Philander Chase



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Chase wants to go to England to "solicit means for the establishment of a school for the education of young men for the Ministry." He fears his Church in the West will fail without properly educated missionaries. Also fears the health of Philander Jr.




Cincinnati, OH


church; England voyage; Philander Chase, Jr.; see Smythe history, Chpt. 2


To the Right Bishop Croes

Rt. Rev. and Dear Brother,

I have as yet received no communication in answer to the letter I had the honor of addressing to the Rt. Rev. the Bishops assembled in Convention in May last; nor have I seen the minutes of that convention. But tho’ alone and unadvised I have had the liberty to contemplate my own misery and also to feel for the distress of our perishing church in the West. In so doing, I have had grace and support to determine to do something before I give up in all despair.

I have resolved after mature deliberation and I hope after reasonable interpretations of the leading hand of Divine Providence to proceed immediately to Old England to solicit means for the establishment of a school for the education of young men for the ministry, and for the aid of our P. E. Missionary society of this State.

The reasons which have impelled me to this measure are those of [?] necessity. It may be said generally of the whole community of the western settlements that they are sinking fast - in ignorance and its never-fading attendants, vice and [?]. Our dear Church scattered like a [discomfited] army are seeking for strange food in forbidden fields, or, in solitary groups by the way-side are [?] famishing dying for the lack of all things which can nourish them to eternal life. No missionaries make their appearance nor are there ever the most-distant hopes of obtaining any from the east. Those who transiently visit us, pass like meteors, leaving behind little or no salutary effect, or stay only time enough to spy out the nakedness of the land and bear off an evil report of our wants and miseries. Had it not be so ordered that I should find here two or three accustomed to our wants and inured to the difficulties, necessities and labours of a new country, who were in some due degree prepared for the Ministry and willing to enter it at a critical moment, half a dozen of our parishes would have been ere this as many others are already, extinct.

The few clergy may keep us alive, under Providence, a little longer; but when they die or move away we have no means to supply their places. The pious young new, converted to God and willing to enter into the ministry under all its disadvantages, having no hope of assistance and no way pointed out to them whereby there is even a possibility of attaining the lowest degree of qualifications specified by our Canons, sink down in despair - a despair we have no power to raise them. We may think of the privileges at the east, of the means of education there, but this is all: they are out of our reach. Besides, if our young men were there - if we could find money in our woods and drag it from our streams wherewithal to send and maintain them in the eastern Seminaries, who would insure us that they would not be enticed by the superior effect held out to them to settle there and leave us still in our wants. In short, unless we can have some little means of educating our pious young men here; and, here being because of their affections, station them in our woods and [?] our scattered people together in and nourish our wandering lambs, we have no reason to hope for the continuance of our Church in the west.

The Church of God in this respect is like the habitation of men in the settlement of a new country. Men must begin as they have means: splendour and prosperity must be the result of previous deprivation; and he that will not for a time be content with a cabin shall never have a palace. Thus if we wait for congregations and Churches to arise, before our well-educated Clergy can make their appearance, the country must forever do without them. We have done so too long already and most deleterious have been the consequences. For one, I feel disposed, by the grace of God to [?] my ways in this respect. I will endeavour to restitute an humble school to receive and prepare such materials as we have [?] ourselves - these we will polish under our own eye to the best of our power and wit these we will build the temple, humble as it may be, to the glory of God.

Having entered on this resolution under the guarding and directing hand of Providence I shall make my best way to the land of our Fathers - to the Church of England - to that generous nation who will not turn a deaf ear to the cries of those who are ready to perish, especially if in them she identify her legitimate children. Thus being resolved under God, the Prot. Epis. Church in the west, will not, must not die without a struggle.

Rt. Rev. Brother,

The object of my making this communication to you is to explain my views and solicit an epistle approbatory of the measure herein specified. If you see fit to grant it, which I most earnestly desire, you will be pleased to direct to me, care of the Rt. Rev. Bishop Hobart, New York, whence, God willing, I shall embark for England in the first Oct. packet.

I beg leave to subjoin that when the measure of applying to England was talked of at the convention may son Philander Chase Jun. was appointed to perform the duty; but his health will not permit. I fear the Church on earth will soon be deprived of all his services.

Very respectfully your sincere Friend and Brother

Phil. Chase

Letter to Bishop Croes



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