The Six Overseers.
RicmondioV h PlousiokosmoV
Inscription on the Font at St. Sophia, Constantinople.
See page 8, for a translation.
JAMES C. RICHMOND.
I NEVER knew by sight the Rev. Paul Trapier of South Carolina, until the last day of the last General Convention. I then inquired who he was, on account of an excellent speech which he made; and for the same reason procured an introduction. I never spoke to him, nor wrote a letter to him, nor received one from him, nor communicated with him in any way whatever in the matter of the late trial; nor did I ever converse with him five minutes in all my life.
The last time I spoke with the Rev. Dr. Hawks, was in the Convention of 1840 or 1841, when I opposed the rumors which I then thought he was circulating; and some persons present at that Convention, will remember that I said emphatically, when Dr. Hawks sat just before me, "it is the duty of every true son of the Church, sir, to support the Bishop." Since that time, I have not spoken, nor communicated in any way with Dr. Hawks, in regard of this trial, or of the Bishop of New-York; and the few words which I did whisper in his ear at the late General Convention were concerning himself, i. e., "now take out your name yourself, be a great man, and bide your time. If you are fit to be a Bishop, well, if not, you do not desire it." We have not spoken, nor written to each other, nor sent messages, nor done any thing together on the subject of this trial.
I was in Dr. Anthon's house in November, 1841, before I started on my voluntary mission to the Turks; and never spoke, nor wrote, nor communicated in any way with Dr. Anthon from that time until October 14th, when I bowed to [1/2] him. After sentence was pronounced, I spoke to him. I nodded to him once across some pews; and scarcely saw him at a distance since 1841, until yesterday, Sunday, January 5th.
Therefore, I conspired alone. I neither asked, nor took any body's advice on the subject. On the contrary, I acted in direct opposition to the wishes of my nearest relatives and friends in Rhode Island and in New-York; and scarcely any one ever encouraged me to go on; and I asked no one to help me.
In November, 1841,1 sailed for England; on a Thursday evening in December, I arrived in London; on Friday morning, at 8 o'clock, went to divine service in St. Paul's Cathedral, and at 11 o'clock, was on my way with Bishop Griswold's letter to Lambeth Palace. On that day, or the following, (but after I had been at Lambeth,) the letter of the Bishop of New-York, to the Archbishop of Canterbury, concerning me, arrived by the Caledonia. Of this I was not then aware. I reached Oxford, December 31st, 1841, in the evening, and the next day dined with Mr. Newman and his friend C. at Trinity. Mr. Newman approved of my Turkish enterprise, and placed the parchment letter of Bishop Griswold in a conspicuous place in his study. I saw much of him. He bears no resemblance to a New-York Puseyite. He walked (with me) seven miles to read prayers before fifteen people, or less, and is a hard student, a self-denying man, who takes up the cross. There is a very respectable Christianity at Oxford. Soon after leaving that city, I was at breakfast in London with Sir Robert Harry Inglis and the Rev. Mr. Harrison, chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury; and this was after Mr. Harrison knew that my bishop, and the meddling Dr. Doane had written about me to his Grace. Dr. Dealtry was to have been at the breakfast, but was not well; and the object was to consult with, and advise me. I did not know at that moment that my bishop was opposed to my enterprize, and of course had never seen the letter which is said to be the cause of hostility on my part. At that1 breakfast, Mr. Harrison said to me, "What do you think of your bishop?" I replied, "He is my bishop." "But what do you think of him?" I shrugged my shoulders and said again, "He is my bishop." But he pressed me and I replied, "We have twenty bishops, and I think less of him than of the other nineteen." To Sir Robert Harry Inglis, I said, "He is in the habit of being overcome with wine;" and I confess here [2/3] I made a mistake out of tenderness, for I ought to have said brandy. The Bishop of Connecticut has seen him drunk, and when Dr. Seabury denies that he himself has seen him in a state of inebriation, it will be time enough (for I shall have to write another pamphlet) to introduce the other clergyman who was present with the Editor of the Churchman, and witnessed that frequent sad exhibition. From that breakfast I went to the rooms of my friend, Henry Crabbe Robinson, Esq. 30 Russell-square, and for the first time saw in the Churchman which that morning arrived (about January 20th,) the letter which is now talked so much about, as having been the cause of my enmity, so called, to the Bishop. Bishop Doane can write to his friend the Rev. Mr. Harrison, or to Sir Robert H. Inglis, and cross-examine his statement. Then he can write to my friend H. C. Robinson, Esq. 30 Russell-square, London, and find out whether I had seen the copies of the Churchman, which Mr. Robinson had left unopened in his room, when he came to join us at Sir Robert's after breakfast.
I wrote to Sir R. H. Inglis, inquiring if his advice to me had been prompted by "non-Anglican interference," and have his answer. Soon after I went with the letter in my hat to Lambeth, and pointed out to the Rev. Mr. Harrison, the Archbishop's Chaplain, in what way, he should explain to his Grace, (which he promised to do,) that it was a letter of **** without any falsehoods, i. e., that the letter was true in words, but conveyed a false impression.
That letter never had the slightest influence in advancing or in retarding my purpose, which has since been consummated by the appointment of the Rev. Horatio Southgate as Bishop to the dominions and dependencies of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, so worded, I have more than good reason to suppose, for the express purpose of shutting me out of Turkey. And verily, there seems to be enough for me to do at home. But being no schismatic, I shall still go to the Patriarch.
On Easter day, 1842, I arrived in Boston, and on the following Tuesday was in New-York, and called immediately on the Bishop, and scarcely on two persons beside, saying to the Bishop, I have come to report myself, and mentioning my high reverence for Episcopal authority. I then said, "Bishop, did you know that I called three times at your [3/4] study to see you before I sailed for England; that I shewed Bishop Griswold's parchment letter to your lady; that I wrote a note and left it in your portfolio, which you might have answered; that I had serious thoughts at one time of riding even on Sunday morning, as far as Yonkers to see you?" "Yes," he replied, "he knew this," or most of it. "It did not appear in your letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury," was my answer--"O that was not necessary," said he. Nor was it necessary for a letter that conveyed the idea that I avoided him.
I have always understood that the Bishop has since frequently expressed his admiration of the Christian manner in which I treated him, and I challenge any individual to point to a single expression that ever fell from my lips indicating hostility to the Bishop on account of the unwise course he pursued in that sublime undertaking of mine, which the whole Church has now sanctioned. It seems to be my business to plant acorns, that another generation may sit down under the shadow of the oaks. Illinois is another case in point; relevant or irrelevant, I care not. I'm writing my own pamphlet, and have some idea of writing it to suit myself. If the public like it well enough to pay for it, they are welcome to it; and may criticise it and me to their hearts' content. I invite the newspapers to the onset. I like abuse much better than praise.
Bishop Delancey will bear in mind, that very soon after my return, I met him at my friend's house in Bond street, where Miss F. Mulligan, the admirable Missionary from Greece, and others were present. Did Bishop Delancey, or any one there present, hear an unkind word from me, about the Bishop's course in my great enterprize? To tell the disagreeable truth, I considered both his letter anitthat of Bishop Doane, who would be wiser if he meddled with his own matters, as too small a business to get angry about. I reserve my indignation for great occasions.
Some thirteen or fourteen months after my return from England, and I think in May, 1843, I was, for the first time after my arrival, at the house of Mr. R.; and nearly up to that time had supposed the inmates of that household unfriendly to me. I arrived in the evening. By some trifling remark, which I do not remember, but which arose in the course of our conversation about the most glorious enterprize of my life, the Turkish mission, I mean, (since endorsed, for I like to remind the church, by the same church which laughed at [4/5] me 9 years before, when I proposed it in 1835,--sec my speech at the General Convention as reported in the Ep. Recorder, Churchman, &c.,) a suspicion darted across my mind, corroborating to me what I had not dared in 1841 to believe possible, and I turned round full and abruptly upon one of those admirable, and heroic, and Christian ladies, and said suddenly, "What did the Bishop do to you in the waggon when I was driving?" Mr. R., did you know?" she replied, "I thought I should have jumped from the carriage; but I feared exposing him to you." The thing was then evident, and I proceeded to demand a full disclosure; but all was not told me till long after, even if all has been told me yet. Now, confirmed in my belief that the inward man is often stamped upon the outward, I retired. The next morning the sexton of St. Michael's church, Bloomingdale, happened to call, and I wrote to my brother the following letter, without date, and charged Mr. Twine to run as soon as he had delivered it:--
My dear Brother,--I wish you to make no further inquiries in leference to my information or its source, but I can now prove by several competent, trustworthy and undoubted witnesses, that the O. T. B. is and has been often and often guilty of the grossest indecency. I cannot prove the actual, legal breach of the seventh commandment; but am fully satisfied, beyond all cavil, that if any woman were to be found ass en ling, this man is guilty. I am satisfied, too, that it is now a matter of notoriety in the female portion of the Diocese, here, there, and everywhere. I know no man whom I would watch so closely, every minute in my house. No lady is safe from the grossest, most palpable, and almost open insult.--If he is not admonished, he must blow up.
I write this only for the sake of the Church, and because there are female candidates for confirmation who will not be confirmed by him, &c. This alas! is too true.
Do as you think best. I leave for home this P. M., at 5.
Love to all,
Bloomingdale, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 1845, 1-2 past 1, P. M.--I have just seen this letter for the first time since I sent it in 1843, by the hands of the sexton of St Michael's, Mr. Twine. It was certainly written in May, if not earlier. My impression is that I had spent a week or more at Saratoga, (in a family which had also been insulted,) and that I came down the North river on May 1st, and spoke with Gulian C. Ver-planck, about the church then building at Saratoga. I think it was after this, and within a few days, that the letter was written. It might have been, but scarcely, before my visit [5/6] to Saratoga, where I was, on, before, and after Easter day, 1843. In my brother's absence, I have found the letter among his papers. He has seen neither this copy, nor a word of this manuscript for the pamphlet. Doubtless, however, he will shew the original to the curious. Mr. Twine, the sexton, remembers the letter and the circumstances of his bringing it, and where he brought it from, &e. Ask him.
From that time, I simply waited for an opportunity to move, when I could move with certainty, and be sure to succeed. When the Carey ordination took place, and my father in Providence observed, "They will break up the Bishop of New York." "For what?" said I. "For this ordination," he replied. "No sir, never; he cannot be touched for that; he's right about that; for the Bishop alone can ordain, but he ought to be broken for his life; and when they begin upon the ordination, they will end upon his immorality, and I shall be obliged to assist." When the sad news came from Pennsylvania, I was convinced that the time was drawing near; that now I might make myself heard; that the two brothers had better go together; that one volcano would be better than two. Besides, I was rather weary of the perpetual din upon ministerial power, Episcopal prerogative; and remembered that when at Oxford the cry was "Preach to the poor," "Provide for the fatherless." The Oxford men nearly starved themselves; whereas New York witnessed fat dinners, and good wines in Lent. On the whole, I concluded that the New York Puseyism (so called,) was at best but a contemptible echo from Oxford, and that an egg-shell, without any meat in it, would better be broken to pieces. I could not stand quiet under the Popery of the cry, "sit down, sir;" nor see the set teeth that voted "No," without saying to myself, it ought to be broken to pieces. Yet I should have voted No, also; except in those cases where party devoured truth. Therefore, when I came to New York for the purpose of writing and publishing the Introduction and Notes to the Controversy between the Rev. Drs. Potts and Wainwright, I began the work [6/7] by publicly declaring "If I were a presbyter of this diocese I would rise in my place and say, "I impeach the Bishop of New York for licentiousness and intemperance." [This republication of the controversy, "No Church without a Bishop," with my Introduction and Notes, which I here challenge any man under the moon to answer, even that great challenger but non-accepter. Dr. Potts, whom in those notes I have fairly minced to pieces; or that sublunary man,' Dr. Cox, &c, &c--this republication I say, was made with the consent of Dr, Wainwright that I should pursue my own course and walk at liberty in that matter; he intending to have nothing more to do with the controversy so far as Dr, Potts was concerned, but handing him over to me, as it were. It was also done without any change or mutilation of Dr. Potts' language, notwithstanding the falsehoods on that subject as well as on this, in the so-called religious newspapers. By the way, what is become of Dr. Potts? Is he in the city now? I am very much in the position of the race-horse, who walks round the course for a match. Those who wish to see how he will be handled when he comes, can dip into the aforesaid notes, &c. It has never been so said or written in the Anglo-Saxon tongue before. Lest the mantle of some Pharisee should he ruffled by the magnificent figure about the race-horse, I will smoothe down the broad borders thereof, by adding, I hate races, and never saw one of any kind in my life, excepting the poor, terrified, unbacked colts who flew riderless, gunpowder-driven, and self-goaded, through the Corso, in the Carnival at Rome.] Many persons, and at least one Bishop, viz., of Michigan, (who was not at the trial,) heard me so speak; and once I spoke thus at the bookstore of Messrs. Stanford and Swords. At a dinner table during the sitting of the New York Convention I declared openly in the presence of the Rev. Drs. Wainwright and Jarvis, the Rev. Messrs. Williams, Southgate, and Wm. Richmond, Prof. Clement C. Moore, Dr. Rhinelander, Messrs. John A. King, Henry Van Rensselaer and Gen. Lee, that I saw no reason why we should not have Pope Gregory XVI, as well as Pope Benjamin I; and that I had a respect for the character of the Bishop of Rome, but that the other was a bad man. Here I was interrupted by attempts to silence me, and by cries of "order, order." I looked through my fingers, and said to one and another' 'you know;' 'you know,' and some of them did know.
"Bad man," said Mr. King, "how is that?" "Don't ask him," said a clergyman, "for he will tell you." And yet I could not move with certainty, for that very day, one of the ladies had declared she never could testify. The next day, as I was leaving St. John's chapel, with a bundle of corrected proof-sheets, to take to the Harpers, the Rev. Mr. Forbes, sitting by the chancel with the Rev. Mr. Williams, said to me "Richmond, what, are you doing here?" Are you supervisor-general? Looking on with the rest. "But what are you about?" Writing a book; here are the proofs. "But what rumors are these about the Bishop, that you are circulating?" Rumors? said I: FACTS, very emphatically. "If you don't take care, we'll haul you up." Haul away; now is always the best time; but if you really wish to know, I'll tell you--and away went the trio into the upper [7/8] chamber, back of St. John's; where, after a very emphatic locking of the door, Mr. W. proceeded to write, and I leaned on the table. My story was soon told, but not written, the door was unlocked again, and I was at liberty. When I found how things were going, at first, I told them I was rather tired of staying up there, as it was somewhat lonesome, and believed I would go down. After that they grew more respectful, and I went on.
Mr. Forbes and Mr. Williams will here remember my express declaration that I believed the Bishop had a right, if he chose, to ordain Mr. Carey. But lest their memory on this point should be less tenacious than mine, I will give the details. Mr. W. was walking up and down the room; Mr. F. stood at the window; I stood before him and said, "And I 'go' the Carey ordination too." Those were the exact words. Now then, it is evident enough that my course has not been prompted by party-spirit; for through the whole of the controversy about that ordination I always said, "The Bishop is the ultimate judge of the fitness or un-fitness of a candidate for holy orders. If he will ordain, who can let him? If he do so uncanonically, let him be tried." The Bishop knew his strength on that point well enough, and therefore invited Bishops Chase and Hopkins and McIlvaine to present him for the ordination. But he did not invite me to cause his presentment for an immoral life, when I went to his study, July 4th, and gave him the opportunity by remarks which I made. And on another occasion when I went to tell him that it seemed best for the church to begin to "preach the gospel to the poor" by taking up the cause of the 100,000 degraded ones in this city who scarcely enter a place of worship; those to whom the Master would first go, and whom we chiefly neglect; for if Jesus were on the earth now he would be as much blamed, for preaching to the publicans and harlots and sinners, by the modern, as he was by the ancient Pharisees;--when I offered to attempt to wipe out this blot, (by doing as I have done for two years, in the summers, under the Catholic Oak, and elsewhere in Rhode Island;) i.e. by preaching to the Germans who congregate around Tompkins Square; I concluded with an application of the 3d motto on the title page, (from St. Sophias') which reads backwards and forwards alike, and both ways well, "Wash your iniquities, and not your face only," Bishop. But did the Bishop really think that by raising such a hue and cry about his Puseyism and Popery he could throw dust [8/9] in all our eyes, and that nobody would dream of looking under that cloud into his irregular life? The very bones and marrow of a true high churchman are hearty endeavors after a blameless and holy life.
The way was now prepared. I returned to Providence, intending to come back immediately, and go on to the General Convention, but listened to the earnest entreaties of my father, wife, brother, and sister, and only went on Monday, Sept. 30, to the Rev. Dr. Crocker, and the Bishop of Rhode Island, stating the case, and saying if I were sent for I should go. They expressed no opinion and gave no advice. In ten days a letter without signature came. It is lost. I knew the handwriting, and know that it was from a clergyman, and not from a bishop, but I have no right to reveal the name of one who withheld it from me. It was, of course, from neither of the conspirators. I spent a day and a half in contending against my dearest relatives, and then left home according to my own decision. Nobody ever decided anything for me in this whole matter. Nobody can be named as acting with me. I consulted myself. When I reached New York, I called on several persons and simply told them what I had resolved to do. I went to Mr. R.'s house. I saw the young ladies, and said, "you must now perform the greatest service which can be rendered to the church," or words with this meaning; conveying the idea that we were to begin in that room the most important business that had ever been transacted in the church in this country; proving that the church was able to apply DISCIPLINE to the highest and strongest offenders. They shrunk back at first, but at length saw their duty plainly, and went on bravely to the end; yet with tears, with lamentations, sometimes one of them with absolute refusal, for her own sake, as any lady can comprehend. And here I declare solemnly that whoever attacks those true-hearted ladies, attacks me; and I will defend them with every energy. Wo unto the man that touches a hair of the heads of the four witnesses whom I procured. Their lofty and delicate behaviour was such, that I was more and more convinced that their testimony would be invaluable. And yet they entreated that others might begin. "Ladies," I said, "you know me intimately; you have been under my pastoral care; you were communicants in my church; who will move first if you refuse?" and when at last I turned away and said, somewhat contemptuously," I have heard the ladies of New York call [9/10] the clergy a set of poltroons long enough. Look at me. I'm no poltroon. I have discharged my conscience in this matter, and in my person I wipe out the stain. I represent the clergy, and I will publish to the world that the clergy are not guilty. Let the ladies bear the blame forever. Keep your Bishop. My wife is in Rhode Island. What care I hereafter how the ladies of New York are insulted? Let them thank themselves."
This capped the climax; and the paper was signed. But still the evidence was unsworn, and here the high spirited brother came to my aid. To him they dared not reveal the insults, when they were perpetrated, lest an ignominious if not bloody vengeance should speedily visit the anointed offender. I first revealed the fearful story to him, and even then, after the long lapse of time, he was hardly restrained. He solemnly declared it to be their duty in the sight of God and man to go on. And they are worthy of crowns. If any one asks now, what two Presbyters did ask me in Philadelphia, how ladies could reveal such a thing to me; I have only to answer, it revealed itself; for it must not be forgotten that I was so confounded by what I saw in the carriage, that I said to the Bishop as I took him from that house in the afternoon, "Bishop, these are very old friends of yours?" "O no," he replied," only passing acquaintance." He had a different story, as I have heard, on another occasion.
But the answer I gave those Presbyters was this:--"I presume the ladies knew whom to confide in! It does not occur to me that they would have told you. They would understand the difference between you and me, at a glance. Did you ever know what it means when a lady speaks to you as she would to a sister? No! Well, go then and be made over again, and betray yourself no more by ignorant questions."
From this time, I believe, they never faltered. One affidavit was sworn before the Mayor, and another before John M'Cahill, public notary, who was also to call at the house of Mrs. L., whither the ladies went with me, as I thought there was no doubt that that lady's testimony could be obtained; for I was under a promise to return the affidavits, if no others could be procured. That lady's testimony was not obtained; but other circumstances prevented the courageous girls from demanding the papers back. In short, I heard that the work was already [10/11] beginning, from other quarters; but it was a rumor only, and I heard no names. Thus prepared, I visited one of the most Christian persons I know in this world, and simply stated, "I am going to Philadelphia to overthrow the Bishop of New York," (I give the substance of remarks, observations, &c, and often the words.) "Thank God!" she calmly replied; and I went on. Monday morning, Oct. 14. I took the 5 o'clock boat for Philadelphia; met the Rev. Dr. Taylor, and the Rev. L. Van Bokkelen on board. I stated my purpose, and that I had the affidavits. Dr. Taylor replied, '"Richmond, I knew it must come, but I did not think it was coming so soon." The other asked,--"If we could assist each other." Both seemed to agree in the necessity. On reaching Philadelphia, I went at once to St. Andrew's Church, consulted no one; spoke in passing to two or three clergymen only--said to the man at the dividing bar, "Let me in;" and in ten minutes had placed a letter (I kept no copies) in the hands of Bishop Meade; and the following, which I remember word for word, in the hands of Bishop Chase.
To the Secretary of the House of Bishops, or the Presiding Bishop:--
Right Reverend Fathers, I accuse the Bishop of New York, and hold sworn evidence of his licentious conduct. When shall we be confronted? How shall I go on? Yours in sorrow,
James C. Richmond,
Presbyter of Rhode Island.
House, &c., Pew 97, Oct. 14, 1844.
That venerable man, the Senior Bishop, was in the pulpit, listening to the debates on Dr. Hawks' case. I touched his shoulder and handed the letter. I had previously announced to him by letter, written on the 12th, that I was coming, and that excision must follow my coming. But he shook his head unwillingly. "It must be done," I said. Again unwilling. "It must be done now." Again. "Come," I said; and he marched down like an elephant, into the House of Bishops, with the letter in his hand. I followed, and stood on the platform in the open door; "Bishop, shall I come now." He turned, I thought, unwilling still. "I'll come when I'm sent for," I added, and went out; and then, lest the right should fail, the voice of outraged public opinion [11/12] was soon thundering at the door of the House of Bishops. It has been seen that this was wisely done; for if six Bishops could vote him not guilty, and the same six vote for the suspension of a man whom they had declared not guilty!! what would have been done had I flinched a hair? Six judges vote not guilty, and then pass a hard sentence!! Done? Why, the innocent would have been crushed that the hardened offender might be spared. Herein also was my conspiracy made manifest. I actually used my tongue to tell the truth, as my enemies have used theirs to tell what they told. I shall use my pen and tongue to a sufficient extent to ferret out every offender who touches an innocent. I care a great deal for Bishops who care for the truth, and for party men who adhere to the same; and they are very strong; but I know well that truth and I together are much more powerful than six Bishops: yea, than six hundred. It is an important axiom that all bishops were born babies.
I met four or five of the Bishops to give up my affidavits, on their solemn declaration that "they would (according to the tenor of the oath which I was obliged to take, to satisfy one of those high minded ladies) do their utmost honorable devoir to retain the ladies' names within the House of Bishops." They have kept their word; and the trial was after this oath of mine, and this tacit promise of theirs, necessarily private; as it has now become necessary to make it public, by the very beautiful specimens we have of the doctrine of submission to Bishops. Mr. Newman submitted to one Bishop; but our presbyters can stand up against the decision of the Court of Bishops. This is neither according to Oxford nor Rome. It is New-York and New-Jersey Catholicity. My own Bishop now wished me to say no more; and I then stated to him and the other Bishops my object in saying so much, as mentioned above. But as that object was accomplished I could easily obey my Bishop, even if he proposed what I thought an unwise course.
I supposed the duty was now done. I had been nearly two days in Philadelphia, and was getting tired, and returned to New-York. Here, on Friday, accidentally or providentially, I met near the Park, (near the Harlaem rail-road office) my old classmate, the Rev. Henry I. Morton, and on asking the news, he told me, (which was afterwards confirmed by Dr. Muhlenberg on board the Flushing boat) that the House of Bishops had passed a statute of limitations to exclude all cases which had not happened within three [12/13] years. Is that true? "Yes." Morton, that excludes my affidavits by one month. I am glad to meet you in a quiet place. Look at me. [Here I used a very strong expression with regard to the proposed whitewashing.] Do you understand that? "Yes." I went immediately and sent five letters to Philadelphia, three of them to three Bishops informing them of the aforesaid intention, in the strong language, under the aforesaid circumstances.--Two of the Bishops have since commended rather than disapproved my course, and the third I have not spoken with about it. The others, I fancy, have nothing to do with the letters to their colleagues. Six of them are doing up the business I proposed, very rapidly; and, I think, one has finished his own work. Some of them and the clergy would hardly shake hands with me. I hope God will help me to live without shaking hands, except where I have an earnest desire for it.
But it was this proposed statute of limitations, (which I believe was only a rumor, though so strongly insisted on by those two clergymen,) which produced the following action, and which probably decided the case. It brought in the testimony of the Rev. Henry M. Beare and his angelic lady.
Many persons will remember the furious storm which raged during the evening and night of Friday, Oct. 18. It was in that storm that I left the Flushing boat. On board that boat I made such free use of my tongue as "the statute of limitations" required. Two clergymen on board wished me to flinch; and some of them then knew all about the case I was going for! I gave them to understand that the proper time for flinching was past; that men should flinch, if ever, before they went into the battle; that he would be a pretty soldier, and would be shot through the head at once, who should fly in the heat of the contest. I knew very well who was to be crushed, being innocent, if the guilty escaped. And if I am not crushed yet, it will not be the fault of the six overseers. But I dare them to the onset, and forthwith one of the six will die. That is my security. I have no intention of being crushed. Not I. Not the least in the world. One of the overseers promised to be good to me if I would stop at a certain place; and I now promise to be good to him, if he will keep the whole six as quiet as lambs; and let them submit, like good sound churchmen to the decision of fourteen Bishops out of twenty. [13/14] They may be thankful if I let them off with a sentence of suspension instead of degradation; and I heartily regret that my own Bishop, who behaved so nobly through the trial, suffered anything to induce him to step back, when one vote more would have degraded the worst Protestant Bishop that has been tried since the Reformation; and then the Church had stood out nobly and grandly as she will yet. But let the six overseers take care how they attempt to oversee me, or I will have the whole bench of Bishops together shortly again. And I make no promises that I will not do so, if the smaller characters walk so crookedly. Verbum sapientibus sat.
But to my history. A carriage was obtained. The driver will remember all the circumstances; and that he could not come for me in the middle of that fearful night, as he had promised, for the tempest was almost as horrible without as the disclosures within were awful. In a remote, retiring, snug little parsonage dwelt the meekest and most Christian presbyter with a mortal angel for his wife. I knocked at the door. A servant girl appeared; and pointing to another door, announced a clergyman. That good Presbyter wondered (as he afterwards said) what brother could be coming on such a night, and at that hour. I entered. What a picture! The clergyman rose, from sitting at one side of the table, where he was reading, he said, "the life of a good man, Bishop Moore;" and to that record of a holy Bishop's life, his wife listened, while an infant, ("it is our little pet," they said,) slept sweetly in a crib, in the corner. I know it was a sacred scene. I know the world has no right, for it is too wicked, to catch even a glimpse of such a paradise. But these are no days for etiquette. We are all learning to tell the truth.
"Mr. Beare, do you know me?" "Yes, it is Mr. Richmond." "Mrs. Beare, will you leave the room a moment?" and she obeyed. "I am the Avenger of your honor. You must go towards Philadelphia with me this night. You understand me?" "Yes," he replied, and consented. He was the second MAN whom I had found in and around New York; and his wife was the third WOMAN. O how hard it was that week to find a man and a woman! Cowards I found in abundance; and many a cheek shall tingle with shame over these pages, because they came not to the help [14/15] of this church in her fiery trial, out of which she will come like gold, seven times tried, from the furnace.
"We were wondering, just before you came," said Mr. B., "what was going on in Pennsylvania. I will call my wife now." "Ah, sir, she will not come; I have seen enough of woman lately, to know that she will not come yet, when she hears why I am here. But I have eaten nothing but an apple since morning. She will provide me something to eat?" And that angel did provide me such a good supper as I merited; but I was right; she did not appear. At last, as midnight drew on, and the storm yet raged furiously, I said, "Now go tell that dear creature to come, and she will." So she came. But I did not notice her coming. I talked on with her husband, and did not look at her. My head was turned away, till I spoke of her child: and then turning round, looked her full in the face, and all was right. At last, musingly I exclaimed, thinking aloud, and speaking, to no one, "Well, this is a little garden of Eden, buried away here in silence and security--what a delightful little spot in this rural seclusion! And who comes hither to desecrate this heavenly spot? Some renegade European scoundrel of a count? No! the spiritual Father!! I will not believe it." "Mr. Richmond," she replied, and I recommend those nice men, the six-hour cross-examining lawyers to meditate on her answer: "I am afraid he takes advantage of the deacons" !!! Thank Heaven! Bishop Griswold made me a priest without having taken any "advantage of the deacon." It would not hurt the six overseers to meditate on that answer. One of them is a man of domestic affections; and that answer, had I been on the trial, would have changed his sentence; that answer, had I been a witness, would have turned the hair, by which he appears, though not in reality, to have escaped degradation. If a man does not wish to be hanged, let him commit no murder and what dandy in Broadway, but has a lurking suspicion that there is something holy in another man's wife.
Eklahxan d ar oistoi ep wmwn xwomenoio
Autou kinhqentoV o d hie nukti eoikwV
In the night I came, in the night dragging to the day deeds of darkness, and in the night we went. Truth had [15/16] filled her broad quiver, and now, like the god of Light, shot a shaft,
"Sounding, dread-bounding, from her silver bow,"
and hecatombs may appease Apollo, but not her. I trust that truth is as mighty yet as she was
Al tempo degli Dei falsi e bugiardi.
This man well knew that I had read in my Bible, "Be ye angry and sin not;" and if there be such a thing as Christian indignation, the bottom of my staircase would have been found quite near to the top; the horses would have been unharnessed from my little carriage, and so Judas might have found his own way to his own place.
Quell' anima lassu ch' a maggior pena,
Disse 'l maestro, è Giuda Scariotto
Che 'l capo ha dentro, e fuor le gambe mena.