Philander Chase



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Philander Chase tells his nephew about the congregation at Robinsnest and about his financial problems-- his attempt to return the requested $1000 to the Church was rejected by the Board of Missions, and he is now trying to find a new way to get the money to them. He also updates Intrepid on the garden he started with the seeds Intrepid had sent him the year before-- an early frost has killed many of his crops, but he hopes the rest will survive.




Philander Chase, Intrepid Morse, church, Robins Nest, congregation, Moravians, finances, garden


Robinsnest Sep’t 19 1837

Very dear Nephew

We were all rendered quite happy in reading your good letter last sunday. A Mr. Jones, a young printer in Peoria who is thinking to study for holy orders, a very good and pious young man, attendends[sic] divine service at the Robinsnest every Lord’s day. This young gentleman knowing the mail would not come this way for several days obtained a small package from the ‘Peoria P.M” [directed] to this office-- this same contained your letter. How blessed a treat to us! how did it enliven our feelings of gratitude for the mercies which a kind Providence sends us! I have sometimes wondered that the [Moravians] in [?] Land and the Hudson Bay could be made so happy, when deprived of all means of civilized society; but the wonder ceases now. God blesses the few enjoyments they have, to their use & when any ship arrives from their native land fraught with good things conferred whom them in the name of the Lord then their hears rejoice indeed; then they taste and lay in stores for a continued blessedness the year through. Thus it is with us-- the few things we have-- the few Christian neighbours who attend out little Robinsnest Church are all dearer to us perhaps than where ‘such are numerous; and when your letters come, about one a year (twice at far [?]) we are sure to have a feast, all “the young ones” in “the Nest” gather round with open mouths to receive their portions of delicious things. Such of them, as had an opportunity of listening to your last letter dated Aug’t 31., had great reason to go to their prayers and thanksgivings in our holy Service with increased fervour. And here I would [dish] one word about these church services in my humble dwelling. Never was there anything more congenial to my best christian feelings. When I pray, all pray: when I weep for my sins they seem all to join with me: and when I say “O come let us sing unto the Lord let, let us rejoice the God & for Salvation” they respond as in the voice of many Waters “Let us come unto his presence with thanksgiving and shew ourselves glad in him with Psalms.

And now to the particulars in your letter. [?] the “Recorder” you will soon see, I trust, another letter written from the Robinsnest; the instance is this. That altho’ the Committee have seen [fit] to judge in a case which alone the Board can judge, and send back my draft as if given or made in their favour by reason of a “supposed” not a real “mistake”-- yet Mr. C. still maintains there is a mistake, real and not imaginary which he is determined by his conscience to rectify. And if the Committee take it upon themselves to refuse to receive the money back into their treasury which is thus [by] a Bishop conscientiously Returned to order discharge a bounden duty, he & the Church should know the reason why. And for that purpose appeals to the Gen’l Board of Missions itself.

Thus this matter now rest. I hope it may tend to some good: If no other benefit results from it, but to put the Church (now identified with the Gen’l Board of Missions) on their guard how they listen to vain reports and spend their precious time in hearing such other talk things that are not true of an aged bishop who is not on the spot to contradict their many misrepresentations of him, my efforts may not be useless. As to myself, I know I ought, in consideration of my day of trial, drawing near to its close, to look forward to better things rather than backward on the faults and follies-- not to say mean proceedings of my brethren God enable me so to do. But the good of the Church in keeping her garments pure and undefiled from the carnality which seems now like the [?] to cleave almost to every thing sacred among us, seems to require that this matter be sifted even to the bottom, that all the “scandalous things: as you term them, may be brought to light and lead to repentance.

You ask for information both spiritual and temporal-- of things relating to this, and a coming world. Would that I could answer you as in the one, so of the other. But this is out of my power. The harvest of the temporal fruits is accomplished from year to year according to the promise; but that of things eternal is yet to come; and of the time knoweth no man: [no] not the angels-- All we have to do is to sow and plant & perhaps to have the pleasure, in here & there an instance, of watering the tender shoots of our own planting: but God hath reserved to himself the gathering in of the “Crops” (as you call them) into his garden. Oh may our own souls be found bound up in some one little bundle or sheaf not destined to perish in the flames that will consume the tares: for Jesus’ Sake grant this O God! Amen--

From this solemn thought I turn to those things which spring from your kindness to us in sending so many seeds for the last springs’ sowing. Had our ground been broken up-- a year beforehand-- your endeavours I trust would have been crowned with more success-- the turf would have been mellowed and the seeds would have been found immediate nourishment necessary to the delicate nature of many of them. But even as it is we have the enjoyment of many delicacies and of all the necessary vegetables-- and besides this we see the seedlings if a rich fruit Orchard in abundance. Apple trees in beautiful rows and grapes from the seen you send us from one end of the garden to the other. Some of the grafted trees, (not killed bt the heat in the box which i mentioned to you before), are also in fine order and vigourous growth. The Peach stones for some reason did not “come” as we had hoped: about 50 only out of the great [number] put into the ground have sprung up & continue to flourish--. The Mulberry bushes all died of the incidental evil mentioned in coming; except one or two, which are now in the extraordinary luxuriency of growth. Pray give me in your next some history of this kind of Mulberry tree.-- Its leaves are so large and fine as I never before saw. Will it bear the effects of a hard winter? This question minds me to tell you that last night we had a slight frost. It has killed our [corn leaves] and we are cutting up the fodder for the winter. How short the time since I was planting it! How soon all things be cut off the by the hand of death and go down into the winter of the grave!!

We have sown a fine field of wheat and it looks green notwithstanding the frost, as in May it rains its verdent[sic] [bosom] by the side of a perennial stream and seems to rejoice in hope of a Coming Spring. Thus God hath written in his book of nature. May we read the lesson by the light of his word, & with eye of faith thro’ his Holy Spirit. “Awake and sing ye that dwell in the dust”: “Put on thy beautiful garments Oh Zion. Death, the conquered Enemy, shall not reign. We [are] but to be quickened; and spread forth our verdure forever by the side of living Water.

See our family are well, and send much love to you and yours. Do remember me to Dear Rebecca in a particular manner and the kindest things say to my loved Grand Daughter.

To the excellent Mr. B. Wells and his no less worthy son Alexander pray mention my most respectful regards-- that God may bless them and Mrs. Wells and the young ladies & Mrs. J. MacDowell and all is the sincere prayer of very dear Nephew

Your loving Uncle Philander Chase

Letter to Intrepid Morse



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