Philander Chase



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Dairy Letter with many updates on Chase's travels and progress.




London, England


England voyage, Reverend Robert Marriot, George Marriott, Timothy Wiggin, Lord Kenyon, Mr. Rutledge, Philander Chase Jr., Mr. Hayden, Bp. Hobart, Reverend Wheaton, Intrepid Morse, Mary Chase, Dudley Chase, Henry Chase, Rebecca Chase, Josiah Prattl


Original at Churoh Historical Society, Philadelphia

London: Saturday

April 3d - 1824

My dear wife:

Your letter of the 26th Feb. ia now before me; but before I answer it or scarcely hint at the exquisite pleasure it gives me, I must bring up the leeway of my journal. This will soon be done for it was but lastWednesday (I think) that I put a letter up with a parcel to Mr. Adam Hodgson, Liverpool, for him to forward by the packet to you. Be this as it may I shall commence my present epistle by stating the unbounded kindness of the Rev. Robert Marriott, Cotesbatch, {Nr Lutterworth the vicarage of the famous Jho Witcliffe [Wycliffe]!!) towards me and the cause which God has committed to my care. He attended me in his own coach to Rugby and in the morning of yesterday took me about 3 m. to DunChurch and staid with me at the Inn till he saw me safe in the mail coach for London in which I was safely conveyed to Cripplegate in a Hack thence to my old but humble lodgings 10 Featherstone buildings near Holborn. On entering my old landlady had ten thousand things to say about welcome & how many people had called & how many messages had been left and sent; all of which I postponed till I shd. send to good Mr. Pratt for letters. The servant came back with a parcel of them from Mr. Wiggin directed with much care with one from him; from which (now almost for the first time since I left my lodginge last New Year) I have a little leisure while all are asleep in London to make extracts: the best way I find to give you an idea of how things are going on.

From Mr. Wiggin

Manchester Mar. 29 1824

My dear Friend

In my last letter directed to you care of Mr. Marriott I gave you my opinion of Mr. Wheaton’s proposals as communicated to you by Mr. Pratt. A further consideration of the subject has confirmed that opinion. If you will agree to their proposals your cause would give all the influence that could induce contributions. And I suppose that it would be expected that you and your friends would apply for them. What inducements do they hold out? It looks to me like a proposal of copartnership from a person without capital or activity to one who has both. Perhaps the harmony and unity of the Church may be looked to. But in what way, it may be asked, have your providings put either in jeopardy? Or what danger can be apprehended from your plans? I presume the agreement was signed, & that Bp. Hobart is not now willing to remove the obstacles to our success as publicly [sic] as he heaved them in our way. I consider this last proposal as a Russe de guerre to get rid of that just claim which we have upon him. If he does not choose to comply with our request of a public recantation we must do as well as we can without his influence. I only add that it would ruin our plans for procuring subscriptions generally if the real wants of Ohio were to be united to the pretended ones of New York and Connecticut. All Americans I have seen say that the applications for the two latters are unwarrantable.” - -

This is enough of good Mr. Wiggin’s letter to show the spice with which it is seasoned - the chief qualities of which I think our Christian forbearance and Christian firmness, which mingled with good sense and the sanctifications of piety I hope always to approve and imitate.

But I forgot to tell you what passed at Rugby -

At the house of Mrs. Sophia Catherine Marriott. Rugby, Warwickshire, were present Apl. 1. 1824 At Dinner:

Rev. Wm. Chambers. Rugby, Warwickshire

“ Robert Marriott - Cotebatch, Leices.

Geo. Harris - Rugby Warwicksre

Robert Marriott Caldecott Br: of Brazen Nose College Oxfd.

Miss Harriett Horte Le Grice

Mrs. Harris & Mrs. Chambers

The conversation was much on America the Church and religion in general. All was a manifestation of love and good will with the admixture of urbanity and good sense. The evening was closed with the expoundings of a portion of the Holy Scriptures and prayers which by request devolved on me. In the morning the same duty was renewed.

Now Dear Sophia, I am at liberty in my straightforward way to reply to your good letter. By it I perceive that there is a ray of hope that Philander may continue. This news comes like a voice from the grave; for by Mr. Rutledges [sic] letter I heard he was quite gone from me –

I have prayed without ceasing that God who was taking the beloved son would not leave the fond Father without the support of his heavenly grace to bear up under the very heavy affliction. I have written to Mr. Rutledge a few words to say to my darling son in his dying moments if he were not yet gone to his Heavenly Father. You say Philander wrote to you & that his letter was dated the Jan. 24. What samps the glimmering light which this ability in him to write holds out, is that Mr. Rutledges [sic] letter, written at Philander’s request as his farewell words is dated on the 2 of Jan. 1824!! - -

O this struggle of our poor nature against the will of God and the dictates of our Holy conquering fath! - - I see my dear Philander pale, panting, dying. His sweet disposition & Holy character, his love and duty to me, unworthy surely of such a son, his kindness to all his friends, the mildness of his spirit, the brilliancy of his mind and the goodness of his heart beaming forth from his dying eyes as he bids me adieu, all are before me and cause my tears to flow. But the glory and felicity that await him, and the manifold blessings far beyond my desert that still are vouchsafed me bid me dry my tears & try to finish my - - - - - -

I was interrupted in my writing by my landlady to tell me many things about the people who called in my absence to enquire about me. Mr. & Mrs. Haden she said had lived with her several going and coming from - and every day wanted to see me. While she was running on Mr. Marriott the Barrister came in and talked about the friends at Cotesbatch & Rugby - - in the midst of the conversation the good Mr. Pratt came to see me. These two gentlemen through strangers now became acquainted. There was much conversation about the affairs in America.

Bishop Hobart went this morning for Rome. Before he went however I hear he made peace with Mr. Wheaton: and they are to set forth a joint appeal, of which I would say that though I could not join my cause with theirs yet I sincerely desire that this and every other measure may be turned to the ends of the peace, and harmony & prosperity of the American Church. The event as over ruled by the hand of God I pray may promote the Glory of God.

But I am still very far from answering your letter. Mr. Morse, by his missionary zeal proves what I always thought of him, that the Divine hand was & is his Director. May it support as well as direct!!

What you say of Dudley’s faithfulness & of Henry’s anxiety to be thought the best and of Mary’s arch way of telling how she will kiss Papa when he comes from Old England, affects me much. Where am I? Thought I as I raised my eyes from your paper. “In the bosom of my family” said fancy. O No sd. Reality. You are still far away. Seas roll between you and those you love.

London ½ past 11. At night.

When I finished my last sheet to you, Mr. Marriott came in to put me in mind of my promise to dine with him at 5. - - I had then but one hour to finish letters to persons in Yorkshire and Leicestershire. This was fully occupied, and at the time appointed I went and directly sat down at the table with the following persons present. Mr. & Mr.s M. Miss MacFarland of the Scotch Church, the REv. Mr. Crawley & the two sons of Mr. Marriott. Soon after dinner Mr. Charles Crawleyson of the gentleman present came in and drank tea and spent the evening. All things went on pleasantly. Miss MacF. is doing all she can for her poor suffering [?] in Scotland, but instead of opposing the interests of Ohio, like others feels much for us and will aid particularly in procuring books all she can. With many good wishes I took my leave, came home, wrote a letter to Mr. Stuart of Notingham, whose daughters sent Mary the box, and then began this. I am to dine with Lord Kenyon tomorrow after attending Mr. M. and him to church.

And now I would say something more about the contents of your good letter. Dear, Dear, Rebecca! How deeply do I feel for her distress! Do write to her everything in a comforting way. If it will do her any good pray impress on her mind the assurance of my prayers that God will sanctify this great affliction to us both. My loss is nearly allied to hers. I thank our Heavenly Father that he has I truse saved my son, & her dear husband from eternal death thro’ Jesus Christ our Lord, and made him partaker of his everlasting kingdom. This overbalances the weight of all afflictions. This extracts the sting of Death and deprives the grave of his dominion.

I thank you for writing so copiously to Mr. Morse. I hope that I have endured in England may him to suffer for Christ’s sake, and do all things for the glory that is set before us. Pray write to others whom I have mentioned before to you, both in Ohio & Vermont. What has become of my dear Son George that he did not visit you? You said he had been in N. York.

Now Dear Sophia I must for the present leave writing to pray for you and the Dear Children and then take my rest. God supports me as yet, tho’ I don’t feel quite well tonight. I speak this to be candid. But what are my pains compared with those of my Dear Saviour. I feel indeed for you: but duty keeps me in England.

Sunday April 4.

It is the Lord’s day and may it ever be hallowed. If I were present with you now in my present feelings I think I should talk much of God and Heaven, and of our dear dying Philander going to enjoy them both. Tears drop fast on my breastkerchief at the mention of his loved name. Yet they are not the tears of infidelity or despair, nor complaint at God’s dealings. They are tears of conscious weakness barely of infirmity:they are tears of conscious weakness and unworthiness in myself. Alas, what am I, after all the cobwebs of human, earthly felicity which in spite of all my preaching, my poor carnal heart was continually as is to this moment weaving to deceive me. What am I! A stranger and a pilgrim indeed, poor blind & naked. Separated from my family & friends. - My Son doubly so both in nature and the ministry of grace on whom I have set my heart too much, dying at one end & extremity of the earth, & myself a penniless wanderer in another. O Blessed Jesus! Thou who hadst not where to lay thy head & for our sakes didst suffer ten thousand times more than we can suffer, I say not thus to complain at thy providence, but only to provoke my soul unto a more lively sense of the transitory nature & insufficiency of all human things, and thence to be led to the fulness of Gospel Comfort. Thou wilt be - O mayst thou be, made perfect in our weakness. If I am a wanderer thou hast prepared a plac home for me at last. If I am attacked by enemies thou art an Almighty friend to help me, to save me in time of need. If I am sick thou art a physician & hast prepared the Balm of Gilead to heal all wounds and diseases. If my friends and relatives drop into the grave around me thou hast given us the assurance of a resurrection to eternal life. No sooner are we sunk but thou raisest us up - No sooner do we begin to despond but thou givest us reason to hope - no sooner dost thou behold us weeping in submission to thy will but thou driest our tears on the bosom of they love.

9 oclock P.M. Apl. 4 - 1824

Mr. Marriott again called on me this morning & with him I attended Church - and red. The Blessed Sacrament. The intermission was short and again I attended Divine Service at the same Church Queens Square. This place was interesting from a consideration that it is the place patronized by the Excellent Robert Nelson.

After Church I dined with Mr. Marriott in company with him & Mrs. M, Lord Kenyon, Miss Macfarland & a Mr. Caldicott brother to the young man I saw at Rugby Nephew to Mr. Marriott.

I scarcely can express to you the high opinion I have of the English Nobleman above named. For soundness of faith as a Christian - for correctness & strength of understanding as a man, and for civility & gentleness of manners as a gentleman, I have seldom seen his superior, or one whom, for so short a time, I conceived to be such. At this judgment you will not be surprised when I tell you he was educated by the Rev. William Jones of Nayland, and for his tutor has the highest veneration. This one circumstance made him doubly interesting in my sight and formed (I think from his having been preciously made acquainted with my respect for that author) on his part a bond of union between us. He spoke with great disapprobation of Bishop Hobart’s conduct in England and will befriend both the Rev. Mr. Wheaton who was present.

Thus the day is closed. I must confess I should have been more pleased had I been permitted to have more retirement after the Divine Services of the day. For tho’ the conversation at dinner and at tea was almost entirely on Religious subjects yet I feel more and more pleased with communion with God in private after the Sacrament. The Holy Spirit who alone can bring home to our souls the truths set forth in the Blessed Supper and seal the benefits of Christ’s death to our comfort, requires the silence of the closet on the converse of a holy devotional compassion. O that I would always commune with my own heart and the Blessed Spirit of my Saviour in my chamber and be still. Then would God teach me his ways and give me strength to walk therein. This wish I hope ever hereafter to have fulfilled. Dear Philander I think on thee!

Monday Apl. 5. I have now just time to note down that this day I breakfasted with Mr. Pratt. Family very glad to see me. At 10 went to Mr. G. W. Marriott. With him went to call on Mr. Crawley at his Daughters and then called with Mr. M. on the family of Edwards, to whom the Rev. R. Marriott had given me letters. Came home and Dr. Gaskin called and had much conversation on the American affairs. Mr. Crawley then called - and the agreement is that I am to dine with the latter on Wednesday & the former on Thursday. I then want to went to writing two letters, one to Lord Gambier (of which I will send you a copy - - (I mean the 1st copy) and another to Mr. Wiggin. After putting them into the P.O. I went to Sergeant Sellon’s; but concerning this man I have some things to say - - - - perhaps - -

6. Of April

Last night I came home too late to do anything but note a few things in my memorandum book. You know I was to drink at tea at Mr. Marriott. I did so. While this was doing, a letter from the Bishop of Litchfield and Coventry was red. & read. It was in answer to one written by Mr. G. W. Marriott enclosing one from the Rev. R. M. concerning myself. The Bishop of says he will be glad to see me at breakfast on Thursday morning he had read the appeal with much interest. Another was read from Lord Kenyon who says referring to the time in which we dined together, “I think the Bishop of Ohio has taken a liking to me, mine to him is very great.”

Speaking of the Providence of God which had guided me in the most trying and difficult circumstances while prosecuting the plan for a Western Seminary. I see now says Mr. Marriott that all things were for the best. It was best that you should not see Bp. Hobart for reasons now evident & God so ordered it you should not: for the very day in which you came to London Bishop Hobart about 6 hours before your arrival without any previous correspondence had left it: thus letting him take his way: and you to pursue yours unmolested.

The Bishop of N. York is gone to Rome said someone. “Yes” says Mrs. Marriott. “He has gone to Rome in great fidgets to see the fandangos of the Popish Carnival. Does this become a Protestant Bishop, who comes to England for his health only and then puts on a subscription for his poor church in America? Is this the way to feed the Lambs in the fold of Christ with the Bread of Life or to get means to fit others to do it?” How just were these observations I could have told the company. There were printed circulars thrown about in the city of N. York begging for money to go to Europe for his health: Trinity Church it was said had given him 3,000 dollars but he might want more in a foreign land, his friends therefore were desired to send what they could spare for so benevolent an object. This was done it is thought to a very liberal amount. Certainly I had reason to think so, from the display of the Money and Letters of Credence to Bishops, Arch Bishops, Lords & Ladies exhibited before the poor Bp. of Ohio as by way of appalling him with the gigantic advantages which the Bp. of N. York had in the very unequal contest in England: for what? Truly, tho’ secretly, for Charity!!!

I am very thankful that tho’ armed only with a Shepherd’s bag and carry only the words of truth and soberness & with no more money than to feed me by the way & to tell who I was, this Coat of Mail has not enabled him to destroy me. His spear though like weavers beam has fallen from to the ground: and I am alive.

12. I have been at Mr. Pratts whom & family with Mrs. P’s brother Mr. Jowett I saw. Speaking of the junction lately projected by Bp. Hobart & Mr. Wheaton of their collection with mine for Ohio, it was observed that it ought to be avoided for the same reason that you would wish that a steam which from its source had flowed with such purity that the very pebbles at the bottom and the fishes shining in the glittering beam of the sun were clearly seen should not be mingled with the muddy torrent or the unsavory pool.

- - - -

Soon after I had returned to my lodgings Mr. G. W. Marriott came in, and having inclosed a letter which I had red. from Mr. Johnson of Claybrook to the Bishop of Litchfield (Dr. Rider) he entered into much conversation.

I have just now red. a letter from Mr. Haydon, just on the point of his embarkation for America.

Speaking of the project of a union of plans between Bp. H. & Mr. Wheaton he says, “I am sorry to say that I think the new project better calculated to embark upon operations than all those you have successfully overcome! I begin to be of his opinion; but I hope for the best. God is more powerful than the Enemy and will provide a way for

Your Loving Husband

Phir. Chase

Diary Letter to Sophia Chase



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