NATURA DOCEAT NON NEGLIGERE QUOMODO NOS ERGA HOMINES GERAMUS; EST HOMINIS INGENUI ET LIBERALITER EDUCATI, VELLE BENE AUDIRE A PARENTIBUS, A PROPINQUIS, A BONIS VIRIS, CAETERISQUE HOMINIBUS; UT NON SOLIM ARROGANTIS EST, SED ETIAM OMNINO DISSOLUTI, NEGLIGERE QUID DE SE QUISQUE SENTIAT.
CICERO DE OFFICIIS.
SI HONESTA SUNT QUAE FACIS, OMNES SCIANT.
A REPLY TO PARTS OF "BISHOP ONDERDONK'S STATEMENT."
IN a pamphlet entitled "Bishop Onderdonk's Statement--a Statement of Facts and Circumstances connected with the recent trial of the Bishop of New-York"--occurs the following passage.
"It soon came to my knowledge that certain persons--Mr. John Jay, of this city, and Mr. C. G. Memminger, then in this city, being particularly named--were going, about, investigating rumors against me, and for that purpose calling on families, where they had1 reason to hope they might hear something to my disadvantage. The three Bishops meanwhile waiting in readiness to receive any thing which might be thus brought to them."--Page 9.
In a letter addressed to the Right Reverend Bishops Meade, Otey and Elliot, on the 6th of November, 1844, and published in the "Statement," Bishop Onderdonk said:
"You have had your ears open to all the gossip and; scandal, which men, reducing themselves to the low caste of informers and panders, could seek out and: scrape together for the use of my inveterate enemies."--Page 15.
 Respect for my own character, and justice to the Hon. Mr. Memminger, seem to me to require at my hands, in his absence, some notice of the charge here implied, that we had reduced ourselves to the low caste of informers and panders, and were seeking out and scraping together gossip and scandal for the ears of the gentlemen who presented the Bishop for trial. The charge against these Prelates also, of having their ears open to gossip and scandal thus collected, occurring in the same connection, perhaps calls for a denial at the hands of one who knows it to have been unfounded: for at the time the letter was written, they did not feel themselves at liberty to answer it.
"We regret to perceive in your reply," they remarked, in a note to Bishop Onderdonk, dated the succeeding day, "that the motives of our action are questioned; but in this stage of the proceeding, we deem it inconsistent with our duty, to enter upon any discussion of that matter. We trust that the conduct of the trial will be such as to satisfy you that our single desire is to bring out the truth, and nothing but the truth, and settle these painful charges, one way or the other."--Page 17.
The conduct of the trial, has not, it seems, satisfied the Respondent, but the result has been such as to render unnecessary any further reply from the Presenters. I trust, therefore, that what I may say in justification of these Right Reverend Fathers, from the renewed charges of their suspended brother, which are repeated by a part of the secular and Episcopal press, will not be deemed an impertinent vindication of their pure and lofty characters.
Feeling the extreme delicacy of contending in any [4/5] way with the individual who so lately exercised the high functions of the Episcopate in this Diocese; with whom I have often held friendly intercourse; whose official conduct, in past years, I have, in more than one instance, openly disapproved; and whose present painful position is calculated to awaken sympathy; knowing myself incapable, under any circumstances, of pressing against a falling, or insulting a fallen adversary; and least of all, one who long held the relation of my Spiritual Father, I reply with extreme reluctance to the implied charge of having descended to the low caste of a pander and informer; I do so with no wish to give pain or to excite anger, but I feel bound to show that the part I have borne in this matter, has not been such as justly to subject me to so odious an accusation.
An informer, in its proper sense, signifies one who gives information of crimes--the accuser of a criminal before the constituted authorities--and this office may be exercised in the Church, as in the State, by the Christian gentleman, actuated by the most honorable motives and a high sense of duty; and although the accused are very apt to charge with meanness these who have brought them to punishment, their opinion does not stamp the character upon the act. A pander, however, is not the minister of justice, but the willing agent to the evil passions and lusts of another, and if there are any in this Diocese who have deserved the name, I have not.
Although the motives and conduct of those who were instrumental in procuring the presentment, and collecting the testimony, can have no influence whatever upon the question of the guilt or innocence of the Respondent [5/6] of the acts imputed to him; and although the verdict of the court, grounded on conclusive evidence, would stand Unmoved: even were it proved, that those who collected that evidence, were wickedly conspiring against one, whom at the time they believed innocent; it is right and proper that the Church and the world should know the truth, and that slander against character, by whomsoever Httered, whether affecting the presenters, the witnesses, er the judges, should not pass unrefuted. The whole procedure, unrivalled in importance by any event that has occurred in our Church from the date of its establishment, has now become history. The Statement of the Respondent will go down with the Record of the Trial, to future generations, and it is right that erroneous statements reflecting upon the authors of the movement, should be in time corrected.
It was one of the strong points of Bishop Onderdonk's defence, insisted upon both by his counsel, and by the dissenting judges who declared him innocent, that the acts charged in the presentment had long been known in the Diocese, and had been passed by in silence.
Mr. OGDEN, his senior counsel, in his closing speech, after referring to the two last Conventions of the Diocese of New-York, said:
"I was a member of both these Conventions: I can therefore speak with some authority on the subject, that during the whole period of the session of these Conventions, there was not a single whisper of these charges, not one."--Proceedings of the Court, p. 214,
And in commenting upon the case of Mrs. Butler the same gentleman remarked:
"Here is a man charged for the first time with [6/7] improper conduct towards this lady, upwards of seven years ago. I ask this Court, if clergymen of this diocese knew the fact--if they knew he had been guilty of such imprudence--why did they suffer it to sleep? Have they just now, at this late day, awoke to a proper consciousness of their duty to the Church? Have their eyes been only opened now, to a perception of their duty? I believe not. I am bound to believe, for the honor of these gentlemen, that they regarded the fact as totally unimportant--that it fixed no just charge upon their Bishop--and that therefore, and therefore only, they said not one word about it."--Page. 215.
The Bishop of North Carolina, in his opinion, urged against the truth of the charges, that the "husbands, too, in some cases presbyters of the Church, notwithstanding the solemn vows of their office, conspired with the impulse of a fresh indignation, to prompt them in the Church's name, if not their own, to demand satisfaction, consented to pass over the alleged immorality in silence."--Page 268.
And in another place the same Bishop said: "Again a bishop is charged with acts of immorality and impurity, Upon proof known for years to the most aged and respectable presbyters of his diocese, but without any action or attempt on their part to secure his presentment by the Diocesan Convention, the body first of all entrusted by the general Canons with this duty."--Page 268.
The Bishop of North-Carolina urged that the mildest sentence should be inflicted, with the distinct avowal that the same reasons should have insured his acquittal, in consideration--
"7. Of the not less singular circumstance, that [7/8] although the improprieties alleged had for some years been known, and the first and highest authority for presentment, had by canon of the General Convention been lodged in the Diocesan Convention; yet that no member, either clerical or lay, of the diocese of the said Bishop has, according to the plea set up, made the smallest effort for his presentment."--Page 272. And in reference to the three presbyters to whom the Bishop confessed his guilt, the Bishop of North-Carolina said: "What, however, is their united action? For this must be regarded as the true exponent of their settled convictions about the matter. They agreed to drop it, and never again to mention it. Here their testimony concurs. We are bound, therefore, in charity to themselves, to infer, that they considered the Bishop as having made no confession of guilt, and as having done nothing which really called for the discipline of the Church."--Page 271.
The Bishop of New-Jersey, in commenting upon the same confession, as testified to by the witnesses, asked--
"How is it possible that Dr. Milnor, Dr. Muhlenberg, and Dr. Higbee, and above all, Mr. Beare, as Dr. Milnor positively testifies, could have consented, expressly or by implication, to 'say no more about it?' I feel myself compelled to stand between their characters as Christian men and Christian ministers, and such an explanation."--Page 296.
The Bishop of Maryland remarked: "It is very difficult to believe that so many clergymen, several of them of the very highest repute for wisdom and piety, should have so long connived at such guilt as is charged in the presentment. If true, the charges in that document [8/9] are charges against every clergyman who knew of them and kept them secret.''--Page 315.
The Bishop of Western New-York said, that certain clergymen whom he named, and others, if aware of the acts as proved, had "not only failed to do their duty, but actually conspired (by an agreement on the part of some of them, in regard to the case of Mrs. Beare) to connive at the criminality of the Bishop, and conceal his guilt."--Page 305.
The Bishop of South-Carolina said: "The first movers to direct action, were not the persons who considered themselves aggrieved, nor were they members of the Diocese of New-York, especially obligated and interested in the matter, but of three other dioceses. The first application for redress was not, as it should have been, to the Convention of the Diocese of New-York."--Page 311.
These several passages clearly affirm, or admit, that it was the bounden duty of Churchmen, both clerical and lay, belonging to the Diocese of New-York, who believed the Bishop to be guilty of acts similar to those of which he has been convicted, to have procured his presentment for trial by their own Convention, the body first of all entrusted with the duty: that silence on their part was connivance at his guilt: and that the charges against him were made by their secresy charges against themselves, in accordance with the common law maxims, fraus celare fraudem, and, qui non improbat, approbat.
Without staying to inquire, how far the grave and sweeping censure thus passed by these bishops, is deserved by the clergy and the laity of New-York: or what unseen obstacles may have prevented some action on their part at an earlier period, it is proper for me to state, that at the last Convention of this Diocese, of [9/10] which I was a member representing St. Matthew's church Bedford, having learned, not by the vague rumors that had been long afloat, but upon reliable authority, that Bishop Onderdonk had grossly insulted two ladies in Westchester county--one the relative of a presbyter, whose hospitality he was enjoying at the time, and one a young lady who had been placed by her father in his charge to attend confirmation in a neighboring parish, I took the same view of my duty in the case, with that laid down by Bishops Ives, Doane, Whittingham, De Lancey, and Gadsden: and I felt that I might be justly chargeable with conniving at such atrocious acts, did I, in the words of Bishop De Lancey, "omit to take, urge or recommend any canonical action in regard to them." I therefore drafted the following preamble and resolution:
"Whereas it has been stated to this Convention, that scandalous reports and charges have for a long time been in circulation, touching the moral purity of the Right Reverend Bishop of this Diocese; and it is right and proper that the same, if true should be duly authenticated, and if false should be openly disproved, that the character of the Bishop and the honor of the Church may be vindicated from so injurious aspersions,
"Therefore Resolved, That a committee of ------ be appointed carefully to examine into the said charges, and to report thereon to the Standing Committee, that that body may take such action in the premises as they shall deem meet."
Unwilling to act without advice in so grave a matter, find wishing to avoid if possible, all personal connection with it, I sought the counsel of several clerical and lay members of the Convention, for whose opinion [10/11] I entertained deep respect: and expressed my hope that some one of them whose age and reputation were more commensurate with the duty, would consent to bring it before the Convention. I was disappointed in finding that their views as to the propriety of the step under existing circumstances, differed from my own. Although they were satisfied that such an investigation ought to be instituted as soon as possible, they feared that the course I proposed would prove futile, and would therefore be inexpedient: that it would be stamped as a malicious party movement; and owing to the powerful opposition it would certainly meet, the extreme difficulty of procuring the necessary evidence, and other probable obstacles, it would lead to no effective action.
[Some idea may be formed of the bitter opposition which private individuals would have met, in an endeavor to obtain a presentment of Bishop Onderdonk by the Diocesan Convention: from a glance at the conduct exhibited by many persons of influence in the Church, in the present instance, where three Right Reverend Bishops assumed that duty. Attempts were made to arrest the presentment by clergymen who were privy to the character of the charges; and these attempts having failed--since the verdict and sentence of the Court were pronounced, after a trial as fair and impartial as was probably ever held before any tribunal, ecclesiastical or civil, the "CHURCHMAN" newspaper, the official organ of the Episcopate of New-York, has declared, "we look upon the decision of the Court as "mere party proscription;" and the "BANNER OF THE CROSS," the official organ of the Bishops of New-Jersey, Maryland and North Carolina, has said that it was their high duty to proclaim their "thorough conviction of the innocence of Bishop Onderdonk." The motives of the presenters, the purity of the witnesses, and the integrity of the Judges, have been unblushingly impeached and their characters most grossly maligned. The punishment awarded by the Episcopal Bench to their offending brother, has been alluded to in the house of God, in connection with the wrongs offered to saints and martyrs in all ages, and to the Innocent and Just One, when he bowed to the sentence of Pilate; and the pulpit has been made the rostrum for attacks upon the authority of the Church, by presbyters who have heretofore professed the highest reverence for her decisions, and have always assumed in regard to them, the ancient principle, "Res judicata pro veritate accipitur."]
 They believed in the language of the 26th Article, that "it appertained to the discipline of the Church, that inquiry be made of evil ministers, and that they be accused by those who have knowledge of their offences, and finally being found guilty by just judgment, be deposed," but they doubted whether my resolution would accomplish such a result, and yielding to their advice, I relinquished my intention.
About the middle of October, I received a letter from one of the delegates to the General Convention at Philadelphia, by whom the subject of the rumors touching Bishop Onderdonk, had been brought before the House of Bishops, imploring me by the love I bore the Church, to prevent the investigation falling through from the want of testimony: when they had reason to believe that innumerable outrages had been committed, and that many persons would be ready to testify if advised of the circumstances of the case. Three Bishops had consented to receive and examine the testimony, with the view to a presentment; but they required that it should be as nearly as possible (not "gossip and scandal," but) legal testimony. Several affidavits had been received of the most decided character, and the only objection to them was the date of the transactions; and the writer mentioned the name of the Rev. Henry M. Beare, of Long Island, and others in this city, who it was believed would be able and willing to supply evidence of more recent date.
On the twenty-fifth of the same month, I received from two of the gentlemen, who had addressed the House of Bishops, a letter, from which the following is an extract:
 "New-York, Oct. 25, 1844.
"JOHN JAY, ESQ.:
"Dear Sir--You are probably aware that we deemed it our duty to make a statement to the Bishops of the Church, of certain rumors which are publicly current, charging unchaste conduct upon Bishop Onderdonk, of New-York. Various affidavits have already been delivered in, and some of the Bishops have undertaken to investigate the matter: and if sufficient evidence appears to warrant a presentment, they will present the Bishop for trial. Many statements are made to us, which require to be examined. Affidavits ought forthwith to be forwarded to the Presenting Bishops as soon as possible. But as we are all strangers, coming from a distance, and are obliged to return home, we deem it our duty to call upon you to stand in our place, and to pursue the matter."
The affidavits, which had already been furnished, were shown to me. They embraced the substance of the principal charges contained in the Presentment, and I at once felt it to be my duty to accede to the request made of me.
The reasons which induced this decision, were such as would naturally occur to every consistent Churchman, who is accustomed to reverence the Episcopal office, not only for its divine antiquity, and its Apostolic character, but for that blamelessness and purity which the Church requires in all who are elevated to so high a dignity; demanding of every Bishop, at his consecration, that he shall show himself an example of good works unto others; that the adversary may be ashamed, having nothing to say against him.
 Now without polluting this page with any of the particulars of the testimony, or the mention of acts factu turpia, ne quidem dictu decora, what was the character of the offences charged in these affidavits? They were offences which have been characterized by his judges, as in palpable violation of his consecration vows, immoral in their very nature, showing an impure state of mind, committed in close connection with the duties of his sacred office, in direct breach of the sanctity of domestic life, and of the confidence which belongs to the ministerial character, and to the great scandal and reproach of the Church of God.
Bishop Onderdonk, if guilty of these acts, had, according to Bishop Whittingham, "grovelled in impurity and immorality." He had committed towards the pure wife of one of his presbyters, as his own counsel conceded, "one of the most atrocious acts that could be committed by any man; "an act which, if committed by the Bishop in the family of Dr. Higbee, of Trinity Church, would have induced that reverend clergyman to "kick him out of doors," as "the smallest possible measure of punishment." The witnesses, according to the Bishop of North-Carolina, if their testimony were true, had been "the victims of the lustful violence" of a bishop who had "grossly and violently assaulted their virtue."
The affidavits in support of these charges I believed to be true; and it may be asked, why I deemed it necessary to adduce other testimony, if these were conclusive.
Apart from the importance of cumulative testimony to establish the fact of habitual misconduct, I was led to believe that an attempt would be made by [14/15] the Bishop to destroy the characters of the female witnesses who might be brought forward; that threats would be used to prevent their attendance; and that the only way of preventing an attack upon their reputations would be to multiply their number to such a degree, as to deter the Respondent from intimating a syllable against their virtue.
No suspicion of the capability of the Bishop to pursue so atrocious a course, for the purpose of ensuring his own acquittal, would have entered my mind, had I not learned through a statement made by the Rev. Dr. Wainwright, that he had evinced a. determination to adopt this plan of escape in the case of Mrs. Beare. When first called upon by the Reverend Doctors Milnor, Muhlenberg, Wainwright, and Higbee, in reference to her charges, he expressed great astonishment, denied the particulars one by one, as Dr. Muhlenberg related them, and declared them totally unfounded. According to Dr. Higbee's testimony on the trial, which confirms the truth of Dr. Wainwright's previous assertion, "He said, if there were impure thoughts, or motives, or feelings (I am not sure of the word,) in the case, they were not to be attributed to him; that the person imputing them was responsible for them, if any existed. He also stated, that he should regret to impute such feelings to Mrs. Beare, but that if such a story was persevered in it could not be avoided; or words to that effect."--Page 121. That is, if Mrs. Beare persevered in her statement, he would throw the weight of his Episcopal character into the scale against her; and on the word of a consecrated Bishop, her Spiritual Father in God, impugn her modesty and chastity.
Under these circumstances, I did not hesitate to call, [15/16] in two cases unattended, and once accompanied by Mr. Memminger, at the residence of families, whose members I had reason to believe had been insulted by the Bishop, to inform them that if the rumors touching them were true, they had now an opportunity of vindicating the honor of their Church. How far the giving of such information in the manner becoming a gentleman, is correctly described by the expression "seeking out and scraping together gossip and scandal," the candid reader can determine without further explanation--more especially when he is informed that Bishop Onderdonk, in an address to the clergy and people of his spiritual charge, dated the 25th of October, had declared, in reference to his rumored Presentment, "I have expressed a desire for a canonical investigation of the case."
Before the departure from the city of the Hon. Mr. Memminger, to whose stern morality, fearless independence, and disinterested services, this Diocese will ever be indebted, I was requested by the Right Reverend Presenting Bishops to act as their counsel, in the preliminary arrangements of the trial; and having had frequent opportunities of judging of their feelings and conduct in regard to the matter, I feel bound to declare that I believe the charges preferred against them by their suspended brother, of malicious motives and unjust and ungenerous treatment, entirely without foundation. So far from having their ears open to all the gossip and scandal afloat touching the Bishop of New-York, they refused to listen to any but well authenticated charges, supported by the best proof that could be obtained.
Bishop Onderdonk, in his letter to them of the sixth of November, remarked:
 "Report, before I left Philadelphia, and since I came home, has said that you were in possession of an affidavit charging me with presence in a house of ill-fame. * * *. As my friends, you were bound to give me at once the name of my false accuser, that he might be summarily prosecuted for his villany."
This, as the Bishop supposed, was the case referred to by the Presenters in their letter of the day preceding, wherein they said: "Since our arrival in New-York, we have not been collecting, but receiving and sifting testimony, and by this caution have been enabled to clear up satisfactorily one of the most disagreeable charges which had been laid before us."
The clearance of this charge was owing to an investigation instituted by myself, through the medium of an agent; and it was dropped, not because there was the slightest doubt of the truth of the affidavit, which came from a person of respectable character, but because there appeared to be some ground for believing that the Bishop had been on one occasion sent for by an inmate suffering under distress of mind, and there Was consequently room for a charitable hope, that he had never gone to the place from other than pure motives, and for the exercise of his spiritual functions.
Could Bishop Onderdonk have witnessed the Christian joy, with which this explanation was seized upon by his Presenting Brethren, he would scarcely have felt inclined to doubt their sincerity when they wrote: "We can assure you that we have none other than the kindest feelings towards you as a man, and trust in God that you will be enabled to answer to the satisfaction of the bishops, the charges which we shall feel bound, as things now appear, to present against you to [17/18] the Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church. * * We sincerely trust that you will not misconceive our motives, nor misunderstand our course of action. Our desire is, we repeat, for your sake and the Church's sake, to bring out the truth and nothing but the truth, and to pray you to help us in it, that your character may stand before the world as that of a Christian Bishop should, blameless and spotless."
The charge of acting in secret, and concealing from the accused the character of the charges preferred against him, is sufficiently refuted by the reply of the Presenters, that every paper received by them in Philadelphia, was frankly and freely read by one of their number to Bishop Ives, Dr. Wainwright, and Dr. Berrian, with the understanding that their contents should be communicated fully to him. They did not feel themselves at liberty to part with the original affidavits, nor to deliver copies, until their final action was determined upon. Nor did they deem it wise or proper, considering the character of the charges and of the testimony, to listen to the defence of the accused as though they were sitting as his judges. Their duties under the Canon, were analagous to those of grand jurors, who are only to hear evidence on behalf of the Prosecutors; for the finding an indictment, is only in the nature of an inquiry or accusation, which is afterwards to be tried and determined; and the grand jury are only to inquire upon their oaths whether there be sufficient cause to call upon the party to answer it.
The charge of treating the Bishop while in New-York with reserve and coldness, and not paying him "the ordinary official courtesy of a call at his residence," is one so evidently the last resource of a determination to find [18/19] fault with their conduct, as scarcely to call for a reply. When about presenting him for trial, as guilty in their solemn judgment upon the proof presented to them, of acts most disgraceful to him as a gentleman, and beyond measure degrading to a bishop, it might have been regarded as indecorous, and indeed an unwarrantable insult, to have mocked him with the courtesy of a friendly visit.
After the Presentment was prepared, and ready for delivery, a discussion did arise among the Presenting Bishops, whether it was necessary or proper that they should in their character of Presenters, call upon Bishop Onderdonk before delivering the charges to the Senior Bishop: and when it was considered that they had been in the city some ten days or a fortnight, pursuing their inquiries, with the knowledge of Bishop Onderdonk that they were doing so: and that during all that time neither he nor his friends had called upon them: it was thought that neither courtesy required it, nor a proper self-respect permitted it: but it was resolved that before delivering the presentment, they would address him a letter, stating the conclusion to which they had arrived, and the calm and courteous letter was then prepared, which appears in the Bishop's Statement; and the delicacy of these Bishops towards their brother, was further exhibited by their sending for one of his clerical friends to receive and deliver it.
The Rev. Dr. Berrian, whose presence was requested for this purpose, brought with him the Rev. Dr. Higbee, and at this interview the letter was delivered. These reverend gentlemen suggested to the Presenting Bishops, the propriety of dropping the Presentment for the time, and leaving it for the next Convention of the [19/20] Diocese to pursue it; and this suggestion not being acquiesced in, they requested a suspension of the proceedings until the following day, and the request was immediately complied with. In the interval, I have understood that a meeting, attended by twenty-three clergymen of the city, was held at the residence of Dr. Higbee, with a view to some action on their part to stay the Presentment; and the next day the Rev. Drs. Berrian and Higbee again called upon the Presenting Bishops, stated that they had delivered the communication to Bishop Onderdonk, and strenuously urged anew the propriety of leaving the subject for the Diocesan Convention; and this proposition being definitely refused by the Bishops as inconsistent with the views they entertained of their duty in the matter, one of the reverend gentlemen said that he did not know that there were any other reasons for asking further delay.
This statement, which I believe to be strictly accurate, and which, if erroneous in any particular, can be corrected by either of those clergymen, is a sufficient answer to the charge of Bishop Onderdonk, contained in a note to page 12 of the "Statement." "At this time, two of my Presbyters called on the Presenting Bishops, and remonstrated with them on the shortness of the time allowed. They offered another day. So evident, however, was their haste to make up for past delay, and indeed, so incompetent even the additionally allowed time, to answer the purpose originally designed by my request and Bishop Elliott's promise--seeing that my past ignorance of the particular charges had allowed me no opportunity of preparation--that the real character of the procedure was not thus materially altered."
 Of the venerable Bishop Meade, Bishop Onderdonk has ventured to use language in which few will sympathize. He says on page 6 of the Statement:
""When we consider the darkness and secrecy with which he (Bishop Meade) acted his part, how can an honorable and christian man think otherwise, than that he was connected with a conspiracy against me," &c.
And in his letter to the three Bishops he assumes that if opportunity were given, "A clear case of malicious motive may be made out," and "a well defined conspiracy, not it is to be feared falling short of our own house in its comprehensiveness, be made manifest."
During the trial it was strongly urged on behalf of the Respondent, that the whole proceeding was to be discountenanced, because it was the result of a conspiracy to destroy his character and usefulness, from motives of personal enmity. The charge was promptly met.
"We cannot forget," said the Bishop of Vermont, in his opinion, "that the counsel on the other side, not only denied the accusation in positive terms, but openly invited the proof of the alleged conspiracy, and formally waived their right to object to it, although in strictness it was irrelevant to the issue. On the ground of their consent, several members of the Court, of whom I was one, expressed their willingness to listen to the evidence; and yet the counsel for the Respondent declined the opportunity thus fairly afforded to them. Under these circumstances, I should have thought it due to candour to withdraw this gratuitous and offensive charge, and I confess myself unable to discover how the repetition of it in any form could be justified, even under the largest allowance for the art of rhetorical amplification."--Proceedings of the Court, page 274.
 The conduct of the Presenting Bishops in the whole course of this unhappy affair, as far as my observation extended, was marked by a Christian delicacy towards their offending brother, and an anxiety to "avoid even the appearance of evil," which induced them during their continuance in the city, to decline the invitation of the friends who offered them a home, and to take up their abode at a boarding-house, that no room might be left in this particular for the imputation of private influence. And after the trial had commenced, and its conduct had been committed to the two learned counsel of our Church, who performed their painful duty in so faithful and candid a manner, striving always for the truth, and never for victory, the Right Reverend Presenters left it in their hands, and took no further part in the prosecution. I am well aware that many have supposed, and perhaps do yet suppose, that the Presentment, however just, originated in party spirit or private malice, and the proceeding is still spoken of, by some of the newspapers, as exhibiting "theologic hate." For these slanders those are responsible, who gave them birth, and I only refer to them as my apology, if any be1 necessary for the preceding remarks, which I have offered, in order to undeceive Churchmen, and as a simple act of justice to the Presenting Prelates, and not because I have supposed for a moment, that their characters or that of Mr. Memminger required at my hands any vindication.
For the part I have borne in this matter, I feel no regret. I have acted from a conviction of duty, and under similar circumstances I would so act again. I was governed by no party hostility in my conduct then, and despite the odiousness of the charge preferred against [22/23] me, I am moved by no personal feeling in my reply now. Had I been thus accused by the Respondent, while he was yet seated in all the pride of the Episcopate, I might have felt myself at liberty to answer with more freedom; but as it is, I have avoided, from motives which by some will be appreciated, replying to any parts of his Statement, not immediately connected with the defence of myself and those with whom I have been associated in this painful work. I have endeavored to present a brief and candid statement of the facts within my knowledge, and I am thankful to believe, that the solemn duty of presenting a brother Bishop for trial, has not in this case been attended by a single procedure, unbecoming the Right Reverend Fathers by whom it was performed; and that the laymen who aided their investigations, were governed by the same spirit, and were guilty of no one act inconsistent with their characters as christian gentlemen.
New-York, Feb. 8th, 1845.