To Rebecca Rayl

30 September 1865


[MS in possession of Dr. Richard Rayle of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio]


Oberlin 30th Sept. 1865


My Dear Darling,

As we expected Charles

returned from N.Y. at 4. yes

terday. They intend to take the

next steamer to Green Bay.

But it is so late that the regular

line is broken up, & they do not know

when the next Boat will go. The

agent here promised to apprise

Charles of the day of sailing &

they will wait in readiness. It

may be as early as next thursday

or friday. Or it may not sail until

the week after next. So you see that

in this respect also "nothing is concluded."


I must leave it with ^ to best consult your

own wishes & conscience, fully

willing to "bide your time". Although

they would, especially for the reason just

assigned, like to remain until we

are married, yet it is not of so much

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importance that it should hasten

the matter by an hour against

your wishes or conscience.

Therefore be quite free in deciding

what to do, & when to do it.

I do not forget that you have not yet

had a day to yourself for reflection

& prayer, & seclusion from those

influences that have nearly crazed

you I fear. It has appeared to me to

be possible, & perhaps probable, & quite

reasonable, that when withdrawn from

your friends here, & having time

for more calm consideration & prayer,

& able to consult the unbiased wisdom

of your Brother & sister, you would regret

our engagement, & find that your sober

judgement does not approve of it.

Now if you have misgivings, & are not

quite clear as to the will of our

Father in the matter, do not hessitate

to say so, & I will cheerfully consent

to give it up, & say no more about it.

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I must never give you occasion to say

that I used the least undue influ

ence to win you. On the contrary if

you come of your own free will I

shall receive you lovingly & joyfully,

yet I must say with fear that I

may not meet your wants, & that

you run too great a risk in

linking your future destiny in this

life with one of my age & one

so sure not to be long with you.

O, Darling, I fear that your life

will be one of care & anxiety

about me. But, God willing,

you shall have your own way.

Come or stay, as & when you please.

If you wish any change from next

monday a week, write & I will

obey D.V. If to you it appears of so

much importance to have our marriage take

place before the Children leave that

you prefer to an earlier day name

the day. They will not go before next

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thursday it is confidently believed.

They may not go until the week

following. They must be ready to

start at once when the message

comes that they are about to sail.

It is so uncertain that it strikes me

that we must act without reference to

their going. Therefore take all the

time you desire to deliberate, to pray,

to decide - to act pro or con.

I am quite well to day. Hope you

are so. Yet I fear you are very overdone.

God bless you My Precious one.

C. G. Finney.


P.S. Any amount of love to James

& Sarah. Does Sarah look displeased

with me or is it my imagination?

You told me she did not like it, &

perhaps that has fastened an impression

on my wounded nerves. Dear Sarah

we cant afford to wound her for a joy

so short lived as our wedded joy must

inevitably be.