Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FINNEY, Charles Grandison, clergyman, born in Warren, Litchfield County, Connecticut, 29 August 1792: died in Oberlin, Ohio, 16 August 1875. He removed with his father to Oneida County, New York, in 1794, and when about twenty years old engaged in teaching in New Jersey. He began to study law in Jefferson County, New York, in 1818, but, having been converted in 1821, studied theology, was licensed to preach in the Presbyterian Church in 1824, and began to labor as an evangelist. He met with great success in Utica, Troy, Philadelphia, Boston, and New York. On his second visit to the last City, in 1832, the Chatham Street theatre was bought and made into a Church for him, and the New York "Evan gelist" established as an advocate of the revival. His labors here resulted in the establishment of seven "free Presbyterian " Churches, and in 1834 he became pastor of the Broadway Tabernacle, which had been built especially for him.
Mr. Finney accepted, in 1835, the professorship of theology at Oberlin, which had just been founded by his friends, and retained it until his death. Here he assisted in establishing the "Oberlin Evangelist," and afterward the "Oberlin Quarterly." He also became pastor of the Congregational Church in Oberlin in 1837, but continued at intervals to preach in New York and elsewhere. He spent three years in England as a revivalist, in 1849'51 and 1858'60, adding to his reputation for eloquence, and in 1851'66 was president of Oberlin. Professor Finney relied greatly on doctrinal preaching in his revivals, as opposed to animal excitement, and his sermons were plain, logical, and direct. He was an Abolitionist, an anti-mason, and an advocate of total abstinence. His chief works are " Lectures on Revivals," which have been translated into several foreign languages (Boston, 1835; 13th ed., 1840: enlarged ed., Oberlin, 1868); " Lectures to Professing Christians" (Oberlin, 1836); " Sermons on important Subjects" (New York, 1839); and "Lectures on Systematic Theology" (2 vols., Oberlin, 1847; London, 1851). After his death were published his "Memoirs," written by himself (New York, 1876).
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