Download Full Text (3.8 MB)


Worthington tells Chase of the hopes of establishing a college in Illinois and asks him to come to Rushville to serve as they are currently lacking a clergyman.




Philadelphia, Diocese of Illinois, Rev. Richmond, Rev. Warrow


Rushville Ills.

Oct. 10th 1835

Rt Rev’d & very dear Sir

Your favour to me from Philad’a was most gratefully rec’d. Your information that the Gen’l Convention had Rec’d Illinois among the Diocese of the American Church and had ratified our Selection of a bishop was highly pleasing to us; and the more so because we consider it an additional evidence that Our God favours the work now in Operation for the Extension of his church, and the Salvation of his creatures. Looking there to you as our Spiritual father & governor. I hope that this address altho’ it may trespass on your time will not be considered troublesome.

I feel that my own and the future happiness of my family are very much identified with the prosperity of the church in this diocese; and are exceedingly anxious to learn what has been done for us in the Eastern States. How far the effort to raise a fund to enable you to remove immediately to this state and also a fund for the benefit of needy churches in the west was successful – A late letter from the Rev’d I.C. Richmond gives cheering hopes of its success and also of the speedy establishment of a college. Will [you] have the goodness to inform me what has been done – and when you expect to be again in your diocesan circuit.

My dear Sir we have not had the Services of our church performed by a clergyman since you left us. The Rev’d Mr Warrow of New York is now with us – and will probably preach tomorrow. Lay Reading regularly attended to has kept us only alive in the fold – but out of it we are making no progress. My dear Sir our wants are great and urgent. I do not think the missionary board could possibly make an appointment abroad more promising of good [?] at this place and Beardstown. And set unless from the missionary board we can have no hope or prospect of a pastor. We are not able to offer a pecuniary inducement – and if we could; a man who could be induced in that way would not suit us. But if a situation in a new and almost boundless (in resources) country – in a village healthy and flourishing – with a [field] of usefulness wide extended and extending. Where the people are not only willing to receive and learn the doctrines of our church – but with extended hands are anxiously crying give us a teacher – give us the ordinances of the church, and the sacraments of her Religion. If such a situation would induce some humble pious and devoted man. Surely, surely, our parish might arrest his attention, What, tho’ for a few years he should suffer the inconvenience of a frontier life? What, tho’ many of the luxuries of life could not be afforded by the smallness of his salary? When he shall hereafter present his flock before the throne of God as the fruits of his labours – will not his Reward be in proportion to the sacrifice he has made of himself to the wants & sufferings which he has cheerfully necessarily encountered. I can not believe Sir that there is not one in our church who would willingly come and labour among us. I will not believe that God will not provide for us in his own good time. Therefore we are proceeding with our chapel. It will be ready for the plaisterers in a few weeks. However plain and humble it may be yet we are determined to finish it as neatly as we can. And when it is finished, and consecrated to God – if it then remains unoccupied, because no priest will enter therein to possess it – it will be a new thing under the Sun – a new thing in the history of our church. May God fill it for us this winter is the prayer of many hearts truly devoted to the church and more anxious for their own salvation.

As some great good is frequently compassed by the combination of many minutiae – in the hope that you will in that way be speedily enabled to remove your family to the field of your future labours; I beg you will permit me to subscribe fifty dollars for that purpose. Which I will pay you on sight – or sooner if practicable.

We are all very anxious to see you – and I and my wife the more so because of our having an infant daughter unbaptized.

With my prayers for yourself & family believe me dear Sir very respectfully and affectionately yrs,

John S. Worthington

Letter to Philander Chase



Rights Statement

No Copyright - United States