Philander Chase



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Philaner Chase implores his granddaughter Mary to resist the temptations of youth.




Philander Chase, Mary Chase, Jacksonville, Seminary, theology


Jacksonville Ill: Oct 13th 1837.

My dear Grand Daughter,

I believe you are in my debt: but loving you as I do can not forbear writing again because of the love I bear you: and because I have a moment’s leisure I am here in Jacksonville at the home of Dr. Gillett who was fellowstudent with your Father at the academy in Randolph, Vermont. He remembers the pleasures he took with one whose memory is so dear to me & whose piety & philanthropy you ought to cherish so sedulously in your own bosom. If the spirit of y’r Father and my loved Son is permitted to look down upon me his aged and care worn father when writing this letter to his own and only child might we not fancy he would guide my pen to speak of things which pertain to the kingdom of blessedness which he is enjoying? Yes dear, dear, Mary he would. And what shall I say to you when under the influence of this solemn consideration? Shall I not beseech you to remember your Creator in the days of your youth-- Shall I not point you to the Saviour who poured out his blood for you in the garden and on the Cross that you might be pardoned and sanctified for his service here below and made partaker of his kingdom in an eternal world? Should temptations arise inviting you to taste of the forbidden pleasures of a wicked world, would he not say to you in this very letter: beware of sin, & turn your face from all things that will offend the eye of purity? Throw yourself at the feet of the cross for pardon of every sinful thought; and implore his heavenly grace to purify yourself even as he is pure?

Remember that the life thro’ which you are passing has no value in it but as it is a journey to a better. God’s infinite benevolence forbids us to believe that is w’d have ever sent us into this state of being for the enjoyment of the few miserable pleasures, (if they may be called pleasures at all) which it affords. The eternal world which awaits us at the end of this is the object he sets before us: and having forfeited all [tithe] to him by reason of sin, the redeeming love manifested by the Son of God on the Cross bearing our sins that we might live becomes to us the chief and only thing which deserves our attention. Were you in debt beyond the power of redemption by any thing and every thing that you possess, w’d just the tidings that this great debt was paid by some good and benevolent person absorb every other consideration? Would you not leap for joy & fly to this bounty and thank the author of it with your whole heart: and comply with every direction for the securing of the same to yourself effectually with the most sedulous attention? Apathy & even lukewarmness in a case like this would be crimes fro which there w’d seem no forgiveness.

Now dear Mary apply this to the great subject of our redemption by Jesus Christ and behold the extent of love & gratitude and devotion of heart & soul to the service of Almighty God which are required of us as Christians! Where w’d be the reasonableness of any excuses for our insensibility not to say flagrant sins in neglecting so great salvation as this which is revealed to us in Gospel!

I am aware of the vanities of youth and the many subtlenesses which young persons are apt to make & fly to when these heavenly truths are brought to view, but this not & shall not deter me from speaking the truth to you in plainness and simplicity. God in mercy giveth grade according to the degree of the temptation which he suffers to befall us: and though you may be young and have many temptations to lead you off from the path of devotedness to the service of your Redeemer, yet the diving arm is able to endow you with strength to resist them all, and with Mary your namesake of old enable you to choose the better part which shall not be taken from you.

Thus much I have written as if my pen were guided by your [?] Father. What think you of it? Thy [?] not burn with heavenly power as his would if he were permitted ot speak in heavenly language-- yet remember they are true as far as they go; for [they] accord with the written revealed will of God: and as such I beseech you to let them sink deep into your heart & bring forth fruit in your life.

I am to preach this might in the Church and day after tomorrow am to administer the Holy Ordinance of Confirmation to a few faithful persons prepared by the pious care of the Good Mr. Batchelder the Rector. On Monday I return, if the Lord will, to My Humble dwelling in Peoria Co. May I not expect to hear from you soon? Do write to me & with freedom. Be sure to give my best love to your heavenlyminded Parents and believe me alway[sic] your loving Grand Father

Philander Chase

Letter to Mary Olivia Chase



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