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Philander Chase comforts his sister Rachel in her grief for their brother Dudley Chase.
Philander Chase, Rachel Denison, Dudley Chase, Sophia Chase, Sarah Samuel Chase, Sarah Chase, Jubilee College, grist mill, saw mill, mill, labor, business, health, death, sickness, illness
Chase, Philander, "Letter to Rachel Denison" (1846). Philander Chase Letters. 1263.
My dear sister My only Sister Rachel
Before the reception of yours and your dear Daughters letters our dear Martha had told me of her Fathers death and of the touching spectacle at his burial. Brother Simeon and yourself the only remnants of our once numerous family being present and near the recent grave of our beloved sister Alice weeping over the coffin of our much beloved brother Bybe Lake Cotton!!
After reading her letter I thought the fountains of tears had been dried by the reflections which the Son of Righteousness affords--but your letter opened anew the flood gates of greief[sic]. Not that you spoke of new things but because I felt deeply that it was my own sister, my only Sister Rachel who was speaking to me! and her dear daughter whom as my own I dearly love. And so I read your letters over more than once & then sent them across the way to our Dudley to read. He also sympathizes as we all do on the College Hill sympathize in all you feel and suffer in Vermont.
You say you are a chriztian[sic] as well as myself. Yes! dear Rachel, and a much better one too if the truth were known. But neither you nor I will be saved thro’ our own merits. The Blood of Christ alone cleanseth from all sin. And this is the consolation which you seem to overlook. You lament your coldness and seem to fear death: I know of few but bear you company in lamentations of this nature: But instead leading me to despair they make me cling closer to my Only Saviour. As the poor [?] who is ready to perish in the ocean in proportion to his danger clingeth closer and closer to the hand that is put forth to save him. To this hand of mercy put forth in the good tidings (that Jesus has died for us). You and I must cling-- Don’t let us stop to count our own merits nor the wardrobe by which He will be influenced to receive us. He came to us, not we to him-- Our own righteousness is as [filthy] rags in his sight. His Merits are our Wedding garments.
Now Dear Sister; if you say all this you know already & still feel the want of faith and after pleading in prayer that this faith may be increased and yet--yet [?] your coldness remains. I have but one word to say. What would you think of such want of confidence in your own children. You would tell them that their conduct was sinful: And such is going towards your heavenly parent when you refuse to believe his word of mercy sealed by the death of his Son. O Dearest Sister avoid this dreadful sin of “Making God Lyar[sic].” Such are those “who believe not the testimony which God hath given of his Son.”
I am not well in bodily health-- To the lingering distresses occasioned by my wounds I have now added a bad cough: Some say it is a lung fever. My dear Wife is all benevolence. Here on the Hill she is a Mother indeed. Poor Sarah Sam’l who has not recovered her lying in sickness is obliged to send her sweet infant to our house to be nursed by my wife: It is very difficult to get help of any kind in our Republican Country. Sarah has an absess[sic] in her groin which will detain her long on a bed of distress. All the rest of us are quite well. Our family of workmen at [Harris] Hall is as large as ever of labourers on the College farm and of Brickmakers to go with our College. At the mills also all is a scene of Business. The saw mill running night & day--and the gristmill, one run of stone continually going & the other preparing next week to commence the merchant flowing business to maintain two professors in theology. So you see how busy we are. We will work while the day lasts. We hope it is the work of God. Your loving Br Philander Chase