spirit of Episcopal
arogance. "Doubtless we are the people
& wisdom will die with us." "We are
the church & there is no salvation out
of the church." The pretentions of that
body are so false & odious that
I marvel that they can put them
forth without shame. Mr. French
of course departs from some of
the points claimed in that article
But little can be known of Espiscopacy [sic]
from his teaching I presume.
10.oClock. A.M. We have just recd a
letter from Helen dated the 25th saying
they should leave Marietta for home
the next day & expected to be here
next tuesday or wednesday.
I will send you some money by them
D.V. Monday morning 2d March.
We had visit last week of an own
cousin of yours & his wife. He is the
son of my Brother Harry. He bears
my whole name C. G. Finney. He is
a smart lik[e]ly fellow & looks very
much as I did at his age. He staid
but one night. I intended to have sent
this letter this morning but having failed,
I may not send it until Dolson & Helen
go to Warren.
4. March. Helen & Dolson arrived
on monday evening. Norton & Willie
came this morning. I enclose $10. you
did not say how much you need.
If you should need more get it of
Helen & I will send it to her when
you return. We hope to see you
soon. All send love.
Your aff. Father,
C. G. Finney
This was Richard Hardy who died "of Typhoid fever" on February 19th. He was born a slave in Kentucky and was purchased by his father at the age of two. He came to Oberlin in 1856 and although "of very ordinary intellectual abilities" developed a remarkable Christian character. See his obituary in Lorain County News, Vol. 3 (25 February 1863), p. 2.
This word was unclear and Julia had written the letters rect over the end of the word.
The article referred to is probably the one written by John B. Hopkins, Jr., M.A., Deacon and editor of The Church Journal, for the series being run in The Independent on "Faith and Order in the Evangelical Churches. By Ministers of Each." It was published in Vol. XV (February 12, 1863, p. 1. under the title, "The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America."
Julia Finney had inserted a capital I at the beginning of the word independent.
The Church system is thus a vast and varied educational system, and is therefore in direct opposition to the notion that a true Church can be composed of adult believers only. She requires the baptism of infants. She requires sponsors to each infant baptized, who pledge themselves to the bringing up of that child to lead a godly and Christian life. She requires that her young children be instructed and publicly examined in her Catechism, which is very short and easy to be remembered. The first thing they are taught in that Catechism is, that they were made, in their baptism, "members of Christ, children of God, and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven;"--that thus they are already in a "state of salvation," and must "pray unto God" for "grace" to "continue in the same unto their lives' end."
Against this sentence Julia Finney has written in the margin:
My Father would not wish this published.
William C. French had become the first Episcopal minister in Oberlin in 1857. See William E. Bigglestone, Oberlin: From War to Jubilee, 1866-1883 (Oberlin: Grady Publishing Co, 1983), p. 42.
The Lorain County News for March 4, noted:
Major General J. D. Cox is in town,--the guest of his father-in-law, President Finney.
Against these words Julia has made a mark in the margin with the words: from Toledo?