Rev. W. Ward



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Rev. Ward suggests that Chase spiritually cultivate the land he now inhabits in Gilead, Michigan and offers him men from Ireland who are willing to work. He gives an update on his own spiritual projects, including King William's College and seven new churches, and also informs Chase that Hannah More died in August.




Gilead, Michigan, Hannah More, Cambridge, King William's College, Isle of Mann, Ireland, Mrs. G.W. Marriott, Mrs. Marriott


Jan. 3 - 1834 -

Right Reverend & dear Brother

I think I owe you a letter, and I write this to entitle myself to another letter from you. I shall always be happy to hear from time to time of your progress in breaking up the fallow ground of the soil of Gilead, and the soil of the heart to receive the seed of the Gospel. I pray God to give you the full fruits of your labour in spirituals & temporals. I have no doubt but that you are passing more peaceful days than you have known of late years in the Diocese of Ohio, and you have still an extensive field of usefulness around you. It would be of great importance and happy consequences to the Episcopal Church, if the new planted region in which you are settled had a Bishop & Missionaries under him, to anticipate other denominations, and provide Houses and ministers of our holy religion, as fast as the population encreased. The Church has always lost ground in the Colonies, in not being [beforehand] with the papists and dissenters. The poor creatures will naturally walk into the first place of worship they meet with in a strange land, and will naturally adhere to that, were they first received the consolations of the Gospel. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest that he may send you the required Labourers. I have no doubt but that there are many of your old Friends in this Country who if you had once made a good start in your old way of promoting religion and learning in your new wilderness would send you help. Perhaps you are not aware that the sainted Hannah More is gone to her eternal rest and high reward having left you a legacy of €200 - she died in August last, and never could have heard of your exile - or of ceasing to be Bishop of the Diocese of Ohio - I shall see after this affair as soon as I go to London in the Spring and shall let you know all about it. You perceive by the date of this that I am now in the seat and tranquil scene where you first found me near 10 years ago - before half that time pass over our heads in all human probability you will have lost your Friend and correspondent of Great Horkesley - being now in his 73d year - blind of one eye, and seeing but imperfectly with the other - But old and weak as I am, it pleases God to shew his strength in my weakness, and to make me an instrument of promoting his glory, and the benefit of the people of my Diocese in a degree wonderful to myself. I have raised €1300 in voluntary contributions with which I have built a noble College for the accommodation of 300 Boys with a Chapel annexed, 7 new Churches, and others enlarged in accommodation, some of the new ones supplied with most efficient and devoted ministers, and the College opened, and increasing rapidly in numbers, having a Principal & Vice-Principal & four other Masters. all men of the first reputation - three of them Graduates of Cambridge. Scholars & Divines of the first celebrity - My chief object in coming over to England at present, is to obtain an endowment, and a Charter from the Crown for my new College. Which the King has permitted me to call, King William’s College, Isle of Mann. I have also obtained a Grant of money from the government for the erection of schoolhouses in all parts of my Diocese where they may be wanted - in the erection of which I mean to adopt a plan which I recommend to you till you can raise money to build Churches - There are many parts of my Diocese from 4 to 8 miles from any Church containing considerable portions of the population. These creatures stand little chance of religious instruction or of the ministrations and ordinances of the Church without Chapels of ease. Were my funds are not equal to supply all the Chapels that are wanted. I purpose raising a little sanctuary about 30 feet square opening by folding doors into the end of my new schoolhouse, which shall [?] long - This sanctum shall be open for Divine Service only, containing its alter & a Church character, which with the School will accommodate a considerable congregation. The Chapel end shall be raised considerably higher than the schoolroom, with a little belfry to hang a Bell. I have much to say about kindness to you from good Mrs. Marriott and others of your old Friends - but having but little of my paper remaining, I must ask you a question which I beg you you [sic] will answer as soon as possibly convenient. There are two or three fine young fellows of the Farmer labouring Class that are determined to go over to America with the hopes of making better bread than they are making on Irish soil by the sweat of their brow. I believe they have a little money, & might be able to purchase a few acres of land. My Brother in Ireland recommends them strongly for honesty & industry, bone & ability - and as my Brother is anxious for their welfare & weldoing [sic] - I should like much to put them under your wing if you would advise their going over to the neighborhood of Gilead - It would be a great blessing to such strangers to have such a Friend as you before them, as you would be able to advise & direct them for the for the best and perhaps get or give them employment, till they had time to look about them. They are thinking of going over in the course of the Spring, but they shall not sail till there will be time to hear from you in answer to this letter. So pray be so good as to let me know what encouragement you can hold out to them.

Poor dear Mrs. Marriott thanked me for an extract “from (she says) our dear Friend Bp. Chase’s letter, which interested me most particularly. The course of that good mans life has been most wonderful: to our shortsightedness it seems sad & strange too that he should not have remained to finish that which with such zeal & labour he had begun. But he is fitted to plant as well as to build up. the work therefore appointed for him by the Lord of the vineyard, is to move on & on in that great spiritual as well as natural wilderness, bearing the good seed with him, and assuredly he will not lose his reward & be spent which is envied by his beginning de novo in another sphere of uncultivated land & people. May he be blessed & strengthened in his work” ----

Ever my dear Friend with love & blessings to all belonging to you your faithful & affectionate Brother in Christ Jesus

W. Sodor & Mann

Letter to Philander Chase



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