The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To James and Alice Barlow
8 January 1868
[MS in Finney Papers, 2/2/2]
Oberlin College. Ohio
U.S.A. 8th Jan. 1868.
My Dear Br. & Sister Barlow.
Some one kindly sent me the
News paper containing an account
of your installation into the very
honorable & responsible office
of Mayor of your city.
This was, & is, all the more interesting
to me because it speaks well of the
moral tone of that community.
Their elevating Br. Barlow to that
station indicates the highest
respect for, & confidence in
you, & a desire to have an ear
nest Christian man fill that office.
I regard your election as an
honor alike to the people & to
you. I hope your health will prove
adequate to ^ efficient discharge
of your new & responsible duties.
& that grace may be vouchsafed
to you, that you may govern with
wisdom, & to the general satisfaction
of all concerned. Incidentally
I learn from these proceedings
that you have been in feeble
health during the last summer.
Of this I had not been aware, & I
am happy to learn that your
health is so far restored. In your
last, I had the promise of a letter
from Dear Sister Barlow. I have
waited & hoped for her letter in vain
until now. I earnestly hope she
is not ill. I so long to see you
both that I sometimes think I
might visit England once more.
Since I left you I have had several
seasons of protracted illness, Each
of which however has resulted in
better health than I had before
I was ill. I have pursued my
labors here steadily, & by the rich
blessing of God successfully during
the intervals of my illness. My health
is now good. Better than for many
years past. We have had an
allmost constant revival since
my last return from England.
I can not endure the amount
of excitement & labor that I
formerly endured, but I bless
the Lord for giving me health
& strength to still perform my
college & Pastoral duties
with comfort to myself & with
as good success as ever, so
far as I can see. In addition
to my other duties, I am now
engaged in writing out some
account of my labors in revivals.
This duty has been pressed upon
me by many friends in this country
& in Europe. Of late the Trustees
of our College have repeatedly
urged this upon me. I have
had a great reluctance to
undertaking it because I
have a strong repugnance
to Autobiography, & it is imposs
ible to write such a narrative
with ^ speaking much of myself.
If this narrative is ever published
I do not intend it shall be while
I live. Your two scholarships are
constantly made useful to
some indigent, but promising
students, who express to me
from time to time, their gratitu
ude to both of you for the
use of them. Our college remains
in a very flourishing condition
in every respect. I am most happy
& blessed in my last marriage.
My present wife has excellent
health & spirits, &is a woman
universally respected by my
congregation. She is just the
woman that I most need under
all the circumstances. If all women
are like the three that I have had for
wives I must think they are far better than men.
And how are all your family.
Mary Ann, Mrs B's sister is
not with you, I suppose. I hope
she is well, & both useful & happy.
God bless her. Please give my
kindest regards to her when
you write. And how & where
is Thomas? Is he at home or
abroad? & how is he employed?
Give my love to him & ask him
when he is coming to see me
at Oberlin. Kiss all the children
for me, & give them my heart's
love. And how are all the dear
Christian friends in Boloton?
How I long to see them again.
How is that Dear Br. & Sister Bell?
whom we so dearly loved. I have
heard occasionally from Bolton,
& especially from sister Best, through
a young man by the name of
Blinkhorn, who used to live at
Br. Bests, & with who Mrs. Best
keeps up a most maternal
correspondence. He has been here
but has now gone. How is brother
Morris of Manchester. When
you see them please present to
them my most affectionate regards.
And now, My Dear Sister Barlow
How are you, in body & soul.
Are you rooted & grounded in
faith & love & hope. & does
your joy in the Lord abound.
Bro. & Sister Barlow, I can not
tell you how much I long to
see you. I hope Dear Sister B. that
you will not delay to write me
any longer. Br B. your hands
are full, but can you not
drop me a letter more
frequently. I do so yearn
to see some of those dear
Christian friends in Bolton & in
Manchester. How are your old
neighbors the Johnsons who removed
to Manchester. The state of religion
here has been uncommonly interesting for
the past year. God bless you all.
C. G. Finney
This word should have been written "Bolton".
This was probably Oliver Blinkhorn from "St. Helens, Eng." who was later a student in the Preparatory Department of the College in 1872-73, and evidently spent time in Oberlin subsequent to that. See Oberlin College Catalog for 1872-73, p. 21, in Oberlin College Archives, 0/00/1; and Finney to Alice Barlow, 3 May 1875, Finney Papers, 2/2/2.