Philander Chase



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Chase writes of his sadness regarding the death of his son Philander Chase Jr. He also thanks Mr. Dallin and his friends for their donations of books.




England voyage, General Theological Seminary, Bp. Hobart, Reverend Wheaton


10.F. B. Holburn. London 18 May 1824

Very Dear Friend Mr Dallin

The tears which gushed from my eyes at every line in your good letter of the 13th inst: were not those of regret and sorrow that my son Philander had left this for a better world. No, the evidence of his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ was too conspicuous, and I fear mine too full and fearless that he has exchanged the trials of the Wilderness for the enjoyment of Canaan, to admit the idea of selfish complaining sorrow. I grieved, and still grieve, that I have not proved myself worthy of such a son. Instead of being, as you seem to suppose, the instrument of his conversion, he has been more signally such of [?]. His meekness and moderation often checked my impetuous temper; and his piety often enkindled my own. Dear loved youth! From an unsightly fruitless stock thou wast taken and engrafted into [?] Christ Jesus. There thou didst bud and blossom from a new and second engraftment of Christ upon thine heart. Thou wast in Christ by baptism, Christ was in thee by faith. Thy fragrance was of grace, not of nature. It was shed around, and all wondered and were delighted as its sweetness--God has seen fit to remove the and why should I complain? The tempests which so lately beat upon thy lovely head now no longer shake thy tender frame. Meekly thou didst bow to the storms of life, and they were many. God has now removed thee far beyond their reach. Thou didst leave as a last legacy to thy father, thou didst leave even to him thy blessing-- “Let not my death” (tell my father, said he to the Rev Mr Rutledge in his dying moments) “tell my father not to let my death damp his ardour in the cause of the Redeemer’s Church.” Thus thou didst leave me; and with this sweetness of heavenly love is thy name embalmed. It is indeed the balm of Gilead, the odour of Lebanon. Refreshed by its fragrance, I return from thy untimely grave. O my son! To mingle in the busy scenes of this troublesome world--I would wish to be with thee where thou art; but God’s will is paramount, and in it I would [fair] rejoice, tho is be for life or death. I have yet a dear wife and young children to care for; and above all I have the cares of the church in the West of my dear country laid upon me. At the thoughts of these my sorrows are brushed away like a morning cloud God seems to [gird] me about with strength; and by this I seem able “to run and not be weary, to walk and not faint.”

Like you, I left some apology necessary for the sudden transition from a subject which had brought my mind so near the place whither my son has gone, to that which is still connected with the jarring opinions of men.

You would wish to know how the subscription for Ohio was succeeding in London? It was getting on very well till lately, when a pamphlet appeared from America, signed “A presbyter of the diocese of New York”, said to be Mr [Onderdonk], secretary to the general theological seminary at New York. It is merely a reiteration of Bishop Hobart’s publications in England, with a most violent amplification of blame for applying in any case to a foreign nation for assistance to the church in America. It holds up such a measure as [?]ding to degrade and disgrace the American character, and denounces the persons who originated it as objects of contempt and punishment.

I can hardly believe the writer of this pamphlet to be the secretary of that venerable Body of men who had already received foreign bounty and had “empowered” last fall “the Right Reverend John Henry Hobart, Bishop of New York, to present to this country its claims to patronage.” (See the 6th page of Bishop Hobart’s and M Wheaton’s “American Education” appeal).

But perhaps the writer had learned from Bishop Hobart’s letter to Bishop Chase just before his sailing to Europe that there was no danger that Bishop Hobart would present these claims to patronage to the British people now; or at least till the Ohio affairs should have been dismissed as disgraceful. But unfortunately for him these claims have been publically made known, and by the authority of the same venerable body of which he himself is the secretary. Hence it would seem that the object was to raise up a sword which was to destroy Bishop Chase without pity. I hope he and his friends will have some pity on him on whom it must and does fall. If the people in American have so much riches as to make it disgraceful to come to England for assistance, those who have the most wealth ought to bear a proportionate degree of blame. What may be [?] out for Ohio in this apportionment, those who are acquainted with their relative situation must judge.

The trustees of the Ohio fund are about to have a meeting to consider what is best to be done in the present juncture of my affairs.

I had written thus far when very opportunely came into my room Mr Wiggin of Manchester, Mr Pratt, Mr G W. Marriott and Dr Gaskin. They had just come from the meeting of the Trustees of the Ohio fund. Lords Kenyon and Gambier were present also. They have agreed to make out and publish a new statement of the present [existing] circumstances relative to Ohio avoiding all matters of controversy, and have little doubt of doing away all unfavorable [impression].

And now I am at liberty to answer (certainly with continued pleasure) the remainder of your excellent letter. [here follows something about the prayer book and [?]] I thank you, I wish I could tell how much I thank you and all the dear friends at York for the books you mention. A catalogue of them I have already lodged with Mr Pratt to be recorded with all other donations. I send you with this a printed list of subscribers to the Ohio fund. I wish it were more [perfect]. Mr Wiggin had pain in so as to make the Manchester collection amount to above 400. The Bishop of London has subscribed 20 and that of the Bishop of Lichfield and Country is 10 both these [?] expressed their good will; and stated their regret that their pressing calls did not permit them to do what they were very desirous of doing more for so good and worthy an object.

Lady Dowager Rosse of Stretton Hall near Wolverhampton to the 900 former subscribed as in the former list has just sent 100 more for the founding of small chapels in that New Country. In a letter also she speaks of giving something for an organ.

Besides these there are many other agreeable items which will be added in a New list soon to come out. The pamphlet of Mr [Onderdonk] is circulated contrary to all good faith on the part of Bishop Hobart and friends; and all who understand the case believe it will do them much harm.

I hope to go to Cambridge as soon after the present [clouds] about the pamphlet shall have been dispersed as possible.

Most faithfully your friend,

Phr Chase

Letter to James Dallin



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