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Philander Chase reflects on his and his sister's mortality as they grow old in age. He praises President James K. Polk for outlawing dueling.
Philander Chase, Rachel Denison, Lucia Chase, James K. Polk, James Polk, President Polk, dueling, duel, Parliament, England, laws, law, health, death
Chase, Philander, "Letter to Rachel Denison" (1849). Philander Chase Letters. 1332.
To Miss Rachel Denison
Jubilee Cottage May 13 - 49
My dear Sister.
It is sunday; and for the first time I have been prevented for many days from attending Church and from preaching at least in the morning to my dear family and the youth and congregation under my charge. My complaint is a lame back causing so much pain when I move either on foot or in the carriage as to compel me to stay at home: accompanied by my good wife to nurse and wait on me.
I sit in my pillowed chair and read & pray I think most sincerely that Gods kingdom may come & His will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Our reading is in the Holy Bible & Girdlestone’s commentary. The latter, being of a practical as well as a most instructive character, I think has been of great benefit to me in my old age. I wish you would get it if not now in your library as soon as possible that you also may be comforted by the pure gospel which is most lucidly set forth in it.
It is a long time since I have heard from you and I begin to think that your health as well as mine is on the wane. May the good God support and bless you dearest Sister! MAy the Son of Righteousness shine upon you as I feel that He does on my your unworthy Brother Philander. May the Saviour’s promises to those who believe and trust in Him be realized in the two youngest Children of our loved Parents
From present appearances I have little hope we shall meet again on the earth: All my satisfaction is derived from the hope that we shall meet in the state of the BLessed the Paradise of God, and finally e raised in our bodies to triumph at the last day when this world and all it contains shall pass away like a scroll; and the Elements shall melt with fervent heat. What a change shall then take place and what Glory will burst upon our view? May we be blessed side by side as we have travelled together side by side in our journey of this troublesome world!
The reason of all our terrestrial difficulties will then be explain’d and the wisdom and goodness of God in our afflictions will then be conspicuous. The Love of God manifest in our Redemption by the atonement for our sins by a Saviour’s blood assures us that He will not fail us in our last and greatest need; and this assurance is by the Holy Spirit's bearing witness with our Spirit that we truly believe on his name. May we more and more experience this in our hearts this witness
Dear Lucia our believed Nice[sic] Mrs Russell is still alive; and though often complaining of great weakness of bodily frame yet is always cheerful in mind and most affectionate to all around her. Being the oldest friend I have in my toilsome journey here in the far West, my heart clings to her with grasp of the tenderest affection. She used once to be dandled on my knee, and now except my dear Wife the main support of my often drooping spirits. As much as the care of her love by grand children will permit she gives me for comfort of her company: and that seldom fails in bringing to our fond remembrance the images of our friends in Vermont
I did not mean on this sacred day to speak of secular affairs but as they are connected with another and a better world. In this was we can tell you of the goodness of God in giving us an exemption from all painful diseases of the body and of the blessings which we are showered down on our infant Church and College. Our friends in England seem to have renewed the current of affectionate regard which once poured in abundance upon us in days long since past. The Suppression of the murderous custom of duelling by our excellent President in such evident accordance with the efforts of that Noble Society in England with which I have been in correspondence opens the door of benevolence on all the holy efforts made for th spread of the gospel in Illinois. Our 7th No of the Motto now being printed will speak something more particular of this. Is it not strange that one so obscure and unworthy as myself should in my old age be thus honoured in being made one of the instruments by which so great a blessing should be brought to pass as that suppressing duelling an evil to put down which defied the power of Parliament and of kings.
The truth is it never was opposed purely thro religious motives. The Arm of God was never before alone relied on.
I can not write more at present--my back is so lame--and the pain of moving so acute that, with best love from all my dear family I can say no more [that] what is always known to you as true to you in the best sense that I am
Your loving Brother