The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To George Whipple
Secretary of the American Missionary Association
1 January 1870
[MS in the American Missionary Association Papers, # 115466, Amistad Research Center, Tulane University.]
Oberlin 1st Jan. 1870
Dear Br. Whipple.
Miss Dowling has just called
& showed me her recent letters
to you. & yours to her kindly releas
ing her from her engagement to go
to Mendi. Of this correspondence
I have known nothing until now.
Nor did I know that she had
any misgivings in regard to going
since the visit to Mt Vernon.
Your reply to her was written
before you recd her last letter.
From your letter it appears to her
that she has caused you considera
ble disappointment, & that you
feel & justly feel that she was
rash in committing herself
as she did at Mount Vernon.
Now my Dear Br. Whipple let me
speak freely to you of this deeply
tried child. As I have said
I have had no knowledge whatever
of her state of mind, or of her
action on the subject since she
committed herself at Mt Vernon.
She has now opened up to me for
the first time her misgivings & inter
nal conflicts sin[c]e that time.
She has passed through deep
waters; & as might be expected
of a young woman in her
situation, & with her conscienti
ousness & fear of getting out
of God's order, she has been up
& down & in much perplexity
in regard to the question of duty.
This is very natural in deciding
so important a question & ^ what
from my knowledge of her, I should
expect of her, after making
a decission under the excitement
of the meeting at Mount Vernon.
I have never thought her rash but
the reverse, but the circumstances
at Mt Vernon it seems led her
to decid[e] before she was well
prepared. Since there she has
seen some friends of some of
your former missionaries to
Mendi, who have given her new
ideas of that country & work.
This has occasioned her last two
letters to you. She can not rest
under the feeling that she
has so much disappointed you
& that you blame her for rashness.
She also fears that if she declines
to go, or that it is so understood
it may injure the mission.
She is greatly obliged by your
consenting to release her
but can hardly accept the
release under the impression
that you feel that she has
done wrong. She thinks that
God would rather have her
go, at any hazzard to herself,
than to leave an impression
that she selfishly declined to
go or that she had in any
wise wronged or injured the
mission or those connected
with it. It was this feeling that
led her to write the second letter
which you at ^ not recd at the date
of yours. Now Br. Whipple if you
feel, as she fears that you do, that
she has done wrong, in asking to
be discharged, or if you feel that
under the circumstances she ought
in Christian honor to go, she prefers
to go, & will go cheerfully & work for
souls with all her might. But
if no such feeling is in your mind,
or in the mind of your board, she
will thankfully accept your offer
to discharge her. Dear Br. Whipple
act just as you would with a
sister or daughter & dont fear to let
her see your heart. She will deal
kindly & truly with you. God bless you.
C. G. Finney
[page 1, along left-hand margin]
P.S. Miss D. has heard this read & says it expresses her mind
The word appears to be spelt this way.
The word "Rev." has been inserted here, probably by Whipple.