Finney was "saved" four years after becoming a Mason. He went on to become a Presbyterian minister. He was instrumental in the 19th-century schism between Presbyterians, and eventually left that denomination to become a Congregationalist. He is said to have been the inspiration for many evangelists who followed, including Dwight D. Moody and Billy Graham.
I did get one interesting insight into early American Freemasonry from reading his speech. He wrote that shortly after finding Jesus, his upstate New York lodge's Worshipful Master asked him to conduct the opening and closing prayers. Apparently, as far back as the 1820's, lodges had cast aside non-sectarian, scripted prayers in lodge in favor of sectarian, Christian prayers, in spite of the rules against it. If, as Finney wrote, the WM asked him to pray because he was aware of his recent conversion to Christianity, and that his prayer caused "considerable excitement" among the brethren, one might assume an evangelical fervor was spreading throughout the area. At least, we can assume that, on average, his lodge brothers at the time were no more interested in Masonic enlightenment and esoterica than most Masons today.
Finney began preaching around 1821, and we can assume that is about the time he resigned from Masonry. His speech refers his leaving Masonry as being a "a few years before the revelations of Freemasonry by Captain William Morgan were published." By 1823, Finney was a licensed minister. (The events of the Morgan Affair occured in 1825 and 1826, also in upstate New York.)
He went through phases, changing his beliefs along the way and changing denominations. In the later 1820's he rejected Calvinism and began promoting "perfection theology." In 1836, he became a lecturer at Oberlin College in New York, where he remained for the rest of his life.
A Presbyterian church lady, Finney related, once refused to sit next to him, saying of Oberlin: "Our minister said he would just as soon send a son to state-prison as to Oberlin.'" Presbyterian minister and rabble-rouser Lyman Beecher once denounced Oberlin Collage as "worse than Roman Catholicism." Apparently, evangelical preachers of the early-to-mid 19th century got along about as well as Antient and Modern Freemasons did.
As Charles Blanchard did later, Dr. Charles Finney gave us a list of what, as a new Christian, he found unchristian in the Masonic fraternity that he formerly loved:
Masonic oaths pledge its members to some of the most unlawful and unchristian things:
1. To conceal each other's crimes.
2. To deliver each other from difficulty, whether right or wrong.
3. To unduly favor Masonry in political action and in business matters.
4. Its members are sworn to retaliate and persecute unto death the violators of Masonic obligations.
5. Freemasonry knows no mercy, and swears its candidates to avenge violations of Masonic obligations unto death.
6. Its oaths are profane, taking the Name of God in vain.
7. The penalties of these oaths are barbarous, even savage.
8. Its teachings are false and profane.
9. Its designs are partial and selfish.
10. Its ceremonies are a mixture of puerility and profanity.
11. Its religion is false.
12. It professes to save men on other conditions than those revealed in the Gospel of Christ.
13. It is wholly an enormous falsehood.
14. It is a swindle, obtaining money from its members under false pretenses.
15. It refuses all examinations, and veils itself under a mantle of oath-bound secrecy.
16. It is virtual conspiracy against both Church and State.
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