Josiah Pratt



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Pratt has been sick and unable to meet with many others in England for a long time, but has met with Chase's friend Bishop McIlvaine. He is glad to hear of the progress at Kenyon College and updates Chase on British public affairs.




Bishop McIlvaine, Missionary Register, Cambridge


Finsbury Circus, London

September 11th 1830.

Right Reverent & Very Dear Sir

It gave me great pleasure, a few days since, to see for a few minutes your friend, the Rev. Mr. McIlvaine. I was prevented from seeing him before, by a painful affection of my eye which has withdrawn me from Public Meetings & Public Duty for nearly six months. You will see that I now write to you by the pen of another. Mr. McIlvaine gave me an account of the distressing accident which befell you: under this trial, & the other afflictions which it has pleased God to bring upon you, I can more fully sympathize with you from my own sufferings. I would, with you, see & acknowledge the hand of our God & Savior both in comforts & afflictions. The same Hand which guarded you in your dangerous voyage down the [?] would have preserved you from the evil which befell you by land had not our Lord seen good to afflict you.

I am sorry to find that our Publications do not reach you, & will endeavour to put things into such a train as shall lead to a regular supply of the Missionary Register. The Speech of your late Secretary of State was very acceptable; and awakens hopes, in conjunction with other circumstances, that the government of the United States will effectually aid in the improvement & emancipation of the Slave Population. The holding of our fellow men in stern bondage for us personal crime, is a weight which presses heavily upon both Countries.

We rejoice to hear of the progress of Kenyon College. The infirmity under which I have long laboured has, together with the distance of my present dwelling, separated me much from the circle of friends in which you saw me move. In consequence, I see very little of our excellent friend, Mr. Marriott, more particularly as his office of Magistrate carries him far to the westward. I regret this, as on the other accounts, so especially that I am deprived of those details of you & your labours with which his kindness never failed to furnish me. All here cherish an affectionate interest in your concerns; & we pray our Heavenly Father to continue his abundant blessing upon all your proceedings. Whenever an opportunity may occur, we shall feel gratified by any information which you will please to send us. My Family is circumstanced much, I believe, as when I last wrote; except that my elder Son has had much more responsibility upon him since my indisposition, & my younger Son is pursuing his studies at Cambridge.

Our Public affairs partake very much of that fearfulness & disquietude which seem to be growing on this part of the civilized world. The increase of infidelity & ungodliness is fearful. Our Rulers seem to get on without God; or, at least, they are forgetful or ashamed to acknowledge Him. Strange fancies & rash speculations infect many among us who profess to be religious. Many things among us awaken just apprehension of impending judgements. A storm seems gathering on the Continent, which can hardly fail to involve this Country in calamity. But the Lord reigneth! And, in the midst of all, there is reason to hope that real piety is steading advancing.

Your report of the piety of the Students of Kenyon College is very gratifying. It is a great cause of thankfulness to God that He inclined & enabled his servants in this country to further the blessed design of that Institution. May it contribute to the increase of true godliness in your Land! If the Truth should come to be harassed & driven into corners for a time in the Old World, we trust that it will not only find an asylum in the New World, but diffuse its influence from thence into all quarters.

My aged Mother-in-law still lives, & is waiting with [?] & believing composure for her great change. She is very thankful for your kind remembrance of her, & writes with me & my dear wife & children in prayer for the Diving Blessing on yourself & all your family, & undertakings.

I am, ever,

Dear & Right Reverend Sir,

Your faithful & affectionate Friend,

Josiah Pratt

Letter to Philander Chase



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