"His success among the rude frontier settlers might be attributed to the reawakening of a sense of decency in the hearts of men conscious of their coarseness and degradation. The people knew they were leading immoral lives and didn't need any argument to convince them of sin. All they needed was a cogent appeal to abandon it. But when Mr. Finney began preaching in the cities—Rome, Utica, Auburn, Troy, Rochester—he had an altogether different class to deal with, and his success was even more phenomenal. The revival in these places began at the top and worked downwards. The first to be converted were the educated men, leading citizens, respected judges, lawyers, doctors, bankers, merchants, manufacturers—and they constituted the prominent portion of his audiences to the end. The whole community was involved in serious thought and conversation, and the very atmosphere seemed charged with emotion. During twenty days spent in Rome there were five hundred conversions. “Nearly all the adult population of the town were brought into the church.” In Utica and vicinity some fifteen hundred were added to the churches in a six weeks' campaign. In the Oneida Presbytery, alone, over three thousand conversions were reported as the result of his labors in the year 1826."
Oberlin Alumni Magazine, vol. 4, 1907, p. 391