May 5th 1877
Dear friends: In reply to your kind invitation to the Philips Reunion to be held at the Vincent Baptist Church, in Chester County, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, May 30th, 1877. -------
It will be impossible that I be with you; gladly would I mingle my voice in Songs of praise and prayer with yours to the precious name of Jesus on this delightful occasion; but circumstances forbid this much desired interview; but perhaps a little of my history might be interesting to some kind friend present. I am the oldest Grand Son (except two) of Joseph Philips Jr. who came from
In early life I felt quite an interest in the missionary cause, and often wished I was a man and prepared to engage in the same work with the ever to be remembered Judson. I was quite ambitious and made considerable progress as a schoolboy of that age, and when quite a boy Kind Providence forced (I may say) me into the schoolroom in
Dear friends, I have sometimes thought perhaps my work as a teacher surely was done; but a still small voice in unmistaken accents sounded in my ear; woe be unto me if I cease to train the immortal mind. I verily believe it is my calling and I trust I shall not wear a starless crown, because this has been my most pleasurable employment.
I must now leave you; may kind Heaven smile upon you; may peace be in all your songs, in all your prayers, and may the influence of God’s holy Spirit guide us each one in every good work is the prayer of your far away friend and well wisher Jesse Philips.
N. B. Jesse Higbee, the oldest son of Obediah and Sally Higby, a Grand Son of Joseph Philips and Joseph F. Dildine the oldest son of John and Polly Dildine also a Grand Son both my cousins (their Mothers being my father’s sisters) were a little older than myself. I had 7 brothers and five sisters 13 in all. N.B. and my Dear Mother, with thanks to the Lord, said, I have lived to see all our dear children hopefully converted, all followers of Jesus. I am sure you all will repent. Amen – Grand Father 78 years, Grand Mother at Death 70y 6m 3dy. I have Grand Father’s family bible. I am 72 years old this day. Perhaps you will have a printed report of this Philips Reunion in some Periodical. Please send a copy to my address.
I love to correspond with good friends
My Oldest Sister Mary Philips ([-- ---?] Married Joseph Philips, not changing her name) celebrates a Golden Wedding the 10 of May. They are smart [?] for their age.
N.B. Strange I have never taken any medicine from a Doctor in my life. God is ever kind to me.
Enclosed you will find a song of my composing. I have made it a part of my pleasurable employment to compose School Songs to suit any and all occasions of my Schools. I have over 100 preserved of that character, and we sing more or less each day in school. Our family are all singers. We have two sons Alsines A. Philips and Marquis W. Philips married and living near. Sarah Jane Hewit a married daughter in
[transcribed by G. Edward Philips, 24 November 2006]
O, Think of the Friends Far Away
O think of the friends far away,
So pleasant, so cheering, so true,
Who would love to unite on this day
And join in the union with you,
Far away, far away, O think of the friends far away.
Far away, Far away, O think of the friends far away.
May Jesus, my Saviour be there,
And indite your petitions for me.
Let us meet in his name everywhere,
That joyful the union may be. – Chorus
Some loved ones have gone to their home,
And their smiles nevermore can we see;
How joyful when Jesus says “come
To join in the union with me.” – Chorus
Come hear, blessed Saviour, this day,
Let our hearts all be filled with thy love;
When parting, go with us we pray
To meet our dear loved ones above. – Chorus
Sung to the tune of “The Home Over There” composed by Tullaus C. O’Kane
Note on manuscript: To the tune on Page 90 called “The Home over There” in Gospel Hymns, by P.P. Bliss & Same key composed by Jesse Philips May 7th, 1877.
- If you would to listen to the tune, try this site: