CHARLES G. FINNEY
April 25, 1855
[This caption heads an article in the "Cenadwr Americanaid," a leading Welsh paper, published in Remson, N.Y. A friend having furnished us a translation, we make some selections for the interest and profit of our readers.--Ed.]
"The above named and much honored gentleman is very well known among the Welsh and English, both in America and this country. I likewise heard much about him, some condemning him on account of his doctrine, and others applauding him. But now my own eyes have seen him and my own ears have heard him; and I judge it not improper to send a description of him to the 'Cenadwr.'
"His manner of preaching is argumentative, positive, earnest and solicitous. He deals entirely with the understanding and the conscience of men, as if he were altogether unwilling to let the people go without understanding and feeling all that he himself understands and feels.
"He commenced his labors at Rome last Sabbath week. He preaches three times on the Sabbath and four times during week-evenings. I heard him seven times. His texts were as follows: Obadiah 3; Jer. 6:14; Isa. 28:22; 1 John 4:8; Rom. 3:28; Rom. 6:23; John 3:1-7.
"One of the cardinal points in his first discourse was that man, through sin, had disunited himself from God and had become united to himself, and that, consequently, all his actions proceed from selfish motives in some way or other; and that the great work which the grace of God has to do on him, is to disunite him from himself, and unite him to God. These points are kept in view by him in every sermon. It very evidently shows how far men may go even in all the duties of religion, and yet do all with reference to self-gratification. I suppose there are many professors of religion (besides myself) trembling in view of their condition in this respect.
"The object of the meetings is to revive religion in Rome, and there is much need of it. There is evidence that the spirit of grace is working among the people. It is said that about forty are enquiring for salvation. The congregations are large. The large Presbyterian church is almost full every night, and on the Sabbath, crowded. He continues to preach with life and energy, as if unwearied. There is no outward appearance of excitement among the people, but there is an evident appearance on each countenance of deep and serious reflection.
"Sabbath evening, while discoursing on the curse of a broken law, he was impressively solemn, and his expressions were strong against the Universalists. He depicted the eternal punishment of the wicked in the strongest possible terms. He is a powerful and irresistible reasoner. But I am not aware that I ever heard a preacher make so few quotations from the scripture as he. In one sermon in particular, there was no passage of scripture quoted, but the text. He preaches as if he took it for granted that all his hearers are infidels."
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