The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To Julia Monroe
23 January 1869
[MS in Finney Papers, microfilm, roll 5, supplement #168. Extracts were published in Frances J. Hosford, "Finney and His Children" in The Oberlin Alumni Magazine, Vol. 30 (July 1934), pp. 301-2.]
My Dear Julia
Your Mothers letter gives too discour
aging a view of the State of religion
here. Many are greatly searched
& some are wincing under the
truth, but there is a manifest
movement both in & out of the
Church. The business mens meetings
for prayer. The young peoples
meetings. The many prayer
meetings in the different sections
of the town. The young men's
prayermeetings. The enquiry
meetings. The frequent conversions,
& indeed the general state of
things is highly encouraging.
If I could venture to preach
once or twice during the week
I have no doubt we should have
a powerful revival in a very
short time. As it is many are
much blessed in the Church
& almost every day we hear of
conversions. There are no doubt
conversions occuring nearly or quite
every day. Mother now says she wrote
too much her own present feelings
& overlook the facts I have just
mentioned. The Trustees wish to
make some repairs in the Church
& are thinking of doing it before
the Term opens. If they do it will
break up our sabbath services
for a week or two. I fear for more.
I am preparing for the press a
volume of revival sermons.
This work I must hasten as the
publishers wish to get them into
market in April.
My book on freemasonry has
gone to the printer & will
soon be out I suppose.
It will make some squirming
I doubt not. Charles was here
at Christmas. Staid only a day.
Norton is fully employed in
his R.R. business. Sarah is with
us still. She is a[s] sweet as
ever & as happy as a bird.
Ange will inform you of the
death of Mr. George Wright.
No deaths here of late. It is
a time of remarkable health.
We have now six or more practising
physicians here & I doubt if all
of them have as many patients
as one could attend. We
have three drug stores, & how they
live I dont know. The surrounding
towns employ our physicians
& support our drug stores a
good deal I beli[e]ve. I should
have said that Charles general
health & his voice are slowly
improving. My own health has
been quite good, but at present
I am a little threatened
with dysentary. Your mother
thinks or professes to that
there is no danger. Were it not
that tomorrow is Sab. & I must
preach I should not feel as
if my danger was great. If I
am not better in the morning I
shall not preach. By your
next letter we may hear more
particularly whether & when
you hope to return to Oberlin.
Helen writes that Dear little
Ken is failing a good deal.
Poor child he is not long for this
world. I charge his parents
not to neglect his soul. I sent
him "The guide to the Savior" a
few days since. Helen has been
a great contemner of the mode
of life in which she was trained & to
which she owes her health & life.
I tell her something is wrong as
she has much sickness in her
family. Love to James & the
children. God bless you
C. G. Finney
It appears that this line was added afterwards at the top of the page. Julia Monroe added: (Oberlin. Date? 1869?). The letter was probably written on January 23rd 1869.
The week of prayer was held in the first week of the new year, when there were daily prayer meetings held in various places in Oberlin. See The Lorain County News (6 January 1869), p. 3.
A notice in The Lorain County News, 27 January 1869, p. 3. stated:
Young peoples meetings are well attended -- Repairs have been commenced on the First Church. A beginning was made on the Sabbath School Library's Room, on the south side of the back entry. During the coming month the contemplated repairs will be made in the audience room.
and a notice in the News of February 17, gives details of the redecoration taking place in the church (p. 3).
It is not clear what this edition is. Finney had already prepared a new edition of his Lectures on Revivals of Religion with an additional preface dated October 22, 1868, which was advertised in The Lorain County News for December 9, 1868, p. 2, as being for sale. It was published by E. J. Goodrich of Oberlin.
Two of them, H. L. Henry and J. M. Gardner & Co., advertised each week in The Lorain County News.
Finney was probably writing this on Saturday, January 23rd. A notice in The Lorain County News, for Wednesday, January 20, 1869, p. 3, stated that "Ex-President Finney, has been indisposed during the past week, and Prof. Morgan preached at the First Church in his stead, on Sunday." A further notice in the News for Wednesday, February 3, stated that Finney's health had improved, and he was able to be in the pulpit on Sunday (p. 3).
Finney had brought out his little book, Guide to the Savior; or, conditions of attaining to and aiding in entire holiness of heart and life in 1848, published in Oberlin by James M. Fitch.