The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To Woodruff Post
27 April 1870
[Copy in Oberlin College Library, Special Collections.]
The following letter was published as tract, No. 5, by the National Christian Association, Chicago, Illinois. It was entitled, President C. G. Finney, On the Duty of Christians towards the Lodge. The letter "was addressed to Woodruff Post, a faithful minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church."
OBERLIN, OHIO, April 27, 1870.
MY DEAR BRO. POST:&emdash;Yours of the 5th is received. You believe with me that Freemasonry is a wicked and highly dangerous institution. The more prevalent it is, the greater the necessity of exposing it. The greater its influence, the more unpopular will it be to oppose or expose it. If it had but little or no influence, it would cost nothing to oppose it. And now shall we offer to the Lord that which costs us nothing?
How much are these men worth, who, to save their influence, will not take a stand against popular sins? Influence, forsooth! Your friends tell you that you will lose your influence. What has God given you influence for? Is it not to oppose sin, and to promote holiness? If you try to save it, by refusing to oppose popular vices, then what does God care for it? The means you use to preserve it will destroy it. Who will believe you honest, if, with your well known opinion of Freemasonry, you fail openly to oppose it? Will any one have real confidence in you, or respect for your sincerity? What good influence can you exert, when your neighbors have lost all true confidence in your sincerity? Try your own heart, my brother. Have you in your deepest convictions and feelings, any such confidence in a man that fears and fails to act in accordance with his convictions, as to expect him to do much for Christ and truth? Has such an one much influence with you for good? No, indeed, nor with any honest, earnest man. If Freemasonry is a sin, a sham, an abomination, as I know it to be, and as you also know, then there is but one way open to us, or to any honest man who knows what Freemasonry is; and that way is to bear a most decided and persistent testimony against it, cost what it may. If any man will withold his testimony against so great a wrong to save his influence, he will sooner or later lose it. God help you, my brother. Masonry needs only to be known to be condemned. Agitate, testify, teach, reprove, rebuke with all long suffering. Yes, suffer long and severely, if need be, but faint not, and in due time you shall prevail.
Just think, where is slavery? Who of us who laid our lives upon the altar expected to see in our day what we see? I can only advise you to do as I do myself; be honest and fearlessly act upon, and up to, your convictions whatever others may say or do. What respect have you for a man who fails to do this? But I write this not because I have not confidence that you will do this, for I firmly expect you to do it; and that you will do so whether I so advised or not. God bless you. C. G. FINNEY.
The tract concludes with an extract from Finney's work on Freemasonry, pages 261-3.
This letter is not in the Finney Papers.