Philander Chase



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Chase offers his deepest condolences to Rev. Fitch, whose wife died. He likens life to a short voyage along a narrow river.




Mrs. Fitch


Bishop Chase

Jan 30 1830

Sh. 1830

Washington 20 Jan

Rev. and Dear Brother

Poor are human consolations: weak in the arm of man in attempting to sustain a Brother under such heavy affliction as it hath pleased our Heavenly Father to lay upon you. I will not therefore attempt it. God hath smitten and He alone can comfort, you. To Him therefore I look, to Him I pray that He will grant you the consolations of His Holy Spirit: and pour into your wounded heart the unctions which alone can soothe & heal. O Blessed Jesus who suffered human woe in order that thy glory might be manifested: now, I pray thee, glorify thyself by healing the wounds which thine unscrutable [sic] providence hath created! Lift u the light of thy conotenance [sic] upon us, and let thine anger cease from us. We would meekly submit to thy judgement & say thy will be done

You know, my very dear Brother, with what pertinacity I have always maintained in your presence the simple truth that life itself is but a short voyage over a narrow river; and the consequent folly of attempting anything resembling a permanent seat on the [frail] barque which carries us over Did you then think what a practical comment your own bosom would experience to the truth of this, not a [piqure], in the common acceptation of the term, but an exact representation of the fact? How short is that voyage which reaches the shore as your dear wife did ere it was begun! A dark cloud hung o’er the awful rocks of Eternity, nor she, nor you nor any, saw that they were nigh. God saw fit to call her: and on [stream] she jumped and in an stant [sic] left you, and us.

We feel the shock and nature mourns her loss. But faith which lifts her eyes higher than the mists which veil the basement of the shores; sees that “what is our loss is her gain.” She mingles in the train of saints and angels while we are yet destined to put back from the shore & struggle with the difficulties of our voyage voyage [sic]. “Tis the survivor dies, when such friends leave us”; said our poet. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.” saith the Lord.

I have wept heartily at the news brought me yesterday of the death of your dear wife. This I feel to be among the many proof that it is harder to practice than to teach, submission.

With you I mourn, with you I mingle tears of heartfelt sorrow that so fragrant a flower has been plucked from our garden in the wild wood.

But I mourn not on her acct. We feel the stoke: and implore heavens mercies to fill the void that her death hath made among us. O how can I go home and hear my sweet children tell how Dear Mrs. Fitch is taken from us! God for Christs sake comfort them & you and me your faithful Brother

Phr. Chase

I trust soon to inclose your bill receipted.

Letter to Rev. Fitch



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