One of the Assistant Ministers of Trinity Church,
Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? Gal. 4.16.
PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR.
WHEN vengeance is inflicted, at least one benefit results to the sufferer. The mind is freed from the anxiety of expectation: and the dreadful forebodings of threatened evils, which are often more agonizing than the reality, are removed by the full knowledge of the miseries to be endured. To me, who for six successive months, have without intermission been hunted like a deer in the forest, a further miserable privilege is afforded, by the tender mercy of my unrelenting pursuers, in bringing the measure of my punishment to a close. Now at least, I may be permitted to complain; when complaint, it is expected, can be of no avail.
During the whole process of the artfully devised, studiously arranged, and cunningly conducted series of afflictive incidents, which have been made to open the way for each other, and like waves of the sea have followed in unceasing succession, increasing as they rolled, till at length they burst in one overwhelming billow:--during all this time, I have been compelled to stand motionless, manacled, prevented from self-exertion in self-defence, and not permitted even to cry for aid.
This heavy, imposing, and for a time irresistible restraint, is now happily removed. As nothing further is to be suffered; no further danger is to be apprehended for speaking the truth.
 To lay before the public a detail of private wrongs, would, if those wrongs were merely of individual importance, and not connected with the welfare of the community, excite only a restricted interest, and be entitled to no more than a partial consideration. But this cannot be considered as the character of the concerns, which now rend the bosom of the Episcopal Church. The very general attention aroused, and the lively interest excited, prove that they are of no common moment; and will justify a developement of the several particulars, which may be calculated to direct the public opinion aright.
It has pleased God to order, that I should be placed in the fore-front of the contest:--a contest which is to arrest the progress of all-grasping and intriguing ambition; which is to oppose the establishment of overbearing intolerance and oppression; and which is to settle the principle of equal justice to the Clergy, and the rights and privileges of the Church. From the situation assigned to me by Providence, in the religious community to which I belong, it has fallen to my lot to be the only individual whose situation afforded any prospect of success, in resisting the inroads which began to be introduced. I thank God that I have been endued with a principle and a spirit suited to the occasion; and that my inclination accorded with my duty, in inducing me to stand in the gap, to interrupt the strides of unlawful power.
It was for daring to venture on this resistance; it was for presuming to lift my feeble voice against a powerful influence, formed by art and cunning, and [4/5] conducted with chicanery and finesse; it was for having the hardihood to stand up in defence of unjustly opposed and depressed integrity and worth; it was for possessing and exercising the independence of spirit, to follow my own private judgment, and act according to the dictates of my own conscience, in my deportment towards useful, laborious, and deserving brethren of the Clergy, whom I considered unjustly opposed and oppressed: it was for these crying offences, that according to the uniform system, I have been pursued and hunted down.
But, "What is my trespass? What is my sin, that" they have "so hotly pursued after me?"--Let us examine into its extent; that we may see its deadly nature, by which the door of reconciliation and forgiveness has, among Christians, been for ever shut.
It is a source of heartfelt satisfaction to me, amid all the mortifying circumstances attending my lately chequered lot, that under the searching ordeal which I have been compelled to sustain, no proof or charge of moral turpitude has, by my inveterate opponents, been exhibited to public view. This has been formally declared by the honorable Counsellor, who on a late remarkable occasion, was deputed as prosecutor on the part of Trinity Church. That gentleman candidly acknowledged: "We have no criminal charge to adduce against Mr. Jones. His moral conduct is strictly correct. His religious deportment is entirely conformable to his profession; at least as far as we are acquainted. We have no complaint to exhibit against him for deficiency or neglect of duty. Our only charge is that he has [5/6] published a pamphlet, which has created disturbance in the Church."
Here then is "the very head and front of my offending." Mr. Jones has published a pamphlet.--And has not Dr. Hobart published a pamphlet also? And if it were a deadly sin in Mr. Jones, who was unacquainted with its unpardonable enormity, previous to the trial; is it no offence, not even a trivial fault in Dr. Hobart, who committed the act after it had been denounced; and therefore sinned presumptuously?--But "Dr. Hobart only printed. He did not publish." Here the secret partly comes out. Dr. Hobart had three hundred copies printed, and circulated privately; and then winked at the printer, while striking off a fresh edition. Ah! What will not a little art, and--(what shall I call it?) effect?--This management was, however, all important. The honorable Counsellor before alluded to, gave it his sanction; and this was sufficient to form a virtue of a crime. That same gentleman was, as an officer in the Church, consulted by me previously to publication. He would not read, in order to judge of the merits of the question. But upon being asked as to the propriety of publication, he gave it as his opinion, "that if I felt myself aggrieved, it might be proper to print, and hand about privately among my friends. But as to publishing; it would admit of a further question."--When I determined to print, this was the mode which at first I intended to adopt. But upon further consideration, it appeared to me to be too deeply fraught with low cunning, and the artful policy of the world. It was in truth [6/7] wounding in the dark. It was giving to the relation, in effect, all the publicity required; while it sneakingly and artfully shifted off the responsibility. And after all, it would not guard against any of the evils resulting from publication. I could not therefore stoop to this disingenuous, hypocritical, public-private communication; but, thought it more generous, more manly, to appear at once before the public at large, and answer as I ought for all the evils produced.--But this was impolitic temerity, however founded in principle.
This difference in the mode, while the effect is materially the same, has been sufficient to secure from the above gentleman, and those in the Vestry under his control, a policy towards Dr. Hobart directly at variance with their procedure towards me. Immediately after the appearance of my publication, a vote of censure was passed. That vote was shortly after followed up by an intimation from a leading member, that the Vestry expected the suppression of my pamphlet. That wish was immediately by me carried into effect. Here measures would have stopped, and all things would have gradually settled into a desired calm. But this was prevented by the partizans of Dr. Hobart in the Vestry and in the congregation. The flames of dissention were artfully fanned and kept alive, by means which will hereafter be more particularly noticed, till Dr. Hobart could have an opportunity to endeavour to overturn the statement which I had made. He had previously determined, and publicly avowed his determination, according to his own words, not to "condescend to answer my appeal." [7/8] But when I was silenced as above remarked; when my publication was suppressed; when the press was utterly interdicted to me: then he had the magnanimity to step forward, and his friends in the Vestry had the justice to encourage him, to adopt the very measure which they themselves had formerly condemned, in presenting an address to the public. During all this time, a threatening posture was assumed by that body, and a rod was continually suspended over my head, if I dared to controvert, what there with artful guise and bold effrontery is imposed on the world.
It is not my intention now to enter upon a refutation of that address; nor consequently to vindicate and support what I had previously advanced. That task must be reserved for another suitable occasion. But it may not be amiss to notice the corroboration, which the statement made by me receives, from the subsequent train of events.
It has been alleged in vindication of Dr. Hobart's address, that it is only a measure of self-defence. And it ought to be remembered, that this was precisely the paramount plea advanced for my appearance before the public. The whole train of subsequent events will shew the justice of that plea.--Reports, it was then asserted, were put in circulation, calculated to injure my character, and destroy my usefulness in the Church. And it was therefore deemed necessary to step forward with my vindication, while I might be allowed, without justly being exposed to danger, to speak in my own behalf.--And have not these reports increased, as was then predicted, [8/9] in a tenfold degree? The tongue of scandal has been let loose; calumny has been enlisted; and even Dr. Hobart and Mr. How have themselves been actively engaged in spreading the tale of defamation. The changes have been incessantly rung, as was foreseen and foretold, on "the mutterings of envy and jealousy," and the disappointment of wounded pride. And this will evidence the necessity, which was then declared to exist, for exhibiting the true grounds of the opposition to be raised.
The determining reason, as it affected myself, which evinced that I had nothing to lose by making known to my friends the machinations of my opponents, and every thing to apprehend from keeping in my own bosom the knowledge of the wrongs which I sustained, was a firm persuasion, grounded on correct information and my own knowledge of circumstances, of the fixed hostility of Dr. Hobart and Mr. How to me, and their firm determination, if possible, to eject me from the Church. Let it be remembered that this I announced at the conclusion of my "Solemn Appeal." So early as the year 1808 Dr. Hobart in a conversation with Dr. Richard C. Moore on the then existing state of things, declared to that gentleman: "Mr. Jones had better beware; he stands on ticklish ground." From that time till the year 1810, when he joined in the combination against me, frequent threats were thrown out by him, as I am able, he knows, to adduce in evidence, expressive of the opposition which would be raised against me, if I continued to act, according to his term, in opposition to the judgment of my brethren, by which [9/10] he designated himself and those who acted under his control. And in plainer language, he frequently intimated, that unless I should leave the independent ground which I had taken, the consequence would be that I must leave the city. Mr. How also in conversation with Dr. Harris, whom he had endeavoured to seduce from his attachment to me, (and he knows that Dr. Harris is ready to confront him on the truth of the declaration) said: "Sir, if it were not that you adhere to Mr. Jones, he would be abandoned." What gave these gentlemen this boldness and dictatorial authority, will hereafter be considered.--But surely the whole train of events, since Dr. Hobart's elevation, has been in direct fulfilment and elucidation of these threats and predictions. It has truly been a crushing system. And even had not this been previously foreseen and foretold; it might naturally be concluded, that what is now so violent, has not for some years past been marked with forbearance and lenity. A more direct method could not readily have been devised, than that which Dr. Hobart and Mr. How have lately adopted, to convince the impartial and the discerning, that the complaints made, and the apprehensions entertained, of the system of overbearing and unrelenting intolerance, were founded in fact and on just and reasonable deductions.
What these facts and proceedings are, it will be our next point to consider.
When Dr. Hobart was elevated to the attainment of his wishes, and the object of his ardent and unremitting [10/11] pursuit; it was reasonable to expect, and it was confidently expected, that his first act would be to restore peace and harmony, and to introduce a system of equal justice and tenderness towards all, who were placed under his Episcopal care. This, true magnanimity would have dictated. It was suggested by sound and upright policy. It was an act of duty incumbent on the responsible situation in which he was placed. And it was still more imperiously demanded by the spirit of our holy religion. This his own declaration also, and that of his principal counsellor gave reason to expect. On the day of his election, in a conversation with Dr. Richard C. Moore, he solemnly declared, with his hand on the rails of the Sacred Altar, "I will take not one single step which shall any way tend to the injury of Mr. Jones." The truth of this declaration, Dr. Moore is persuaded that Dr. Hobart will readily allow. On the same day, Mr. Harison, the honorable counsellor before referred to, declared to Dr. Moore, in the presence of another gentleman who has since acknowledged the truth of the relation, "that on the very first act of Dr. Hobart's administration which should have a retrospective view, he," Mr. Harison, "would scratch him off from his books for ever, and would be the first man to hold him up to public odium."
Remarkably indeed, and with wonderful good faith, have these solemn engagements been fulfilled! No sooner was Dr. Hobart put in possession of the object of his desire, than the system was arranged which was to terminate in my destruction. [11/12] Dr. Hobart and Mr. How have themselves been active agents in this plan, as well as prime movers and conductors of the whole machine.
It will be impossible for me at present to notice their various machinations, and make a full disclosure of all their artful designs. This must be reserved for another publication. But it is notorious, that they have been incessant in their endeavours to stir up dissension, and raise an outcry against me. For this purpose they have made their visits through the congregations, much more frequent than ever they had done for the discharge of parochial duties. And on these occasions, the constant theme introduced by themselves, was the horrid crime which I had committed. This they painted in all its enormity, making such representations, whether true or false, as were calculated to counteract its effect, and to bring odium on its author. My friends they have beset, till their visits and efforts have become quite irksome and oppressive, endeavouring to poison their minds and alienate their attachment from me.--In these pious labours, they have not forgotten to employ the useful efforts of scandal and defamation. Even Dr. Hobart, who has aspired at the solemn character of a grave Bishop in the Church of Christ, has not thought it derogatory from his sacred character to pursue with low calumny one of his spiritual children. At tea-table parties, he has introduced the edifying topics of little, mean, pitiful tales about family concerns: which, in the manner represented, I here, in the face of the world, declare to be false, and am able to prove to be false; and which under [12/13] the real attending circumstances, are such as no honest and honorable man need blush to have made known.--Mr. How has gone still farther. He has made use of libellous declarations; and in a manner the most offensive, and the most unjustifiable. Even the most solemn occasions he has perverted to the purpose of venting his malice and his spleen. With a member of the congregation who called on him to attend the funeral of a near relation, Mr. How seized the opportunity to introduce, without ceremony and without connexion, the subject in relation to me: and then among other things, represented me as so bad a man that he could not live with me in the Church. To others he has spoken of me in the vilest and most slanderous epithets; and that too to a member of the Vestry, whom he thus endeavoured to enlist in the opposition against me. Nay, he has on occasions spoken of me in terms, the use of which is degrading to a gentleman and a man of delicacy, and which is found only in the mouths of the lowest of the vulgar. These things are notorious, and capable of being established by substantial proof. And they will perhaps in due time be proved--all Dr. Hobart's and Mr. How's certificates, which they may obtain from hundreds of different persons who know nothing of the circumstances of the case, to the contrary notwithstanding.
One of the earliest measures was to get Bishop Moore enlisted.--When I speak of Bishop Moore, I speak with regret. I wish to treat with tenderness his years, and his infirmity. I am filled with heartfelt sorrow that he should suffer himself, or rather [13/14] that his friends should suffer him, to be made the instrument in the hands of designing men.--But they have enlisted him. They have persuaded him, and they have persuaded his friends, that my publication would tend to his discredit, by representing his remissness as the permitting cause at least of all the present evils which exist in the Church.--Ah! my delicacy to that gentleman, has led me to do essential injustice to myself. And all that I have said, and all that I shall say, will not do him half the injury, which has been occasioned by the representations which Dr. Hobart has made.--But these points must be reserved for another occasion.
The first step which they got the Bishop to take was to endeavour to prevail on me to resign. This was attempted on the very day on which the special convention sat; and that not one week after my pamphlet appeared.--This was a master-piece of policy, if it could have been effected. It would effectually have exculpated all my opponents. It would have made me the instrument of my own disgrace; and would have caused myself to sign the death-warrant of my character for ever. But I was not easily thus to be ensnared.
The next measure was to get the Bishop to preclude me from the Communion. This was the immediate work of Mr. How; but, as is very evident from the whole course of the transactions, it was the joint work also of Dr. Hobart. And it was effected in the afternoon of the very day, on which the consecration was held in Trinity Church. This was at least beginning in time! and, of these points, I speak [14/15] not without being able to produce sufficient proof.--The next morning I received a note desiring an interview with Bishop Moore. He then, as Rector of Trinity Church, enjoined me to withhold my presence from the Altar. I objected, that I felt conscious of no acts and of no dispositions which made it my christian duty to abstain; and urged that whatever reason would apply to me, would apply with equal force to my opponents. But the Bishop was determined; as he afterwards was also to a friend who waited on him, to urge the unreasonableness of that injunction.--I know, it has been represented both by the Bishop and his friends, that this term "injunction" will not apply; and that what he delivered to me was only a request. But I am able to prove, from the friend above alluded to, and from the Bishop's own note, that it was a positive command.
This was to answer valuable purposes to the party. It was to hold me up as an object unfit for the solemn duties of the Sanctuary, and as such under the censure of the Church: and then of course, according to Mr. How's established principle, as "a wretch, with whom no intercourse should be held."--Thus was thy Sacred Altar, O my God! made the instrument of faction, and the means of promoting the designs of base intrigue!--The same plan has been carried on by Dr. Hobart and Mr. How, at the last routine of the Holy Supper. Because I was to officiate, these gentlemen for three successive Sundays withheld their presence; and thus were guilty of a marked neglect of solemn and bounden duty, in order to shew their determined opposition, and to carry on the plans of implacable revenge.
 Another point of importance which they endeavoured to effect, was to get the congregation to withhold their attendance, when it was my turn to officiate. The example was set by their own families, and those of their friends; and they used their influence to induce others also. It grieves me to think, that at the head of this unchristian example should be the family of the Coadjutor Bishop of the Church. Oh! these people little know how small have been the effects on me of their desertion of duty, other than to produce pity for their conduct, and prayer that they may be restored to a better mind.
All these previous measures were to serve as a foundation, on which their friends in the Vestry were to act; and in the case of Bishop Moore, were to pave the way to act in concert. The certainty of a majority in that board, has been the ground work of the whole of the late proceedings. It will account for the dictatorial spirit which has before been noticed. And it has emboldened the gentlemen who have been the prime movers of the whole machinery, to venture on the daring projects which they have lately been able to effect. To secure this majority has been the leading object with Dr. Hobart for several years. For this end, he has regularly attended the elections of Vestry, and endeavoured to control the votes. With the same design, a system of electioneering has been carried on, and instruments have been placed at the Church doors to deal out tickets to the voters. And instances are not wanting, when Dr. Hobart himself, after going through the prayers of the Church, has, in order to secure [16/17] the election of his friends, tucked his gown under his arm, and run through the city in order to electioneer, and send up voters to the pole.--"This at least," it will be said, "exhibits a wise foresight, and evidences a happy talent at management and intrigue." Ah! it is true: "The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light."
The ground thus prepared, and the whole train laid; the next step was, to get that body to act. The proceedings of that Corporation, is the next subject for enquiry.
It was the leading principle of Dr. Hobart, and it is what he has insisted on in the whole course of the proceedings against me, that what they were to do, they should do quickly. "Every thing," said he, "is to be lost by delay." And the Vestry profited by the intimation.
Three days after my pamphlet appeared, and on the very day before the meeting of the special Convention, that body had a meeting to receive the report of a committee upon the subject, which committee had been appointed at least two days before. A copy of that report with the proceedings thereon is here presented to view:
"At a meeting of the Corporation of Trinity Church in the city of New-York, held in the said Church on the 13th day of May 1811.
"The committee to whom it was referred at the last meeting of the board, to take into consideration a late publication of the Rev. Mr. Jones, one of the assistant ministers of this Church, entitled A [17/18] Solemn Appeal to the Church, made a report on that subject in the words following--
"The committee to whom it was referred to take into consideration a late publication of the Rev.
Mr. Jones entitled A Solemn Appeal to the Church, have maturely reflected thereon.
"The publication in question appearing to relate to matters the cognizance and decision of which exclusively belong to regular tribunals established by the canons of the Church, the committee deem it improper to present those matters to the Vestry in any shape, by which their merits may elsewhere be made the subject of discussion. Nevertheless, in reference to the relation which subsists between this corporation and the junior assistant ministers employed by it, the committee deem it the right and duty of the Vestry to notice, and as occasion may require, to animadvert upon such of the public acts of those ministers as may be calculated to affect the peace and welfare of the religious community with which they are united.
"The committee having in this view considered the subject referred to them, are of opinion that the pamphlet lately published by the Rev. Mr. Jones calls for the serious attention of this board.
"The evident tendency of appeals to the public on the subject of private differences between Ministers of the Gospel, must in all cases be to weaken the reverence and respect justly due to the clerical office, to destroy its influence, impair the discipline and government of the Church, and to bring reproach upon the cause of religion.
 "In the case of an associated ministry, like that of Trinity Church, evils more immediate and pernicious are to be apprehended, inasmuch as the people will naturally take part in the disputes of their Pastors, their own passions and prejudices will be brought into the contest, and these must soon banish from the mind that peace and good will which can alone dispose it to the reception of religious instruction.
"That a course obviously involving consequences of such deep importance to the character and welfare of the Church should have been resorted to by one of her Ministers in the first instance, without even an experiment of the efficacy of that sanctioned and prescribed by her Canons, adds to the grief which every reflecting mind must feel on this occasion, and leaves less room for extenuation than might exist under other circumstances.
"If these sentiments should receive the approbation of the Vestry, the Committee beg leave to recommend that a copy of this report and of the resolution approving it, be transmitted to the Bishop, and another to the Rev. Mr. Jones.
T. L. OGDEN,
PETER AUGUSTUS JAY,
E. W. LAIGHT.
"Which report being read and considered, it was thereupon resolved unanimously that the same be accepted and approved, and that a copy thereof and of this resolution, be transmitted to the Right [19/20] Rev. Bishop Moore, and also to the Rev. Mr. Cave Jones.
Extract from the Minutes,
T. L. OGDEN, Clerk.
A communication of this proceeding was made to me on the morning of the first day of the meeting of the special Convention in May. And a copy was also sent to Bishop Moore on the same day. This copy was shewn to all the clergy as they called to enquire after the Bishop's health. And it produced the intended effect. Before the clergy left the city, a formal recommendation was made to Bishop Moore, by several, even by those who had not read my appeal that it was expedient for him to take means to effect my removal from the city.--To this I shall again recur in the sequel.
At the time of my receiving this communication from the Vestry, a message was delivered by the same person who handed it, desiring my attendance in the afternoon on Bishop Moore. I waited on him accordingly. And it was at this time that, as before mentioned, he endeavoured to persuade me to resign. To enforce that persuasion, he intimated also that this paper seemed to be preparatory to other proceedings, and pointed, as he understood it, to the 32d Canon of the Church,--that very Canon which has since been so faithfully acted upon. Let this remarkable circumstance be borne in mind. It will afford us useful matter for reflection hereafter. This be it remarked, was immediately on the appearance of my pamphlet.
 In consequence of the intimation of the Bishop, and in order to ascertain the intended design, I the next morning, in company with a brother clergyman, waited on one of the members of the committee by whom the above report was drafted; and requested him to inform me of the intended extent of the measure. He gave it as his opinion, and I know and am sure that he was sincere, that nothing further was meant by that instrument than what appeared on the face of it, which was an expression of the opinion of the Vestry as to the inexpediency of my publication. At least, he said, this was all that came within his knowledge.--I believe him sincerely; for he is an honorable man. But he was not in the secret.
Upon perusing this instrument, the thought first suggested itself to my mind, that possibly an answer might be proper, and might be expected. But upon further reflection; and upon consulting with judicious friends; it appeared the most respectful mode to submit in silence to this expression of sentiment.--It was also certainly the safest mode. Had I attempted to answer; immediately I should have been engaged in controversy with the Vestry. And this would have afforded a true ground for the proceeding, which they have since adopted without the shadow of a plea.--I do not say that this was a plan artfully laid to ensnare me. But really, taking all points into consideration, there appears to be too much ground for suspicion.
There are two principles assumed in this paper, which are totally unfounded, and which, if I had answered, I must have controverted. The first is, that [21/22] a particular sort of relation subsists between the Corporation of Trinity Church and the junior Assistant Ministers, distinct from that which they hold with the senior Assistant; that these junior Assistant Ministers are employed by the Vestry; and consequently, are subject to dismission ad libitum.--That I deny. The charter indeed provides for but one Assistant; and it provides also for but one Church. Yet under that Charter, four Churches have been built; and four Assistant Ministers have been engaged. And whatever terms apply to one, must thus, in all fair construction, apply to all. But whatever may be said of the other junior Assistant Ministers; I beg the Vestry to recollect, that by the terms of my engagement, I am placed precisely on the same ground as the senior Assistant.
The other assumption is, that publication was resorted to by me "in the first instance, without even an experiment of the efficacy of" the course "sanctioned and prescribed by" the Canons of the Church. This is a mistake. All possible means were first tried by me, which it was in my power to attempt. And it was not until after it was evident that every other door was shut against me, that I was induced, after many agonizing struggles, as my friends well know and will attest, to apply to this as a matter of last and indeed of only resort. This point will be cleared up in a proper place. At present I have not time to dilate.
Nothing further took place between me and the Vestry, till the meeting held by them on the 5th day of September; at which time the decisive blow was [22/23] struck. In the mean time however, and shortly, I think, after the above report was adopted, a committee was appointed by that body, to take into consideration the general state of the Church. The particular object was, to bring the circumstances of my case into view. It served directly to keep alive the flames of animosity and dissension; and it was invariably made the means in the hands of the underlings of the party, to excite public attention from time to time, and to fan the embers when they seemed to be going out. Nothing however was done by them, till Dr. Hobart had time to prepare his address to the public, through the Vestry. And after that appeared, this same committee was held in terrorem to me, that I might not dare to reply. But as soon as that publication had time to be disseminated; a special meeting of the Vestry was called to receive the report of their committee.
Throughout the whole of the sitting of this committee, no communication was made to me by them of any cause of complaint against me, or of the existence of any misunderstanding. Of consequence, I was not called on for any explanation; nor did any communication whatever take place between them and me.
During the whole course of these proceedings, every effort was made, by me and my friends, which honorable men on the one hand could devise, or reasonable men on the other hand could desire, to bring about a reconciliation between the only parties concerned, between my two colleagues and myself. Different individuals of my friends made [23/24] personal propositions both to Dr. Hobart and Mr. How, for a reconciliation on honorable and Christian principles. It was urged upon them as a Christian duty, and as imperiously demanded by the state of the Church. Dr. Richard C. Moore moreover wrote to Dr. Hobart on the subject, and as became a Christian Minister, urged the plea for a reconciliation: and this at the very time when he answered the questions put to him by Dr. Hobart on the subject of the controversy. Dr. Beach, I am told, did the same thing. These parts of their letters were suppressed; and such parts only were culled, as answered Dr. Hobart's purpose for publication. On the making of these advances for reconciliation; it was proposed that the clergy should meet together, should discuss the subjects; and on whichsoever side fault should appear, that side should make concession. When this was disregarded; it was further proposed, that all matters in dispute should be laid before three or more impartial gentlemen of the Laity; and they should settle on what terms an agreement should be made. On all these occasions, the answer was, "The door of reconciliation is shut. Mr. Jones must leave the city. Mr. Jones must leave the Diocese."
With the Vestry, when the above means proved unsuccessful, a different course was pursued by my friends. As a spirit of determined hostility was evidenced by the majority of that body, my friends were alarmed for my safety, and without my privity, wished to adopt some means to avert the impending storm. For this purpose they wished a [24/25] compromise to take place. To these suggestions, to individual members, as I have been informed, the answer was, that they wished me to make a proposition to the Vestry. To that measure, when hinted to me, my uniform answer was, "I have no propositions to make. No desire for change exists on my part; and therefore I have no object to obtain. I am ready, however, to pay a respectful attention to any measures, which the Vestry may see proper to propose."--At length something like a regular negotiation was commenced by one of the active members, not indeed with authority, but as he said on his own responsibility. He wished to know what compensation would be accepted. He desired a very valuable and influential friend, who also acted informally, to use his endeavours to get me to name my terms. This was frequently repeated, and thrown into different shapes.--But it was all a snare. It was a lure thrown out to entrap me. Had I for one moment listened to this plan, immediately I should have sold myself into the power of my opponents.
Dr. Hobart's pamphlet had now made its appearance. Every possible art had been used to give it as wide a circulation as possible. The special meeting of the Vestry was now called to receive the report of their committee, which had been nearly four months in session.--As this was the first meeting which had taken place, since the day of the appearance of Dr. Hobart's printed letter addressed to the Vestry of Trinity Church; it was deemed advisable, now that the subject was presented formally for their consideration, that I should also make [25/26] application to that body. Accordingly, at that meeting, for the first time, I addressed to them the following letter:--
TO THE RECTOR, WARDENS, AND VESTRY OF
New-York, September 4, 1811.
As the subject of the unhappy differences existing in the Church, has been formally brought to the cognizance and investigation of the Vestry, I must beg to be indulged with the liberty of making a few remarks.
That I have not earlier addressed you on the subject has been owing entirely to unfeigned respect. When you were pleased to communicate to me by your clerk, certain resolutions expressive of your disapprobation of the mode of making my grievances known, the thought suggested itself to me that possibly an answer might be expected. Yet upon due reflection; upon ascertaining from a respectable member of your body and of the committee by whom those resolutions were reported, the intended extent of that instrument; and still more upon consulting with confidential friends to whose judgment I pay deference; it appeared the most respectful mode, to submit in silence to what I could not but lament was a difference of sentiment from what I felt myself compelled to entertain.
But now that the subject is brought immediately to your view by a pamphlet from my colleague addressed "to the Vestry of Trinity Church," silence on my part might be construed into a consciousness [26/27] of being unable to meet the charges therein contained. Justice to myself therefore compels me to suggest, that it will be in my power to set the several matters discussed, in a light very different from that in which, from the manner of the statement, from the absence of circumstances, and from various other causes, they now appear. Yet feeling a reluctance to proceed with the subject, the introduction of which has met with your disapprobation; and still more, being unwilling to adopt any mode of communication which might again appear to you to be incorrect; I have determined to wait for the intimation of your opinion, as to the line which it would be proper for me to pursue.--If it shall be the determination of your body to take up the subject on the merits of the case, I must hope for indulgence with a further opportunity for self defence. And in such case I must beg to be allowed time to collect materials necessary to my vindication, in such way as you shall be pleased to suggest.
In order however to prevent the necessity for such a resort, and from an unfeigned desire on my part to restore harmony to the Church, I beg leave to state explicitly that I am ready, to enter upon any terms of amicable adjustment, consistent with the character of gentlemen and of Christians.
Even without this adjustment however, if such cannot be obtained, there appears to be no insuperable obstacle to the restoration of peace. Resentments can surely be buried, and a decorous deportment observed, even though an entire oblivion of the past may not be obtained. For myself I can [27/28] conscientiously declare that an entire disposition exists for the removing of all difficulties, and for the adopting of any measures which your wisdom may devise for the restoration of peace and harmony to the Church.
With the greatest respect
Your obedient servant,
To this letter, respectful as I knew how to write, no answer was returned; and no other notice was taken of it, than to insert it on the Minutes. Instead of that course, which decency even required, the Vestry proceeded to pass the resolutions which had been prepared by the committee. A copy of these were sent to Bishop Moore; and two days after, they were by him forwarded to me.--They here follow:
"At a meeting of the Corporation of Trinity Church in the city of New-York held in the said Church on the 5th day of September 1811.
"Whereas differences and controversies exist between the Rev. Mr. Cave Jones, one of the assistant ministers of this Church, and this Vestry, arising out of the publication entitled "A solemn appeal to the Church;" which are of such a nature as cannot be settled between them: Resolved therefore that application representing the same, be made on the part of this board to the Bishop of the Diocese, pursuant to the 32d Canon of the General convention.
"Thereupon resolved further that the Right Rev. [28/29] the Bishop of the Diocese be, and he hereby is, humbly requested to take into immediate consideration the subject matter of the foregoing resolution, and, with the assistance of his Presbyters, to proceed therein according to the directions of the said Canon."
"Extract from the Minutes."
The foregoing resolutions are founded, as appears, on the 32d Canon of the Church. It will be proper therefore, here to insert a copy of that Canon.
Respecting Differences between Ministers and their Congregations.
"In cases of controversy between Ministers, who now, or may hereafter, hold the Rectorship of Churches or Parishes, and the Vestry or Congregation of such Churches or Parishes, which controversies are of such a nature as cannot be settled by themselves, the parties, or either of them, shall make application to the Bishop of the Diocese, or, in case there be no Bishop, to the Convention of the State. And if it appear to the Bishop and his Presbyters, or, if there be no Bishop, to the Convention or the Standing Committee of the Diocese or State, if the authority should be committed to them by the Convention,, that the controversy has proceeded such lengths as to preclude all hope of its favourable termination, and that a dissolution of the connection which exits between them is indispensably necessary to restore the peace, and promote the prosperity of the Church, the Bishop and his Presbyters, or, if there be no Bishop, the Convention, or the Standing [29/30] Committee of the Diocese or State, if the authority should be committed to them by the Convention, shall recommend to such Ministers to relinquish their titles to their Rectorship on such conditions as may appear reasonable and proper to the Bishop and his Presbyters, or, if there be no Bishop, to the Convention, or the Standing Committee of the Diocese or State, if the authority should be committed to them by the Convention. And if such Rectors or Congregations refuse to comply with such recommendation, the Bishop and his Presbyters, or, if there be no Bishop, the Convention, or the Standing Committee of the Diocese or State, if the authority should be committed to them by the Convention, with the aid and consent of the Bishop, may, at their discretion, proceed, according to the Canons of the Church, to suspend the former from the exercise of any ministerial duties within the Diocese or State; and prohibit the latter from a seat in the Convention, until they retract such refusal, and submit to the terms of the recommendation: and any Minister so suspended shall not be permitted, during his suspension, to exercise any ministerial duties in any other Diocese or State. This Canon shall apply also to the cases of Associated Rectors and Assistant Ministers and their Congregations.
"This Canon shall not be obligatory upon the Church in those States or Dioceses with whose usages, laws, or charters it interferes."
This Canon, as is evident from its face and letter, provides for cases of controversy and differences, [30/31] which are bona fide between a clergyman and his congregation; and that not merely a part of the congregation, but where the great body is opposed.--In such case, it must be, where the controversy or difference is of such a nature as cannot be settled by the parties themselves. And therefore, it is evident that all necessary and practicable means must have been tried by the complaining party, before recourse be had to the measure pointed out by the Canon, as the last resort.--When this recourse be had, it must be, not to a Bishop of the Church in the State where the parties reside, but to "the Bishop of the Diocese." An exception however is made with respect to the Churches in those States where the charters or usages are at variance with the provisions of this Canon--that is, in such cases the Canon is not to have operation.--And lastly, the provisions can apply only to those cases which arise under the Canon; and cannot interfere with those engagements which were formed before the existence of that law in the code of the Church; because no ex post facto law is ever allowed to have valid force and effect.
On all these accounts, the 32d Canon is totally inapplicable to the case in which I am concerned. No controversy, no differences, have taken place between the congregation, as a congregation, or between the Vestry, and me. With respect to the latter body; it is evident from the history which has been given, and the truth of which I defy any individual to controvert, that nothing which bears even the semblance of differences or controversy has taken place. No intimation whatever has been given [31/32] to me by that body, before their application to Bishop Moore that any misunderstanding existed between us; or that they had any cause of complaint.
If it be said, that there is, however, uneasiness existing in the congregation; let it be remembered, in the first place, that this is not the case provided for. That case is where actual controversy and differences exist. It ought to be recollected further, that this uneasiness exists on both sides of the question. There are, perhaps it will be found, as many at least in opposition to the conduct of Dr. Hobart and Mr. How, as there are in opposition to mine. The strength of numbers is not to be determined by those who made it a point to be absent from their pews. That conduct was confined in a great measure to the families of the parties concerned, and their immediate friends. The same arts were not used with my adherents. My uniform advice to them was, regularly to occupy their own seats. My own family, those who were able to be abroad, uniformly set the example. Besides, I am able to make it appear, that in many cases, when a fair opportunity for a fair judgment was afforded, the congregations were larger when I officiated, than on the officiating of the other gentlemen.--The truth of the case then, is plainly this: the controversy existed, and still exits between Dr. Hobart with Mr. How, and myself; and some persons are displeased with one side, and some with the other.
But supposing the controversy to exist, as is assumed, between the Vestry and me: what means have been tried to heal it?--One of the methods for [32/33] attaining to the spirit and intention of a law, is to attend to the occasion from which it took its rise. The Canon under consideration was made to meet the case of Dr. Ogden. In that case, every effort was made to bring about an amicable adjustment of differences. The Vestry first made propositions. Application was then made to the Convention of the State. Arbitrators were afterwards appointed by the Ecclesiastical authority. And these proposed terms of accommodation. When all these means were rejected and proved ineffectual: then, the Canon Of the General Convention was applied, in the last resort.--But in the present case, no efforts were used for an accommodation or amicable adjustment, but what were used by myself and my friends for effecting a reconciliation with my colleagues, the only parties concerned. The Vestry made no advances. The first formal intimation which they gave, even of their dissatisfaction, was an application to Bishop Moore for a dissolution of the union.
If, however, all these difficulties were removed; there is an effectual bar to the operation of this Canon in the present case. It interferes with the Charter of Trinity Church. That Charter provides, that the Assistant Minister (and as before observed, this immediately embraces the terms of my call) is to hold his situation during life; provided he conducts as becomes his profession.--By the acknowledgment of the representative of the Vestry, as has been noticed before, no charge of an opposite nature can be exhibited against me. Therefore, no reason exists, [33/34] under the Charter; for, the annulling of my engagement. And--
This engagement was formed several years before the Canon in question had existence.
The reasons already adduced, are abundantly sufficient to prove the inapplicability of the 32d Canon to the case now before the Church. But there is one objection to the whole proceeding yet behind, of paramount importance, and which will convince every reasonable mind of the futility of what has been done. The Canon directs that the Bishop of the Diocese shall be the executive power to carry its provisions into effect. And the same principle is recognized, and the same requisition is made by the Resolutions of the Vestry of Trinity Church.--Who is the Bishop of the Diocese?--I know not how the question can better be settled, than by the decision of the House of Bishops and the General Convention, the highest authority of our Church.
Bishop Provoost was the first Bishop of this Church, and the only Bishop; until indisposition and particular circumstances induced him to wish for release from the labours of the office. He was therefore, indisputably, the Bishop of the Diocese: and unless some act has taken place by which he is deprived, or has deprived himself, he still is the Bishop of the Diocese, and the only Bishop of the Diocese: for the Church knows not two heads. Let us examine then, how the case stands.
At the session of the General Convention in the month of September in the year of our Lord 1801, the very period and occasion when Bishop Moore [34/35] received consecration; Bishop Provoost sent a letter to the President of the House of Bishops, to be laid before that House, requesting permission to resign his Episcopal jurisdiction over the Church in the State of New York. That letter with the proceedings thereon is here presented, as taken verbatim from the printed Journal of the General Convention, at that session. [* It is a curious, and most extraordinary fact, that an account of these proceedings was never brought to the knowledge of Bishop Provoost, until since the present question came to be agitated between Trinity Church and myself:--that is, till long since the consecration of Dr. Hobart. As therefore Bishop Provoost heard nothing from the House of Bishops; he took it for granted, that his proffered resignation was accepted, and he acted accordingly.--To whom this strange omission is to be attributed, is not for me to determine. At any rate, the then Secretary of the Convention, Dr. Hobart, cannot be considered entirely undeserving of censure.]
"New-York, Sept. 7. 1801.
Right Rev, and dear Sir,
"I think it my duty to request, that, as President of the House of Bishops, you will inform that venerable body, that, induced by ill health, and some melancholy occurrences in my family, and an ardent wish to retire from all public employment, I resigned, at the late meeting of our Church Convention, my jurisdiction as Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New-York.
I am, with great regard,
Dear and Right Rev. Sir,
"Your affectionate brother, "SAMUEL PROVOST.
"Right Rev. Bishop WHITE."
 "A message from the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies was read, as follows:--"The House of Clerical and Lay Deputies wish to know from the House of Bishops, whether they have received any communication from Bishop Provoost on the subject of the resignation of his Episcopal Jurisdiction in the State of New-York."
"The House of Bishops having considered the subject brought before them by the letter of Bishop Provoost, and by the message from the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies, touching the same, can see no grounds on which to believe that the contemplated resignation is consistent with ecclesiastical order, or with the practice of Episcopal Churches in any ages, or with the tenor of the office of consecration. Accordingly, while they sympathize most tenderly with their brother Bishop Provoost, on account of that ill health, and those melancholy occurrences which have led to the design in question, they judge it to be inconsistent with the sacred trust committed to them to recognize the Bishop's act as an effectual resignation of his Episcopal jurisdiction. Nevertheless, being sensible of the present exigencies of the Church of New-York, and approving of their making provision for the actual discharge of the duties of the Episcopacy, the Bishops of this House are ready to consecrate to the office of Bishop any person who may be presented to them with the requisite testimonials from the General and State Conventions, and of whose religious, moral, and literary character, due satisfaction may be given. But this House must be understood to be explicit in their declaration, [37/38] that they shall consider such a person as Assistant or Coadjutor Bishop during Bishop Provoost's life, although competent in point of character to all the Episcopal duties; the extent in which the same shall be discharged by him to be dependent on such regulations as expediency may dictate to the Church in New-York, grounded on the indisposition of Bishop Provoost, and with his concurrence."
This proceeding and determination of the House of Bishops, was communicated to the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies, in return to an application made from them. That House acquiesced in the proceeding, as will appear by reference to their Journal, and on that ground proceeded to sign the testimonials of the Bishop elect. Thus it became the act of the General Convention, the paramount and conclusive authority of the Church in this country.
The principle thus has been fixed, and the sense of our Church is declared, not only as to the consecration which then was to take place, but as to the admissibility of a Bishop's resigning his Episcopal jurisdiction. Reasoning is precluded on the subject. A thousand authorities to the contrary, from foreign Churches, could they be produced, would be totally irrelevant. It is now an adjudged case by the highest tribunal. It is declared to be the sense of our Church: "Resignation of a Bishop's Episcopal jurisdiction is not consistent with ecclesiastical order, or with the practice of Episcopal Churches in all ages, or with the tenor of the office of consecration."
According to this determination, Bishop Provoost could not resign. And therefore the House of [37/38] Bishops proceed to declare that "They judge it to be inconsistent with the sacred trust committed to them to recognize the Bishop's act as an effectual resignation of his Episcopal jurisdiction." The term is here the same as that used by Bishop Provoost in his letter. In this it is "my jurisdiction as Bishop." In the proceedings of the House, "his Episcopal jurisdiction:" meaning the same thing,--that is, the whole of the duties of his office both temporal and spiritual, as distinguished from his inherent character.
Bishop Provoost then is, and must be, still the Bishop of the Diocese; and still holds the Episcopal jurisdiction of the Church in this State. Whatever he was before, such he is still. And whatever was his jurisdiction before, such it is still; for it was not accepted from him, when he made a formal tender. The House of Bishops accordingly proceed to declare, that the person then to be consecrated is to be considered as Assistant or Coadjutor Bishop during Bishop Provoost's life; and that all his Episcopal duties are to be with his, Bishop Provoost's, concurrence.
This is the principle laid down: the condition fixed and established, according to which the contemplated consecration was to take place. Thus it is declared to be, by the President of the House of Bishops, who was present at the above session, and was consequently fully acquainted with the meaning and intent of that act. In the history of the Church in this country, contained in Rees's New Cyclopaedia, American edition, which article was written by [38/39] the aforementioned Right Reverend President; after stating the circumstances as above related in the Journal of the General Convention of 1801, it is said:--
"The House of Bishops having taken this subject under their serious consideration, and doubting of the propriety of sanctioning Episcopal resignation, declined any act to that effect. But being sensible of the exigency existing in the State of New York, they consented to the consecration of an Assistant Bishop: it being understood that he should be competent in point of character to all the Episcopal duties; and that the extent in which the same were to be discharged by him, should be depending on such regulations as expediency might dictate to the Church in New York; grounded on the indisposition of Bishop Provoost and with his concurrence. Conformably to the line of conduct thus laid down, Dr. Benjamin Moore being duly recommended was consecrated in St. Michael's Church, Trenton, and took his seat in the House of Bishops."
If now, the plainest terms which the English language affords for the case, be capable of conveying an unequivocal meaning; and if the President of the House of Bishops understands his own act, and the act of his brethren done in his presence and with his concurrence; then can there be no doubt as to the intention and meaning of that instrument, and the proceeding which it relates.--But this was understood also at the time by Bishop Moore himself. It has been declared to me by the Secretary of the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies, in that [39/40] session of the Convention in 1801, that when Dr. Moore arrived at Trenton, on being informed of the determination of the House of Bishops, he said: "If I had known that the question had been settled on this basis, I would not have come on for consecration."
The principle thus being settled, the consecration, must be conferred in conformity with that principle. Whereinsoever it should chance to differ, in so far it would ipso facto be invalid. The settling of the principle was the work of the Convention--was the work of the Church; and could not be abrogated by the act of individuals. The consecration, was the act of the individual Bishops, who were bound to proceed according to the law established for their direction. And if they deviated from that law, they acted without authority; and consequently their act is null and void.
Let us then for a moment suppose, that the letter of consecration of Bishop Moore speaks a different language from the aforementioned solemn act of the House of Bishops. Can that difference destroy, or alter, or disannul that act?--As to the title "Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New-York," attached to Dr. Moore in the aforementioned letter, it amounts to nothing, as it regards this question. He is "Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New-York," though an Assistant Bishop. The same title, it will be found, is contained in Dr. Hobart's letter of consecration also. But it is said by some, that the omission of the word "Assistant," is of primary importance.--[40/41] It had however previously been settled, that Dr. Moore was to be Assistant Bishop. When therefore, he was consecrated Bishop; it could be only such a Bishop, as had been settled by the condition of the competent and the only competent authority.
The rule, if you please, or the condition, or the act of the Convention, establishing the principle of consecration, was adopted on the 9th of September in the above year. The consecration took place on the 11th of the same month: two days after. And the consecration was held by the same individual Bishops, who on the above day constituted the House, and in their corporate capacity, with the concurrence of the house of clerical and lay deputies, formed the rule by which the consecration was to be conducted.--Is it possible, now, to suppose, that these same Bishops, who had been so scrupulous in settling the principle of the Church--who had declared that "they judge it to be inconsistent with the sacred trust committed to them to recognize" Bishop Provoost's "act as an effectual resignation of his Episcopal jurisdiction,"--is it possible to suppose, that these same Bishops should themselves, only two days after, proceed or intend to proceed in direct violation of their own principle and act? Or can we imagine that they will recognize Bishop Moore as the Diocesan of the Church in this State, when they have so solemnly and unequivocally declared that they would consider him only as Assistant or Coadjutor Bishop? Can these Right Reverend Fathers, or the Churches over which they have authority, consider as valid [41/42] proceedings of Bishop Moore, those which are not only without the sanction of Bishop Provoost's concurrence, but which have met with his most decided disapprobation communicated to Bishop Moore, as will appear in the sequel, in the most emphatic terms.
This point is of so much importance in this case, that I must beg it again to be remarked, that the Resolution of the House of Bishops, and the concurrent act of the whole Convention in consequence, obviously contemplates a distinction between the spiritual quality or character of a Bishop, and his "Episcopal jurisdiction."--Every person who is consecrated to the Episcopal office has the first in its fullest extent; and as the Bishops say is "competent in point of character to all the Episcopal duties."--This would be the case, though the person consecrated should not have a special jurisdiction, and as such should not discharge the duties either of an Assistant or Diocesan. And if any number of Bishops were to be consecrated, they would all have the same competency. Having been once consecrated, this spiritual character or quality would be indelible. Neither Bishop Provoost nor any other person ever entertained a thought that he could divest himself of his Episcopal character,
It was not then his Episcopal quality or character which Bishop Provoost thought of resigning, or proffered to resign. It was, "his jurisdiction as Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New-York" of which he tendered a resignation. And it was this resignation which the House of Bishops so solemnly declared to be inconsistent with ecclesiastical order, with the practice of [42/43] Episcopal Churches in all ages, and with the tenor of the office of Consecration.--It was this resignation of his jurisdiction as Bishop of the Church in this State, which the Right Reverend Bishops declared it to be inconsistent with the sacred trust committed to them to recognize.
But the very letter of Consecration of Bishop Moore speaks strongly the consistency of the conduct of the House of Bishops. And that every one may judge for himself a copy is here presented for inspection.
The Certificate of the Consecration of the Right Rev. Bishop Moore is as follows:
"Know all men by these presents, that we, William White, D. D. Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of Pennsylvania, presiding Bishop; Thomas John Claggett, D. D. Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of Maryland; and Abraham Jarvis, D. D. Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of Connecticut; under the protection of Almighty God, in St. Michael's Church, in the city of Trenton, on Friday, the 11th day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and one, did then and there rightly and canonically consecrate our beloved in Christ, Benjamin Moore, D. D. Rector of Trinity Church in the city of New-York, of whose sufficiency in good learning, soundness in the faith, and purity of manners, we were fully ascertained, into the office of Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New-York; to which the said Benjamin Moore, D. D. hath been elected by the [43/44] Convention of the said State, in consequence of the inability of the Right Rev. Bishop Provoost, and of his declining all Episcopal jurisdiction within the said State.
"In testimony whereof we have signed our names, and caused our seals to be affixed.
Given in the city of Trenton, this eleventh day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and one.
"WILLIAM WHITE, L. S.
"THOMAS J. CLAGGETT, L. S.
"ABRAHAM JARVIS." L. S.
Dr. Moore was consecrated Bishop, as this letter, declares, "in consequence of the inability of the Right Rev. Bishop Provoost, and of his declining all Episcopal Jurisdiction." He had not resigned; which it had been settled, could not be done. But he declined to act in consequence of his inability. But though he declined to act, yet all acts, as had been settled, were to be with his concurrence. He still therefore holds the power. And he can exercise it, whenever he sees proper not to decline.--And, as his declining was in consequence of his inability; there is the strongest reason imaginable that he should not, now decline; when that inability is in great measure, if not entirely, removed; and when in the course of Divine Providence, that gentleman who was .consecrated to assist him, has been visited with much greater inability.
This important question has thus been determinately settled by the Supreme Authority of this Church. All inferior ecclesiastical powers must of course act in conformity with this decision. If therefore [44/45] any thing in the proceedings of the Convention of the Church in this State, at the time of Dr. Moore's election to the office of Bishop, were at variance with the above decision of the General Church; so far these State proceedings would be of no avail.--But they are not so at variance. This will appear from the following extract from the Journal of the said Special Convention of the Church in this State, in relation to this subject.--
"The committee appointed to consider and report what measures are necessary to be pursued in the present situation of this Church, made a report as follows; viz.
"The Right Rev. Samuel Provoost, D. D. having declared that he resigned his jurisdiction as Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this State, and having expressed his affectionate wishes for the prosperity of the Church in general, and the individual members of the Convention,
"Resolved, That the Convention return their thanks to the Bishop for his kind wishes, and whilst they regret that he should have judged himself under the necessity of quitting so suddenly the exercise of the Episcopal Office, and those solemn and important duties which are connected with it, they beg leave to assure him of their sincere and fervent prayers that Divine Providence may so guide and govern him in all his ways, as will most conduce both to his temporal and eternal felicity.
"Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be transmitted to Bishop Provoost by the Secretary of the Convention.
 "Resolved also, That it be recommended to the standing committee to call a special Convention, to meet in this city in the month of November next, for the purpose of choosing a suitable person to be consecrated as a Bishop, and to have the charge of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New-York."
"The preamble and the first and second resolutions of the foregoing report were unanimously adopted by the Convention. The last resolution was rejected.
On motion of Mr. Hanson, Resolved, That this Convention will proceed to-morrow morning to the election of a suitable person to be recommended for consecration as Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this State."
In the whole of this proceeding, nothing appears, which looks like "an effectual resignation of his Episcopal jurisdiction." Bishop Provoost indeed tendered his resignation, and "expressed his affectionate wishes for the prosperity of the Church." And "the Convention return their thanks to the Bishop for his kind wishes; regret that he should have judged himself under the necessity of quitting so suddenly the exercise of the Episcopal Office;" and then reciprocate his prayers for prosperity. But no mention is made of accepting of his resignation; and no committee was appointed to signify such acceptance. The only part indeed of the whole proceeding which looks like acceptance, and the appointing of a successor, is negatived and rejected. The third resolution proposed to choose "a [46/47] suitable person to be consecrated a Bishop, and to have the charge of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New-York." But this resolution was rejected. And another resolution was substituted, providing for the election of a suitable person to be recommended for consecration "as Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New-York:"--but not to have the charge of that Church. As Assistant, he might be Bishop of the Church in the State. But he could not have the charge of the Church, without being the Diocesan Bishop. [* It may here be objected, that the third resolution was rejected because of its providing for the calling of a Special Convention in November. But if this were the only reason for rejecting it; why then in the resolution which was substituted, was not the provision made that the Bishop to be consecrated should "have the charge of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New-York," as had been provided in the other?]
For all that appears, then, Bishop Provoost is still the centre of ecclesiastical authority of the Church in this State; and may exercise his Episcopal powers, whenever he thinks proper.
In addition to the incontestable proofs afforded by the foregoing articles, still further corroboration is to be deduced from several points of minor importance.
In the letters of Consecration, on occasion of administering that holy rite, at the late session of the General Convention, the Right Rev. Samuel Provoost is expressly recognized as Bishop of the Church in the State of New-York. And if he be still the Bishop of this Church, he must be what he has always been, the Diocesan Bishop.
 In one of the same letters of Consecration, it is declared, that Dr. Hobart was consecrated to assist the Bishops of the Church in this State. Bishop Provoost is evidently and undeniably one of these Bishops: and if one, then certainly none other than the Diocesan.
And, in the list of Clergy attached to the Journals of the said Convention, the Right Rev. Samuel Provoost is ranked the first of those who hold that sacred office in this State.
On all these accounts, it is obvious and necessary to conclude, that the Right Reverend Samuel Provoost is the acknowledged and rightful Bishop of this Diocese, without whose concurrence and assent no ecclesiastical acts can be legal and valid.
The five points mentioned above as contained in the 32d Canon, and the view of the circumstances attending the case under consideration here presented, were made the subject of a remonstrance to Bishop Moore; and a PROTEST was founded upon them against further proceeding. Out of delicacy to Bishop Moore, only the first two points were embraced in a first remonstrance, in the hope that this would arrest the proceeding, and save the Church from the unparalleled disgrace which must necessarily ensue. It did indeed produce a kind of demurrer, if I may be allowed to use a law term.--And indeed why may I not? There has been too much of the spirit and management of law and Pseudo-Lawyers throughout. Little, Alas! of the temper and character of the Gospel and of Christianity, has appeared in the whole proceedings!
 Bishop Moore sent this protest to the Vestry to learn their pleasure. And they sent back word to him, that he must proceed. Proof of this is afforded by a document furnished by themselves, which will shortly be presented. This is a curious fact, and which ought to be noticed and borne in mind. It forms a new precedent in the principles of jurisprudence. A judge upon the bench--the chief judge upon the bench, receives a plea in answer to a declaration, on a point of law; and sends it to the plaintiff, to receive instructions, as to the process which he shall pursue.--Take it in another point of view. The Bishop of the Church, who is charged with the protection of his Clergy, and in whom is supposed to centre all knowledge of Ecclesiastical Polity, and all power to carry it into effect, applies to a body of Laymen, who have evidenced a determined hostility towards one of his spiritual children--applies to them to know, whether he shall not arrest proceedings which are represented to him, and from the very measure it would seem represented to his conviction, to be unfounded both in law and equity. Ah! this bears too much of the stamp of the whole course of proceeding. How cruel is it! how unjust! to drag this poor gentleman from his sick bed,--from that ease and retirement which Providence had markedly assigned,--in order to be the ostensible manager of a business, more intricate, more delicate, more momentous, than any that has occurred during his whole public life. When he has given up all other concerns of the Church, both parochial and Episcopal: when he has declared to the world that he is [49/50] incapable of discharging any if its duties; when he has not acted in a single instance in any other matters relating to ecclesiastical affairs, since the giving of his consent, as soon as he was capable of acting, to the calling of the Special Convention; when he is unable to attend even upon public worship:--under all these circumstances to make him the instrument of carrying on this direful work of destruction, Oh! it disgraces our holy profession, and casts an additional blot upon human kind.
After receiving the above Resolutions from the Vestry, and being put in possession of my protest in answer; Bishop Moore sent for some of the Clergy privately. He first had an interview with Dr. Harris and Dr. Moore individually and separately. His object with these gentlemen was, to persuade them to use their influence to prevail on me to resign, under the expectation of receiving some compensation from Trinity Church. He was even so good as to say, that he would use his influence with the Vestry to that effect, if I would only intimate my willingness to retire.--Oh, how great are my obligations to him!--On these occasions he warmly and pointedly reprobated my conduct; condemned my pamphlet in toto and without palliation; entered minutely into the different parts of Dr. Hobart's answer; and declared roundly that he had overturned all that I had advanced. He urged the necessity of my leaving the city. Nay, I could not stay in the Diocese. It was under this condition that he engaged to use his good offices.--I know that Bishop Moore has endeavoured to correct this idea; and has said that the only [50/51] object was to obtain a dissolution of my union with Trinity Church. But it will be recollected, that considerable mention was made, and was repeated, about a sine qua non. And if a sine qua non does not mean a condition; I confess that I do not understand language.--Upon Dr. Moore's starting, and observing, "What, Sir, leave his native city, and go into voluntary banishment!" The answer was, "Why Mr. Jones has no relations here; and his wife's relations are all in Virginia. He can go to Virginia; and can be useful to the Church there."--"And how, Sir," said Dr. Moore, "can he look Mrs. Jones' relations in the face, after banishing himself from his native city and State?" It was replied, "Oh! he can say, that difficulties arose in this church, which made him wish to withdraw."--With Dr. Moore still further observations passed. It was said to him by the Bishop, "Only let us get Mr. Jones removed; and all things will go on well. Some of the gentlemen begin to hold an opinion of you, different from what they used to entertain. They are pleased with the frankness, the openness, and candour of your conduct upon some late occasions. And if Jones were once out of the way, all things, I have no doubt, would be agreeable to you."
I will not call this by its proper name. Great God! where am I? In what pestilential region do I live? Under what corrupted code, am I doomed to sojourn?
The following week, and which was the week immediately preceding the meeting of the last Convention, early in October; Bishop Moore met some of the other Clergy privately. At this meeting Dr. [51/52] Moore, Dr. Harris, and Mr. Feltus were not present; and had no invitation given. At this CAUCUS the matter was discussed. It was determined that I must resign my situation in Trinity Church; and that a thousand pounds should be given to me in lieu.--Think not, reader, that I assert these things without knowledge, without proof. It is true: it is true as the Gospel.--When the privileged number were all assembled; when the matter had been discussed; and the above determination was made; to save appearances, Dr. Beach was sent for. To him their conclusion was made known; and his opinion was asked. He gave it as his judgment that the 32d Canon did not apply to the case.--The same opinion had been given by Dr. Harris and Dr. Moore, at the aforementioned private interviews.--Dr. Beach moreover advised Bishop Moore not to act under that Canon; but to send for me privately, and endeavour to effect a compromise. This the Bishop seemed determined to do. But it was never done.--Let it be remembered, that this meeting took place more than a month before the meeting of Bishop Moore and the Presbyters; when a formal hearing was to be given.
After this meeting, and this determination formed, Mr. Lyell spread the report through the city of what they intended to do. And the event has proved precisely the fulfilment of what was then reported.
About a fortnight after the above proceeding I received from Bishop Moore the following note:
 TO THE REV. CAVE JONES.
New-York, Oct. 15th, 1811.
"You are hereby informed that on the application of the Vestry of Trinity Church in the city of New-York, I shall meet with my Presbyters on Tuesday November 5th at Robinson-street, No. 20, in said city, at 12 o'clock, to proceed in your case agreeably to the requisitions of the 32d Canon of the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church; at which time and place, if you deem it proper to attend, you will be heard in relation to the said case and the proceedings thereon.
"By his son Clement C. Moore."
In answer to this I returned a second remonstrance to Bishop Moore, embracing the three remaining points in the 32d Canon, as explained above; and founded on these a further PROTEST against the whole proceeding. Shortly after this I wrote to Bishop Provoost the following letter:--
RIGHT REV. SIR,
"In the early part of the last month, I received from the Right Rev. Bishop Moore an extract from the Minutes of Trinity Church; a copy of which I here take the liberty to insert:
"At a Meeting of the Corporation of Trinity Church in the city of New-York, held in the said Church on the 5th day of September 1811." &c. &c. As at page 28,
 "On the receipt of this from Bishop Moore, I presented to him a remonstrance, on the ground that the above recited instrument hath not been communicated to me by the Bishop of the Diocese, as is directed by the Canon, and according to the terms of the afore recited instrument; and protesting against all proceedings in the case, without the direction or concurrence of the said Bishop of the Diocese.
"Permit me in consequence, Right Rev. Sir, with all due respect, to state, that I look to you as my rightful and acknowledged Diocesan; and that I am ready to pay all proper submission to such directions and regulations, as you shall see proper to make in the case.
With the greatest respect I am
Right Rev. Sir,
Your obe't. Ser't.
"October 25th, 1811.
"The Right Rev. Samuel Provoost, D. D. Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New-York."
In return, I received from the Bishop the following note:
New-York, 28th October, 1811.
"Your letter of the 25th instant being the first intimation I have had of the Resolution of the Vestry therein referred to, I consider that any interference [54/55] of mine in the affair you mention would be premature.
"With respect and regard
"I am, Rev. Sir,
"Your ob't. humble serv't.
"Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New-York.
"The Reverend Cave Jones."
This note was afterwards incorporated into faresh PROTEST combining the former two, and thus embracing all the five points which have been discussed above. But all was of no avail. Bishop Moore was urged on. He was not suffered to stop. The die was cast. The determination was made. And now the appearance of an investigation was to be had, to give a colouring to the procedure, and to carry it into effect. This then, forms the next grand epocha of this eventful period.
On the 5th of November--an ominous day indeed! and remarkable in the history of the Church for the machinations attempted, in support of THE HIGH COURT OF INQUISITION!--On the 5th of Nov. Bishop Moore and some of the Presbyters sat. And they sat, according to the notification above recorded, in a private room; because the Bishop through indisposition was not able to meet in the Church; and indeed was in so weak a state as scarcely to be fit to be from his chamber fireside, insomuch that several of the Clergy present, at different times, earnestly requested him to retire.
 Before we proceed, it will be proper to inquire, how this Court, or Arbitration, or--what will you call it? was formed. The Canon provides that the Bishop with his Presbyters shall determine all points, which come within its purview. The Bishop's Presbyters must certainly be all the regularly officiating Presbyters in the State. Over all these he has jurisdiction. These all form his spiritual family. And in the present case it would seem an essential requisite that the Presbyters should be such as officiate in parishes, and have established livings; because the question here, is about the deprivation of a living: and every man ought to be tried by his peers. The qualifications for a seat in Convention, have nothing to do with the present question. The provision for these is made by other Canons; and is for distinct purposes. The Canon under consideration makes no reference whatever to these; is totally unconnected with these; and makes provision for itself. It requires the attendance of the Bishop's Presbyters,--all his officiating, beneficed Presbyters; and it admits no others.
In the next place, it is evident to common sense, and is enforced by every principle of justice, that none who have given an opinion in the case, can be allowed to vote, or ought to be admitted to a seat.
And it is an affront to decency, it is an outrage upon justice and equity, that any of the parties concerned should sit as judges on the bench.
On all these points I entered a plea in the present case. After delivering in my PROTEST on the inapplicability of the Canon; and against the jurisdiction [56/57] of that assembly; I observed verbally, that as a further objection to the whole proceeding, it was to be remarked that in the list of the Clergy called, there was an omission of the names of several regularly officiating beneficed Presbyters in the state; that moreover, among those present, I observed several who had given an opinion in the case, and some who are parties concerned. I then took my leave.
Here now, let us pause; and learn, who were present; and see, how many were qualified to act.
The gentlemen present were, The Right Rev. Benjamin Moore, the Rev. Isaac Wilkins,--Theodosius Bartow,--John Bowden,--Seth Hart,--Davenport Phelps,--Elias Cooper,--Thomas Y. How,--Thomas Lyell,--John Reed,--Barzillai Bulkley,--Jonathan Judd,--Nathaniel Bowen,--Joseph Prentice,--Samuel Haskill,--Richard C. Moore,--William Harris, and--Henry J. Feltus.
The last three protested, as we shall see, against the jurisdiction; and withdrew.
Among the other fourteen Presbyters, now let us examine the qualifications.-- In the first place, Dr. Bowden has no benefice: he is not a settled officiating Clergyman. He is therefore not a peer.--But this is a trifling objection. He is doubly, triply, quadruply disqualified. He has declared his sentiments to the world by his Certificates. He is one that gave the recommendation, [* See page 20.] at the Special Convention in May, that I ought to leave the city and the Diocese. He was present at the Caucus at the [57/58] Convention in last month, by which a determination was made that I must resign. And above all, he is a party concerned; as will appear by my "Appeal," and by his own certificates.--I have given him, this honourable place; because I really think, that he has the honour of possessing more disqualifications, in point of number at least, than any other member present.
Then as to the rest: the Rev. Dr. Wilkins,--Mr. Hart,--Mr. Cooper,--Mr. How,--Mr. Lyell,--Mr. Reed,--Mr. Bulkley, and Mr. Prentice, are all committed by their Certificates. All of these, except perhaps Mr. Cooper, are I believe, committed by the recommendation. And all, with the same exception, by the Caucus.--Mr. Phelps is committed by the Caucus; as is also Mr. Bowen, as well as by the recommendation, and a public expression of sentiment.--And in addition to all this,--Mr. How, Mr. Lyell, Mr. Bowen, and Mr. Prentice, are undeniably parties concerned.--As to Mr. Bartow, I am uncertain, but rather think that he was engaged in the recommendation and the Caucus. Of these two modes of commitment, however, I am not quite certain; because, though Bishop Moore has shewn the names concerned in the former to others, yet that paper has never come to my sight. And as to those who were present at the latter, I have only verbal information.
Here then are only two, who as far as I know and believe, have not in any way committed themselves, to wit, Mr. Judd, and Mr. Haskill; and of these, Mr. Haskill voted against all the measures.
 What shall I say of Bishop Moore? Is he committed, or a party concerned?--Take into view his conversation with Dr. Harris and Dr. Moore, concerning which those gentlemen are at hand to answer for themselves. Consider also his different certificates. And let every one judge for himself. I make no remarks.
But of Mr. How, what shall we say? Mr. How, my calumniator in all companies, the universal disseminator of hatred and opposition against me, and the chief mover, planner, promoter, and executor of the whole business,--that Mr. How should be present, should have an agency, should have a vote! Oh, modesty, where is thy blush?--But this is not all. Mr. How was the principal speaker on the occasion against me. Mr. How was the director of all the legal proceedings. Mr. How, who was to be promoted by my removal, was my prosecutor, my urgent, my inveterate prosecutor. And after all, lie signed my death warrant. [* In justice to the delicate feelings of Mr. How, I ought here to mention, that at the above meeting, after all the steps which he had taken against me, just before the passing of the judgment and the signing of the sentence, he put his hand upon his heart, and in the presence of God declared, that if he knew himself he bore Mr. Jones no ill will, but sincerely wished him well.--It happened, rather unluckily, that amid all this solemn gravity, one of the members present involuntarily and without being conscious of it, burst into a laugh.
I know not a more suitable place than this, to do a similar act of justice to Dr. Hobart. Just before the meeting of the Vestry on the 5th of September, when the resolution was passed for applying to the Bishop under the 32d Canon; as one of my friends was urging on him, the necessity of reconciliation on Christian principles, and a regard to the peace and welfare of the [59/60] Church; Dr. Hobart shrugged his shoulders, and said, "He had nothing now to do with it: it was taken out of his hands."--My friend did not understand it at the time. But it since clearly appears to have arisen from a thorough knowledge of what the Committee intended to report.
In the same conversation, after resolutely resisting all advances for a reconciliation, Dr. Hobart declared, that "he bore Mr. Jones no ill will; he only reprobated his conduct; but he harboured towards him no personal enmity: and--he hoped to meet him in heaven!"--Merciful God of purity and holiness! Give, Oh, give me, the true Christian spirit; before I arrive there.] "Oh, my soul, come not thou into their secret. Unto their assembly mine honor, be not thou united."
There is one material circumstance yet to be considered. The Canon provides, that in cases of controversy between a clergyman and his congregation, either party may lay the matter before the Bishop and in such case the Bishop with his Presbyters shall determine between the parties. Here an arbitration is evidently contemplated. No criminal prosecution is brought into view. No provision whatever is made for the interference of the Laity.--But in the present case prosecutors were appointed. Two gentlemen of legal knowledge were deputed by the Vestry to attend at the meeting and urge the suit. And they were admitted. And they were heard,--as long as they were pleased to speak. And although they professed the intention only of laying before the Assembly the reasons by which Trinity Church was actuated; yet the honorable counsellor went into a plea of an hour and half in length, citing authorities, and adducing cases, to prove that Bishop Provoost is not the Diocesan of the Church in this State. What could be the object of all this; but to [60/61] overawe the assembly, and to control their judgment?--But it was unnecessary. The business was all determined; as we have already seen in part, and shall presently see more convincingly.--It might however be expedient to give it a colouring.
When full latitude was thus given to the accusing party; it might reasonably have been expected, that no impediment would have been thrown in the way of those who should offer a defence. At least, it was the privilege and the right of every Presbyter present, in the light either of Judge or of Arbitrator, to deliver his sentiments freely and without restraint. It is the first principle of justice; it is the very corner stone of all judicial proceeding; that a judge is to be utterly independent, and is to deliver his opinions, without fear or control.--Yet notwithstanding all this, Dr Moore, one of the Judges, or one of the Arbitrators, consider it which you please, was prevented from delivering his sentiments. He had prepared an address with care, and had committed it to paper, on purpose that he might be perfectly correct, and might not in an extempore address be carried away by the warmth of his feelings.. And he announced this to the Assembly.--But he was not permitted to proceed. When he pleaded the unreasonableness of the procedure, endeavoured to vindicate or extenuate my conduct; he was told; that was not the question. They had come there, it was said, to determine on the terms of dissolving the union. Even the question of dissolution was not now under consideration. That was already determined on. Their only business now was to determine [61/62] on the terms.--But Mr. Lyell who made this remark, might have said that the terms were also agreed upon. For he himself had reported them some weeks before,--and those precisely the same as were now settled. But this is more incontestible still by a paper which will shortly be presented.--In this way they interrupted Dr. Moore three different times. Then they would call on him to proceed again. Then they would cause him to sit down. Till at length, he was induced to desist, before he had delivered half his address.
This address has been heard by a large number of dispassionate and judicious friends of leading rank and character among the Laity. It is universally and without exception judged to be such as does honor both to the head and heart of Dr. Moore; and as not containing one sentiment or expression, which is justly liable to exception, or calculated to give offence.
Seeing that there was no possibility of getting the assembly to listen to reason, and that the line of their procedure was determined and fixed, Dr. Moore, Dr. Harris, and Mr. Feltus, entered the following PROTEST, and left them:
"Because we do not consider, that the Coadjutor Bishop with the Presbyters assembled by him, on this fifth day of November 1811, are competent to decide in the case respecting Mr. Jones, they being assembled without the concurrence of the Bishop of the Diocese the Right Reverend Samuel Provoost, DD. We the subscribers, do therefore [62/63] PROTEST against all proceedings of this assembly in the said case, and leave them, requesting that this our act be inserted as a part of their minutes.
"RICHARD C. MOORE,
HENRY J. FELTUS."
[* As this publication may fall into the hands of persons at a distance, who may not be acquainted with the characters, it will not be amiss to mention, that the Rev. Dr. Moore is Rector of St. Stephen's Church in this city; the Rev. Dr. Harris is Rector of St. Mark's in the precincts of this city, and President of Columbia College; and the Rev. Mr. Feltus is Rector of St. Ann's, Brooklyn,--directly in the neighborhood of the city.]
Here let me turn aside for a moment, to pay a just tribute of respect, of regard, and of admiration, to these three men who, in the face of danger, in the front of hot opposition, and in defiance of threatening, [* It is a fact, that one of the Presbyters present said, "These gentlemen had better take care; they may bring trouble on themselves,"] generously, nobly dared to refuse to worship the image set up; and who had the independence to stand up in defence of principles of equity, and in resistance of the force of over-whelming and intolerant power. These men may be cast into the burning fiery furnace for a season; but the angel of the presence, will be with them. These men, if I ken aright, are destined to be the Saviours of the Church. Such men I feel proud to call my friends. Such men are in themselves a host. And may "the Lord of Hosts be with them, and the God of Jacob be their refuge."--"And this I trust he will do," saith [63/64] the Catechism, "of his mercy and goodness; and therefore I say, Amen: So be it."
After these gentlemen retired, the assembly proceeded to carry their preconcerted plan and determination into effect, by signing "the writing and the Decree." This decree, however, we trust will not be like the law of the Medes and Persians which altereth not. It is intended for the destruction of Daniel; but it may eventually fall upon the head of "the Presidents and Princes." Let it, however, be hereafter remembered,--if "they, and their children, and their wives," be cast into the den of lions; it was the effect of their own designing and unauthorized malice. Daniel only desired to discharge, according to the dictates of his own conscience, his duty to his God.--But should Divine Providence, in its wisdom, mysteriously bring about such a change of things, the evils to be endured by the now triumphant, would be only the fruit of their own ways. No other retaliation would be desirable or desired by those at present opposed and oppressed, than the delightful opportunity of setting an example becoming the true Christian character.
Before this decree be presented to view, one singular and curious circumstance must be noticed. When the mock process had been gone through, and every thing was to be sealed by affixing the signatures of the members present,--Behold! upon search being made, Mr. Secretary had forgotten to bring the instrument; and the members had to wait till it could be fetched.--Yes, Reader, in addition to the other proofs already adduced, of the whole arrangement [64/65] being made before the meeting was held; it is a certain and positive fact, that the writing was previously drawn, and all the terms fixed, precisely according to what was afterwards adopted.
I shall now present to my readers, a copy of this writing verbatim et literatim, without a single omission or alteration. And then I shall make upon it a few short remarks:
New-York, Oct. 5th, 1811.
"Whereas certain resolutions of the Vestry of Trinity Church, in the city of New-York, have been transmitted to me, Benjamin Moore, D.D. Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the state of New-York, which resolutions are in the words following, viz: "Whereas differences and controversies exist between the Rev. Cave Jones, one of the Assistant Ministers of Trinity Church, and this Vestry, arising out of the publication entitled, "A Solemn Appeal to the Church," which are of such a nature as cannot be settled between them:--
"Resolved, therefore, that application respecting the same be made on the part of this board to the Bishop of the Diocese, pursuant to the 32d Canon of the General Convention;--Thereupon Resolved, further, that the Rt. Rev. the Bishop of the Diocese be, and he is hereby humbly requested to take into immediate consideration the subject matter of the foregoing resolution, and with the assistance of his Presbyters, to proceed therein according to the directions of the said Canon. Resolved, that the [65/66] Clerk be directed to transmit a copy of the foregoing resolutions to the Rt. Rev. Bishop Moore.
Extract from the Minutes,
T. L. OGDEN, Clerk."
"And whereas a copy of the said resolutions was on the 7th of September last, by me furnished to the said Rev. Cave Jones; and thereupon the said Cave Jones presented to me a Remonstrance against any proceedings being had against him under the said Canon, upon the said application of the said Vestry, as by a reference to the said Remonstrance, a copy whereof is hereunto annexed, may appear: And whereas, after a communication of the said Remonstrance to the said Vestry, the said Vestry hath requested me to proceed under the said Canon; and I having determined so to proceed, the said application appearing to me to be one that comes within the purview of the said Canon;--and whereas reasonable notice in writing has been served upon the said Cave Jones on the 16th day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eleven aforesaid, to appear before me and my Presbyters on the 5th day of November in the said year, at the hour of 12 o'clock, at No. 20 Robinson-street, to shew if any thing he has to say on his part in relation to the said application and case of controversy, at which time and place, we the said Bishop and his Presbyters, who have subscribed these presents, were duly assembled, and the said Cave Jones appeared and was by us fully heard in relation to the said application and case of controversy, and thereupon we, the said Bishop and Presbyters, having [66/67] advised together, it appears to us that the controversy between the Rev. Cave Jones, one of the assistant ministers of Trinity Church, in the city of New-York, and the Vestry of said Church has proceeded such lengths as to preclude all hope of a favourable termination, and that a dissolution of the connection is indispensably necessary to restore the peace, and promote the prosperity of the Church:--Therefore, agreeably to the authority vested in us by the 32d Canon of the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, we do recommend to the Rev. Cave Jones, one of the assistant ministers of Trinity Church, New-York, to relinquish immediately his title to the said office of assistant minister, on the following conditions, viz:
"That the Vestry of said Church pay the Rev. Cave Jones the balance of his salary which may be due on this day, and within 30 days thereafter the sum of one thousand pounds. And should the said Minister or Vestry refuse to comply with the recommendation and conditions aforesaid; with the concurrence of my Presbyters, the penalties of the Canon aforesaid, with respect to the party or parties refusing, shall be carried into full effect. Witness our hands this 5th of November 1811.
Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the state of New-York:
 JOSEPH PRENTICE,
THOMAS Y. HOW.
"Resolved, That the Clerk of this Convocation is hereby ordered to deliver, forthwith one of the fore-going instruments to the Rev. Cave Jones, and another to the Vestry of Trinity Church, and to require their answer in writing to the same, addressed to the Right Rev. Bishop Moore, at No. 20 Robinson-street, at or before 1 o'clock, P. M. tomorrow, and to inform the parties respectively, that a failure to answer will be considered as a refusal by the party so failing to comply with the terms of the recommendation of the Bishop and his Presbyters.
Extract from the Minutes of the proceedings of the Convocation.
Signed, THO. LYELL, Clerk."
This writing is in due legal form; and is probably the instrument drawn by one of the gentlemen prosecutors, for which instrument, I heard while in the room, the Bishop enquire of the Clerk, The circumstance of my remonstrance being sent to the Vestry, and their directions thereon, is here distinctly stated, and ought to be borne in mind. There is besides a trifling error, which can easily be accounted [68/69] for by the papers being drawn up before hand. It is said, "The said Cave Jones appeared, and was by us fully heard in relation to the said application and case of controversy."--Now the fact is, I said not one word on the application or case of controversy; for I denied in writing the existence of the thing. All that I did, or any one for me, was to hand in my PROTEST, object to the members present, and then retire.--This error, however, can easily be accounted for, when we consider that the instrument was drawn by anticipation; and when the paper was brought, they forgot to correct it.
Let us for a moment consider this sentence in another point of view. It purports to be a circumstantial detail of the proceedings that took place when the Tribunal was convened,--so circumstantial, that it may be presumed to state all the facts in any wise relating to their proceedings. In the minuteness of its detail, it has even stated as a fact what is not true, that is, as has been said, that I was fully heard on the merits of the case; whereas I only entered my PROTEST, and then left my merciful judges to exercise their discretion.--But why did not the sentence, purporting to be thus particular as to the proceedings, state the material circumstance of the individuals of whom the Tribunal was formed? And why did it not shew upon the face of it, that four of the most respectable Presbyters in the Diocese, had dissented from their proceedings; and that three of these had themselves entered a PROTEST?--No truly, this candid statement would not have answered the purpose of my adversaries. It suited their views better to [69/70] cause it to be believed, that I had been fully and candidly heard on the merits of the case; and that an unanimous decision had been passed against me. Had the names of Dr. Moore, Dr. Harris, Rev. Mr. Feltus, and--Mr. Haskill appeared in opposition to their proceedings; they feared that their work would have less effect, in blasting my influence and reputation.--"Righteous judgment" would have required a different procedure; yet this garbled and partial representation has been palmed on the Church at large throughout the United States, as a true account of the whole proceedings.
The circumstance of the serving of this sentence, deserves also some little consideration. Mr. Lyell called with it at my house in the evening, and brought a young man with him to witness that he faithfully fulfilled his trust. I met them in the passage, where was a light, that the business might there have been transacted. Or my study was directly at hand, where it was equally convenient to retire. But this would not answer. Mr. Lyell bolted into my dining room, where my family were assembled, and some visiting friends were also present; and when he had well advanced on the floor, before he sat down, handed me the papers, observing aloud that as Secretary!! (which he had over several times) as Secretary, he was desired by the Bishop and Presbyters to hand me that writing. I desired him to be seated. Immediately upon which, his next inquiry was, with a great deal of sang-froid and good humour, "How is the family?"--!!
 That evening I enclosed the above document in a note to Bishop Provoost, requesting of him as my Diocesan, his direction and advice. In answer to which I received from him the following letter:
New-York, 5th of November, 1811.
"I have examined the Documents covered by your letter of this date, purporting to be the proceedings of the Bishop of this Diocese and his Presbyters.--I can only say that I think these proceedings are totally unauthorized by the constitution and Canons of our Church, and so far as I am able to judge, they are not sanctioned by the principles of our religion or humanity.--My advice to you therefore is to disregard them.
I am, with great respect and esteem,
SAMUEL PROVOOST, DD.
Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New-York
and DIOCESAN of the same.
The Reverend Cave Jones."
It will be observed by the above resolution of the Convocation, as it is called, that space was allowed me till the next day at one o'clock, to determine on a question which was to destroy an engagement, involving a very considerable interest, which I had formed for life; which embraced the support, and the peace and happiness of my family; which was to destroy my usefulness, and my standing in the Church; and which was to blast my character forever--However, it was space enough for me. [71/72] I required no time for deliberation. If they had offered me twenty times the sum mentioned; my resolution would have been the same.
At the hour appointed, I enclosed a copy of Bishop Provoost's letter in a note to Bishop Moore, informing him, that I had no other answer to offer to the writing handed me by his clerk Mr. Lyell (--!--!!--!!!) and that it is my intention to follow the direction and advice therein delivered.
It appears that the same Presbyters who had signed the former paper, were now again assembled, ready to carry on the work. And accordingly, on the receipt of my note, they proceeded (with all the powers of which they were possessed) to pass a sentence of suspension.
This was sent also by Mr. Lyell. It was an open paper, accompanied also with a note: unsealed. I was from home at the time. Upon being informed of which, Mr. Lyell inquired if Mrs. Jones was at home; and learning that she was, he delivered the open paper and open note to the servant and desired her to carry it to Mrs. Jones,--an open paper, be it remembered, containing the sentence of her husband's disgrace:--of his intended disgrace, at least, in the eyes of the community.
I returned home some time after, and had not been in the house many minutes, before Mr. Lyell again came thundering at the door. As I was not immediately at hand, he went humming through the passage into the dining room, thence humming back to my study, and thence back again to the dining room, as if in diligent search of one that was concealed. [72/73] Upon my coming in and entering into conversation, Mrs. Jones having had her feelings already harrowed up by the paper put into her hand, on hearing Mr. Lyell's voice a second time, and conceiving something dreadful must be in hand, fell to the floor as though she had been shot.
Mr. Lyell has had the hardihood, the effrontery, the bold impudence, to relate abroad, that this commission was executed with all imaginable delicacy. And he has even said that he did not desire the paper to be given to Mrs. Jones; but that it was left for me.--Now in opposition to this, my servant, a respectable woman, and entirely to be depended on, is ready to make oath that he did particularly desire her to give it to Mrs. Jones. In addition to which, my daughter came into the passage at the time; and Mr. Lyell asked her if her Mamma was at home (not Mrs. Jones, which might leave an opening for confusion between Mr. and Mrs.) and being told again she was, desired the servant to give the paper to her, to be given by her to her Mamma. Further still, Mrs. Jones at the head of the stairs heard him inquire particularly for her.--By what name is such conduct, and after-denial, to be called?
But Mr. Lyell has gone further, and has even said, that on his second visit on the 6th I treated him amiss. I will therefore give a statement of the conversation, precisely as it took place: and I will do it in the way of the natural dialogue, to avoid confusion. For its truth, for the whole truth, and for nothing but the truth, I am ready to make oath. And my family are also ready to make oath, domestics as [73/74] well as wife and children; for all were in hearing. The delicate method of his executing his trust, had given a general alarm.
On my coming into the room, and accosting him, he began: Mr. L. "I was here some time ago, to deliver some papers."--Mr. J. "Yes, Sir, I have received them. I acknowledge the receipt of them."--Mr. L. "Ah, I did not know, whether it was done in due form."--Mr. J. "It would have been in more due form, if you had not delivered them to my wife."--Mr. L. "I did not deliver them to Mrs. Jones."--Mr. J. "But you desired them to be delivered to her."--Mr. L. "I did not deliver them to Mrs. Jones."--Mr. J. "If you were possessed of one spark of delicacy, you would not have done it."--Mr. L. "I did not deliver them to Mrs. Jones."--Mr. J. "But you are a brute, Sir; you are a brute."--With this I left him in the passage; and went into my study.
This last expression Mr. Lyell has magnified into an oath. Yes, Mr. Lyell has spread the report, that I used an oath.--And now, let me apply to any man of delicate feelings, who has a wife at a distance from all her relations, whose sufferings are a thousand times more poignant to him than the having of a dagger plunged in his own bosom,--let me inquire of such an one, if a milder term could be found for the occasion?
This was not sufficient. The next day, another meeting was held, at which Dr. Hobart was present, and was principal actor. At this meeting notices were prepared, and sent to all the Clergy through-out the State giving information of the sentence of [74/75] suspension. The same was done to the different Bishops and ecclesiastical authorities throughout the United States. For this, no provision is made by the Canon. And it is therefore utterly officious, unprovoked, and unnecessary. But it was done, in order to bring the case as near as possible to the sentence of degradation.
All this, be it remembered, is done without the concurrence, or rather in direct opposition to the judgment, of the Bishop of the Diocese. And this opposition is made by those who are the avowed advocates of high Church principles; who are persecuting their Brethren, because these will not join with them in the work of denunciation; and whose leading doctrine is, that where the Bishop is, there is the Church, and that "He that doeth any thing without the privity of the Bishop, serves the devil." [* St. Ignatius' Epistles--a favourite author with the high Church party.] And yet, these gentlemen act in opposition to THE BISHOP.--Yes, these high toned Brethren, with the Assistant Bishop, and the Assistant Bishop's Assistant, at their head, are in a state of open SCHISM!
It may not be amiss here, in adding a few remarks, to recapitulate some which have been in part already advanced.--That a person who offers to resign, if his resignation be not accepted, remains in the same situation in which he would have been if his offer had not been made, seems a proposition too [75/76] obviously true to admit of dispute. Can it be questioned then, that Bishop Provoost retains all the power and jurisdiction which he ever had over the Clergy and Churches of this Diocese? Does the appointment of an Assistant or Coadjutor deprive him of any part of that power? Or will it be contended, that the House of Bishops, or the General convention (for be it remembered, it was the joint act of both Houses) were not competent to determine, whether by the laws and principles of our Church, the offered resignation could or could not be accepted.--Perhaps it may be said, that this power rests with Trinity Church, and that as that body has the greatest wealth, it must necessarily have the highest authority in the Church. This must have been the opinion of Bishop Moore. For it will be seen, that though the Vestry had assumed the character of parties in the controversy which they alleged to exist between me and them; yet Bishop Moore, instead of appealing to the Constitution and Canons of the Church to know what ought to be done, when I presented to him my first PROTEST, did not presume to act till he had consulted the Vestry, and they had dictated the course to be pursued.--This shameful fact is recorded in the iniquitous sentence which has been pronounced against me.--What would be said of the Judge of a Civil Court, who should apply to an accuser to know what sentence he should pass against the accused? It is too true I fear, nay indeed I know, that this Vestry gives law to the Church in this State; and that their wealth affords them an uncontrolable influence over many of those who compose our [76/77] Ecclesiastical Tribunals. It is certain, that a great majority of my late Judges are dependants on the bounty of Trinity Corporation. And it is hardly to be questioned, that the two gentlemen who appeared in behalf of the Vestry to solicit my condemnation, were expected by their presence to overawe the members of the Tribunal who were expectants on the Vestry. When therefore one of the gentlemen who acted as PROSECUTORS on this occasion, declared that Trinity Church would never acknowledge any other Diocesan than Bishop Moore; it was in vain to appeal to the Constitution and Canons of the Church, or to the proceedings of the General Convention. The will of the Vestry was received as the law.
It is wrong however, and it is not my intention, to impute to the members of the Vestry generally the acts of that body. Several I know disapprove of the whole proceeding. And certain it is that a great majority of the rest are mere passive instruments, who have been placed there by the intrigues of Dr. Hobart, who never attempt to speak, and who do not presume to act, otherwise than they are directed to do by two or three persons, who have actually assumed the government as well of the Clerical as Lay concerns of the Church.
These observations will lead naturally to a few others, in correction of an error of considerable moment, and which has been turned to good account by those by whom it has been industriously propagated. It has been the artifice and policy of Dr. Hobart and Mr. How to represent me as the only person with whom they or the Church had any difficulties. [77/78] Their object in this is too obvious. They have thought that I was a victim on whom they might wreak their vengeance with impunity. Knowing as they did, that though this is my native place, I had no relatives or connexions here, they hoped also that I had no friends. Indeed since their dreadful sentence has been pronounced, they and their partizans have exultingly proclaimed this. "Now you will see," say they, "the peace of the Church restored. In three weeks Jones and his cause will be forgotten. His friends are few and insignificant; and nothing is to be feared from him or from them."
But why do they artfully conceal the truth? Have they forgotten, or do they wish to keep out of view, that all this labour, and anxiety, and suffering have voluntarily been confronted and braved by me for the sake of others? Was it not, because I refused to enter into the combination against Dr. Moore and Mr. Feltus; that I subjected myself also to the proscription in which they were involved? And are not these gentlemen still the objects of denunciation and virulent opposition? It is true, less is said about these now than heretofore; because another point is for the present kept steadily in view. Like the leading workers of destruction in the political world, they follow the artful and effective policy of taking one at a time. When this one is effectually removed, there will be more ease and more certainty in humbling all the rest. Divide, and conquer is the true principle of war. And it is the principle also by which these gentlemen endeavour to conduct the affairs of the Church militant.
 In addition to those already mentioned, are they not also in open and avowed enmity with Dr. Beach, Dr. Harris, and now with Bishop Provoost? Are these venerable Clergymen, with those mentioned above, less upright, less pious, less learned, less respectable in any point of view, than Dr. Hobart or Mr. How?--Look back to the late publications of these two gentlemen; and judge of the terms on which they stand with the Clergy of this city. The conduct of the Coadjutor Bishop's Assistant to Dr. Beach has outraged all decency. This venerable Pastor is willing to submit to the greatest wrongs, rather than enter, at his time of life, the field of contention. But does this cover the injury, or lessen the offence? Let those select friends, who have heard from Dr. Beach that plain narrative of the treatment received by him, which he means to leave as a faithful remembrancer of facts, when in the silent grave he shall be beyond the reach of envy and malice,--let those say, with what insufferable insolence and injustice he has been treated, by those who ought to have venerated his age, respected his character, and felt towards him that gratitude which his kindness to them in particular ought to inspire.
How then are the Clergy of this city divided on this unhappy occasion? On the one side, is the Father of the Church in this State, and one of the earliest Fathers of the American Church, our Diocesan, the Right Rev. Bishop Provoost,--there is also Dr. Beach,--Dr. R. C. Moore,--Dr. Harris, [* It is not intended by this statement, to hold up these gentlemen as partizans, but as the friends of equity and order; and as disapproving of the system of measures pursued.--Bishop Provoost has expressly and pointedly, in the letters under his own hand, manifested his disapproval of the whole proceedings. And to Dr. Hobart himself he has declared: "Sir, when on your earnest request, I consented to unite with my brethren the Bishops in your consecration, it was under the firm expectation, that the very first act of your Episcopal office would be to bring about a reconciliation, and to restore peace and harmony to the Church. I have therefore been greatly disappointed in what has since taken place?"] and myself.--[79/80] On the other, the Assistant Bishop Dr. Moore,--the Assistant Bishop Dr. Hobart,--the infant Clergyman Mr. How,--Mr. Bowen,--and Mr. Secretary Lyell--!--!
On what arrogant presumption will these last claim the pre-eminence, if it be not for their intolerance, their cruelty, their ambition, and their extravagant doctrines of High Church, which have not only distracted their own congregations, but made enemies of all moderate men of every persuasion.
And what now is the amount of their High Church doctrines? They have made a great noise about the divine right of Bishops; have urged their uncontrolable and unlimited power; and have insisted on the necessity of passive obedience and non-resistance to their will.--But this is to be understood as applicable only while they conceive all this power to be on their own side. The moment they perceive that this doctrine will operate against themselves, immediately they can discover a thousand objections. Thus it comes out, that High Church is to be the stalking-horse for effecting the purposes of one or two aspiring individuals; and when these purposes cannot [80/81] thus be answered,--why, even anti-episcopal doctrines will do quite as well.
May the Almighty turn their hearts! And may they in the world to come, meet with that mercy, which I fear would in vain be implored of them in this! May their trespasses be forgiven; not as they do, but as they ought to forgive!
And when in the discharge of their sacred offices they pray, that it would please our Heavenly Father to deliver us from all heresy and SCHISM; may the prayer be accomplished in their own hearts, and they be brought to an acknowledgement of the error of their ways, and a due submission to the authority to which they are bound in obedience, the true head of this Church here upon earth!
Before I conclude, I wish here to state and to pledge myself to the world, that for every single fact and circumstance stated in this publication, I am able, as I am persuaded and firmly believe, to adduce substantial evidence. Let now Dr. Hobart and Mr. How set to work, and obtain CERTIFICATES. And in collecting them, let them be sure to apply to the very persons who are interested in making a different statement.--And then, I will oppose to these Certificates, testimony on oath.--But on CERTIF1CATES, I shall have a little more to say in another place.
And now pause, I beseech you, impartial and discerning readers! Take a calm review of what has here been stated; and what is here stated to you as certain and undeniable truth. Compare it with the statements made in that ill-fated [81/82] production, "A SOLEMN APPEAL TO THE CHURCH." Ask your own hearts, if they are not sisters of the same family? Consider, whether so much virulence now, might not naturally have been preceded by something like to what is there contained. And then try if you cannot find in your heart something like an exculpation for its author? Attend moreover to the predictions which it contains, and the facts which have taken place in consequence; and reflect whether there must not have been some very sufficient data for forming these conclusions.--Alas! I have been but too true, however unpleasing, a prophet. When I again venture to predict, I hope it will be, with a more cheering and more comfortable prospect presented to my mind's eye.