Rev. W. Ward



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Rev. Ward encourages Bp. Chase to found a Bible Society in Ohio, describing how successful they have been in England. Ward denounces partisanship in the church but does clarify his support for Chase over Bp. Hobart and agrees that the Western provinces in the U.S. require help from the Church before those in the East. He assures Chase that he has many friends in Colchester and that his visit will be remembered for a long time.




Bp. Hobart, Bible Society, Colchester, Mr. Norris


Horkesley, July 8th, 1824

My very dear Bishop,

I hope this will find you somewhere in England before you take leave of our shores. I do not wish you should show the pamphlet which accompanies it to Lord K. as the good man, like many other good men, is not quite of one mind on the subject; tho’ I am sure he will, if he live but a very few years. I verily believe, I am convinced on solid grounds, that the Bible Society has done more for the defusion [sic] of Christianity than any other men or inhabitants since the days of Miracles, & not only for its defusion abroad, but for its establishment at home. It has given fresh life to institutions that were half dead, a birth to many others. Let me advise you to lose no time in establishing a B.S. in Ohio. If I wished to enlighten a dark corner of the land in the most effectual & rapid manner, the very first thing I would do, would be to organize a B.S. in it. It excites a regard for the Book, & charity for those who want it, & gratitude in the bosoms of those that have it, above all other human means of conversion. The same observation holds good with regard to the Church Missionary Society. But the B.S. comes first, because it begins by supplying your domestic wants; our B.S. has been 20 years in operation, has circulated out of one shop in London near four million vol. of the sentences in that [?], & has spread itself over the face of the whole Christian globe, among all people, [languages], & tribes; it normally assembles multitudes of all orders of the population over all this United Kingdom, & yet during 20 years there have only been one instance of the least hinder—nay, all has been decent order & sobriety, in perfect consistence with the Bible Society. So that we can say to Mr. Norris, “why, what harm have we done?” and behold the good we have done! 20 years probation of an universal society is a pretty fair test of its character & conduct. There was an anniversary meeting of the Manning[ham] association yesterday, in which the wants of Ohio, & your mission to this country, were stated with good effect. The same will take place today at H[arwich]. Your friends are at work for you, & will by & by be able to five a good account, I trust. In the meantime we are dying with longing to hear how you have got on since you left Bristol, & how you finished there. I expect that Bp. Hobart will start after you are gone—and mark what I predict—the Norrisian Party will come forward in great strength & make sacrifices to swell his friends, & the side that have espoused you will thereby be roused to double exertion. “Some preach Christ of envy & strife, some also of good will. What then? Notwithstanding everything, whether in pretence or in truth, Christ is preached; and therein do I rejoice, & I will rejoice.” Honestly to tell you of my feelings, tho’ I certainly love you better than Bp. Hobart, & think Ohio & the Western provinces are more destitute than the Eastern, & therefore ought to be first helped by England; yet with my whole heart I wish well to the American Church in West, East, North, and South. You may rely upon it, Mr. Norris and his party are not idle. He has his intelligence of every step you take from every town you visit. But our matter—your object will be accomplished pretty nearly, I hope, if not altogether, before you leave England. And if at any future time the wants of your church should require further aid, & you wish to revisit these shores, you are now pretty well aware how you would be received by your friends. Should I be in my grave, I trust I shall leave those behind one that will supply my place & give you a kind reception. Your warm-hearted daughter, Mary Ohio, has got together some little presents of books & [?] for your little daughter; but how are we to send them to you? Mr. Hutton has desired to have your direction, & I have desired to enclose to Lord Kenyon. You have left a memorial of you in Colchester that will not be forgotten & shall be recorded in the Castle Library to inform posterity that it was honoured by a visit from an American Bishop in 1824, who left a sweet favour of his Episcopal character on the minds of the people.

Adieu! My very dear bishop. May the God that made the Heavens & the Earth, the sea, & all that there is, [?] and conduct you in health, safety, & success, to the Bosom of your family. I am charged with abundance of love to you from this family & others, to which I beg leave to add my own with sincere veneration. May the simplicity and Godly sincerity with which you have made your enemies be at peace with you, be always the holy armour with which you may meet & conquer all your adversities.

I am your affectionate & faithful friend,

W. Ward

Gr. Horkesley July 8th, 1824

Letter to Philander Chase



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