Project Canterbury

The Voice of Truth; or an Examination of the Claims of the Rev. Dr. Seabury
To be the Provisional Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of New-York.

[no place: no publisher,] c. 1854.

Text courtesy of the Archives of the Diocese of Connecticut
1335 Asylum Avenue; Hartford, Connecticut 06105
Transcribed 2008

THERE are facts in relation to the Rev. Samuel Seabury, D. D., which distinguish his case from that of every other candidate for the office of Bishop in our Church, and all of which, it may be safely said, never before met together in any one case since the organisation of this Church in the United States.

1. He is opposed to the Protestant doctrines of our Church.

PROOF 1st. The Churchman of 14th March, 1846, says Bishop Hopkins, just on the eve of announcing an enlargement of his paper, and a fixed resolve to make new efforts to obtain accessions to his subscription list, hangs out the banner of Tract No. 90, as his avowed principle. The following are Dr. Seabury's words:--

"After a while came the famous (tract) No. 90; and then and thenceforward two questions, which had from the first been dimly, became clearly, distinguished: the first respected the principle of the Tract; the second respected the views of those whom the Tract was intended to shield. The principle of the Tract was the concession of the right of subscribing the Thirty-Nine Articles to those who embraced the doctrinal matter of the Trent decrees; the views of those whom it was intended to shield wore such as were not repugnant to the doctrine of these decrees. In other words, the principle of the Tract was the toleration in our communion of those who were not opposed to the opinions propounded in the doctrinal decrees of Trent; and the views of those for whom toleration was claimed were such as were reconcilable with these opinions.

"The principle of this Tract we did not hesitate to adopt, and we cannot look back on the intemperate opposition which it has received without a sense of shame, not for the Church, for it, is no growth of hers, but for humanity. Then, as now, we considered the intolerance and proscription of good men and sound in the faith for matters of opinion to be the fruit of a narrow-minded policy, a cowardly distrust of truth, and an ignorance of the true genius of the Church both before and since the Reformation; or, to sum up all in a word, we took it to be a working of the leaven of Puritanism. Nothing, in the course of our editorial labors, has gratified us more than the support which we have received on this point from that portion of the Church whose good opinion we especially desire. This steadfast denial of the decrees of Trent as points of faith and terms of communion, and tolerance of them as matters of opinion, is, not in our judgment alone, true Catholic ground, and ground which the Church in the United States, owing to her independence on the State, is peculiarly qualified to maintain. And when the violence of the re-action from Puritanism has ceased, and the love of new theories has subsided, and Catholic principles are better understood, this, we believe, is the ground on which Churchmen will rally; the only ground on which to uphold that unity in essential verities, which the sects cannot keep, and that liberty in things indifferent which Rome denies, with that charity which both Rome and the sects perpetually violate."

[We have quoted, the above extract from a very able Pamphlet by Bishop Hopkins in 1846, entitled, "An Humble but Earnest Address to the Bishops, Clergy, and Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, on the tolerating among our Ministry of the doctrines of the Church of Rome. Harper & Brothers, 82 Cliff-street." it deserves to be read by every Clerical and Lay Delegate, by the Standing Committees, and by the Bishops, before they endorse Dr. Seabury's claims. We quote Bishop Hopkins' comments, in part, upon the above avowal:--]

Now here we have a distinct statement and a public "avowal of a principle, repeatedly condemned by every Bishop of the United Church of England and Ireland, whose judgment has been published, and by a majority of the Bishops in our own Church, while we are not aware of one who has ventured to defend it in terms, although there are some in both Churches who have not openly declared themselves on either side of the question. The editor boldly asserts that the principle has been, in his opinion, 'acknowledged in the English Church from the Reformation to the present time.' And we allege, on the contrary, that no writer of any authority in that Church has presumed to break down the [1/2] standards of sound doctrine so far as to tolerate the admission of a man to her Ministry, who was known to prefer the decrees of Rome to the Thirty-Nine Articles of his own reformed communion. That a large latitude has been allowed in subscribing to the Articles, and a variety of interpretations admitted in expounding them, we are far from denying. But that they have ever been thought so perfectly nugatory, that they could. be subscribed conscientiously by an adherent to the doctrines of Trent, is a statement which we should rind it as difficult to reconcile with truth, as to reconcile the principle of Tract No. 90, with common sense or common honesty. The whole hypothesis is a perfectly modern discovery, not yet six years old, and the inventor of it has furnished its best practical commentary, by seceding to the Church of Rome, four years after he had resolved upon the measure; thus demonstrating that, although his principles could endure a tedious conflict between Popish opinions on the one side, and the ordination vows of a Protestant Church on the other, yet, at last, the opinions proved victorious, and carried him where he ought to have gone long before."--(page 7.)

Bishop Hopkins then proceeds to show a few of the "contrarieties" between our Articles and the Roman Council of Trent. This part of his Pamphlet is worthy of especial attention. It exhibits, briefly, but very clearly, the very points which all the members of our Church, the Laity especially, should keep in mind as the great land-marks, interposed between our own Church and the Roman Apostacy, and which can never be obliterated except by apostacy on our part. The gulf, to us impassable, Rome herself has made between us. She must close it, if it is ever to be closed, by the renunciation of her fearful heresies.

"The foregoing," says the Bishop, "presents but a very brief sketch of the leading points of difference between the Articles of our Church and the Council of Trent. The papal supremacy was not touched upon by the Council, neither is it mentioned in the Articles, but all the other doctrines in which the Churches differ so decidedly are plainly stated in both, so as to make it utterly impossible to reconcile the office of our priesthood with the doctrines of that Council, unless by the total subversion of our "Articles of Religion," and along with this, the absolute destruction of every established rule of ecclesiastical truth and obligation. And yet 'The Churchman' maintains that this monstrous coalition of Romish opinions with the solemn engagements of our clergy to conform to the doctrines of our Church, ought to be tolerated and allowed.' He insists that the resistance to the nefarious principle of Tract No. 90 is only 'a working of the leaven of Puritanism.' And he presumes to tell us that 'when the reaction from Puritanism has ceased, and Catholic principles are better understood, this is the ground on which Churchmen will rally.'"

In a manner equally clear and satisfactory the author proceeds, "to bring this most momentous question to a plain and simple issue, by enquiring how the theory so confidently put forth by The Churchman, will work with the clergy, in the practical performance of their duty. Tie refers to the distinct, solemn and unequivocal promise made by every priest in his ordination, that he 'will give his faithful diligence always so to minister the doctrine and sacraments and the discipline of Christ, as the Lord hath commanded, and as the Church hath received the same: so that he may teach the people committed to his charge with all diligence to keep and observe the same.' He shows that it is impossible that such an obligation can be discharged by one who stands in the position defended by 'The Churchman.' He exposes the plea, that the Tractarian holds the doctrines of Rome, not as points of faith, but as matters of opinion merely, as a vain and sophistical distinction. What, he asks, is opinion? Is it not that which we think to be the truth? And do we not adopt our opinions precisely, for the very reason that we believe them to be true? Grant then, that the Tractarian holds the doctrines of Rome only as 'opinions,' yet he believes them to be true, or he could not hold them. And that is all the argument requires!" He continues:--

"Now, then, how is he to discharge his office as a commissioned, ordained, and authorised instructor? If he preaches according to Rome, he is false to the Church. If he preaches according to the Church, he is false to his conscience, for his own opinion is that Rome is right and the Church is wrong. If he undertakes to reconcile them by putting a non-natural interpretation on the Articles, which he knows the Church never intended, he-is false to all the rules of human confidence, false to the teachings of his theological instructors, false, to the laws of language, false to the common sense and reason of mankind. And if, to avoid all these difficulties, he shuns every topic of instruction which could involve the points in controversy, and reduces his teachings to a circle which might be trodden in the same manner by either a Romish priest or a Protestant clergyman, he is false to that Savior who is 'the way, the truth, and the life;' false to the example of St. Paul, who 'shunned not to declare the whole counsel of God,' and 'kept back nothing that was profitable;' false to the admonition of St. Jude, that we should 'contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints;' and false to that solemn vow which binds him to proclaim and defend the WHOLE DOCTRINE of his own Church, and not a part of it.

[3] "With a mind so warped from its allegiance, and yet fully aware that a frank and candid statement of his Trentine opinions would utterly alienate his brethren and disgust his flock, such a man would be constantly tempted to a course of prevarication. He would feel his way, calculate how much he might venture, draw back a little when he found that he had gone too far, advance again as soon as he dared, and infuse his Romish doctrines just as fast and as openly as he thought politic, hoping to find himself strong enough by-and-by to throw off the mask and boldly avow his darling project of unity with Rome, the loss of which he gently insinuates, from time to time, to be a mournful dispensation. And meanwhile he would naturally indulge his predilections by gazing on the phantom of Catholicity, and exaggerating the efficacy of sacramental grace, and magnifying the authority of councils, and recommending the lives of the Roman saints, and speaking contemptuously of the character and work of the Reformers, and making an idol of the Church of the Middle Ages, and trying to revive the exploded custom of prayers for the dead, and enlarging the importance of tradition, and bringing the external forms of worship as near as possible to the Roman standard. In all this, his views of expediency would be the only counteracting influence against the internal force of his opinions; for the true and dutiful attachment once felt for the doctrine of his own Church would be no longer his ruling principle of action. And hence his whole soul would become more and more infected with the poison of Romanism. Reserve and mystification would grow into a habit. Candor and frankness would be abjured. Preaching and conversation would be less and less marked by the honest ardor of sincerity. The warm and cordial confidence of those around him would be exchanged for the chilling atmosphere here of doubt and suspicion. No blessing from heaven could cheer his ministerial course. And, after years spent in this apostacy of the heart, without being able to make any decisive impression upon the Church which he had been vainly attempting to unprotestantize, he would find himself compelled to go where his opinions had gone before, and exhibit, in the sight of man, the treachery which had long been displayed in the sight of God."

For examples of this treachery we may refer to Mr. Newman and his followers abroad, and to Dr. Forbes, Mr. Preston, Mr. Huntington, &c, at home. All have plunged into the Roman gulf after a vain attempt for years to stand upon the basis upon which Dr. Seabury professes to stand.

"Such nevertheless," says Bishop Hopkins "is the bold and public demand of 'The Churchman.' He tells us that we must 'tolerate' the men who adopts the doctrines of the Council of Trent, in utter contempt of our own reformed, and Scriptural, and truly apostolic system. He tells us that our refusal to tolerate them is a 'shame to humanity.' He declares that the absurd and dishonest principle of Tract No. 90 is the only ground on which Churchmen will rally when the reaction of what he calls Puritanism shall have passed away, and Catholic principles are better understood; as if the blessed martyrs of the Reformation knew nothing about Catholic principles, and the ground on which the Church has stood and flourished for three hundred years was not the rock of Christ's eternal truth, but only a false and sandy foundation. And this is the flag which he unfurls at the commencement of his new effort to enlarge his paper and extend its circulation. This is the sign under which he hopes to conquer, in the face of the great body of bishops in England, in Ireland, and in the United Suites; in the face of the last General Convention, in the face of the open apostasy of Mr. Newman and his forty associates, and in defiance of every rule of ministerial consistency, fidelity, and solemn obligation.

"To our bishops and our clergy, and to every intelligent member of our communion, therefore, we address our humble and earnest entreaty, that this presumptuous claim in behalf of the Council of Trent may be denounced as distinctly as it has been advocated. We have believed it our solemn duty to present our views upon the subject, because we are quite sure that few, comparatively, have deemed it of sufficient importance to give it much attention, and that the majority are disposed to pass it over as an evil which will cure itself, if it be let alone. But this spirit of indulgence toward doctrinal error is not easily reconciled with the true, theory of Christian fidelity. It is while men sleep that the enemy soweth tares; and constant vigilance is the only means, under God, by which either the Church or the State can secure its safety."

The Lord grant that this solemn call of the Bishop of Vermont may not fall on ears dull of hearing.

"We call upon our brethren, therefore, with all respect and affection, and in the full consciousness of duty, to reflect seriously before they encourage, either actively or passively, the monstrous principle which this editor announces as the leading characteristic of his paper, or if the clergy hold their peace, and the laity sustain him, and the fountain of this perilous delusion continues to flow on, until we too have our band of apostates following the track of Mr. Newman, after having convulsed and torn the Church through years of bitter dissension, we know not on what plea they can acquit themselves, before Christ, of bring accessories to an awful error."

Brethren of the Clergy and Laity. There can be no safety for us, when the barriers [3/4] between our Church and Rome are laid prostrate: or when the tolerating of Roman doctrines in our clergy, is advocated on a principle as demoralizing as it is false and sophistical: as destructive to noble simplicity, purity and integrity of character, as it is traitorous to the Church of God.

PROOF 2D. In April, 1844. In an editorial notice of a new edition of the Homilies by Edward C. Biddle, of Philadelphia, Dr. Seabury commended them 'for the high doctrines which they teach in regard to the real presence in the Eucharist, for their judicious INCULCATION OF THE EFFICACY OF GOOD WORKS TO WASH AWAY OUR SINS, AND TO RECONCILE US TO GOD, AND FOR THEIR RECOGNITION OF THE INSPIRATION OF THE APOCRYPHA."

If any thing could make the Homilies valueless in the eyes of sound and consistent Churchmen, and cause them to be as so much dead stock on the groaning shelves of the publishers it would be this slander upon their doctrinal integrity; for if they in truth contained the monstrous doctrines ascribed to them by "The Churchman," not even the Church's endorsement could save them from the merited and indignant rejection of all who revered and loved the Bible, and its sacred truth.

PROOF 3D. in May, 1845. The Rev. Dr. Wainwright published an "Order of Family Prayer." Dr. Seabury's comment on the book was as follows:--

"Opening at hazard in the middle of the book we were so struck by the beauty of one of the prayers as well as the manliness evinced in thus boldly setting forth the true doctrine of the Church, and reducing theory to practice, that we are convinced no better recommendation of the work can be given than to extract the prayer in question, it is in part the same with the prayer for the Church Militant in the first Liturgy of King Edward VI., and will ensure, to Dr. Wainwright the thanks of all true Churchmen for his fearless testimony to the ancient custom of praying for the dead."

Here we are, then, members of a Church whose "true doctrine" authorizes prayers for the dead! Without equivocation, but broadly, plainly, in the face of the Church, it is proclaimed by Dr. Seabury, that prayers for the dead are sanctioned in theory by the Church, and that to set forth such prayers is merely "to reduce the theory to practice."

In the Courier & Enquirer Dr. Wainwright hastened to insert, a letter of which we give an extract:--

"For the Courier and Enquirer.

"DEAR MESSRS. EDITORS: I solicit your friendly permission to use a few lines' space in relation to a misrepresentation, which I consider to be a very serious one; and the correction of which I am therefore unwilling to postpone until the next weekly publication of the religious paper in which it appeared. The last Churchman, which T saw only at a late hour on Saturday evening, contains a brief notice of my 'Order of Family Prayer,' just published, in which the editor quotes one of the prayers with great approbation, and says that its introduction 'will ensure Dr. Wainwright the thanks of all true Churchmen for his fearless testimony to the ancient custom of praying for the dead.' Now if Dr. Seabury thinks it is desirable or expedient to revive this custom, I most decidedly do not. His praise of my 'manliness evinced in thus boldly setting forth the true doctrine of the Church and reducing theory to practice'--is, therefore, totally undeserved. I hold no such theory. The Church teaches us reverently to commemorate the faithful departed, and to thank God through Christ, for the benefit of their holy example; but she does not teach us to pray for them; and I do not therefore, believe this to be 'the true doctrine of the Church.' How Dr. Seabury could read the prayer and understand it as implying this doctrine, I cannot conceive, it was expressly intended to exclude this doctrine, and it does exclude it."

PROOF 4TH. Dr. Seabury, together with Drs. Berrian, McVickar, Price, Higbee and Haight, consented to and approved of the "Carey ordination." Dr. Seabury's endorsement was full and pointed. "As to the main point, (says he,) the ordination of the assailed candidate, we beg leave to record our humble opinion, that no act of Bishop Onderdonk's official life has more effectually displayed the sterling traits of his character, or given him a stronger claim to the gratitude and admiration of his diocese. The ordination of Mr. Carey is a new proof that New York has in her bishop a theologian whose sound judgment and solid learning render him an enlightened guardian of the Church's interests, a father whose generous sympathies dispose him to sustain to the utmost the humblest member of his spiritual charge who has truth and justice on his side, and a fearless executive whose hand never shrinks from carrying into effect what his head approves, and whose steadfast purpose in the discharge of duty, and in the hour of trial, is always tempered with that calmness and 'peace which the world cannot give.' We are averse, for obvious reasons, to remarks of this nature in reference to our bishop; and our columns will testify that such remarks have been seldom made. But on this occasion we can brook no restraint; we must speak out, and declare before God and his Church, our honest convictions and fervent thanks that New York has a bishop around whom all her sound-minded clergy and laity may confidently rally."--[Churchman, July 8, 1843.]

Now we hold that by the pastoral letter of the House of Bishops, 1844, that act [4/5] was impliedly condemned, and an assurance given to the Church that it shall not be repeated. These letters, by whomsoever prepared, are submitted to the judgment and receive the acquiescence of the House of Bishops before they are read in the Lower House and given to the public. This then was their solemn declaration in 1844:--

"We feel it our duty to declare that no person should be ordained who is not well acquainted with the landmarks which separate us from Rome. And being so, who will not distinctly declare himself a protestant, heartily abjuring her corruptions, as our Reformers did."

ANOTHER FACT. The Candidate is a rebel against the discipline of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

PROOF. In 1845. The Court of Bishops by a large majority after a long and impartial trial convicted Bishop B. T. Onderdonk of "immorality and impurity." Dr. Seabury took occasion immediately afterwards to say:--

"We look upon the decision of the majority as a mere Party Proscription" and spoke of the verdict as "deserving not the weight of a feather."--[Churchman, January 11, 1S45.J

Now we had supposed it to be the duty of every one, layman, deacon or priest, to abide by the discipline of the Church, and to refrain, as a matter of bounden duty, from bringing that discipline into contempt. The Church, in such matters, cannot control opinions, but she has a right to expect of her children, quietness and peace when her judgment is given, and that they shall follow "with a glad mind and will" her "godly admonitions."

FACT 3RD. The candidate is a reviler of our Bishops.

PROOF. Dr. Seabury wrote thus, in 1841:--

"A Romance of Gambier. Our readers have been apprised by our advertising columns that Bishop McIlvaine sometime since published a book about 'Oxford Divinity,' and 'Justification by Faith.' We have never read it, being satisfied by the author's almost heretical charge on the latter subject, of his utter incompetence to point out the errors--if any there be--into which the Oxford Divines have fallen. In the Gambier Observer, however, of the 13th inst., we find copious extracts from the Bishop's late work, and among them the following, which in justice to the Church we do not hesitate to pronounce a mere piece of Romance."--[Churchman, Jan. 9, 1841.]

In 1845, it was stated in one of our papers that the Bishop of Connecticut had received candidates for ordination from the Diocese of New York from the Standing Committee, on the ground that the Episcopate was virtually vacant.

On the 19th of July, 1845, Dr. Seabury thus denounced Bishop Brownell in The Churchman as the instigator and abettor of Schism:--

'For the honor of Connecticut, whose escutcheon of all others ought herein to be spotless, we hope the above intimation is not true; for if it be true we shall not hesitate to declare that the Bishop of Connecticut has unfurled the flag of SCHISM, and will be responsible before God and man for the manifold and dreadful consequences of this deadly sin.

"The Diocese of New York is not vacant. No man who has a decent regard for truth or law, dares say that it is vacant. Bishop Brownell, according to the above intimation, does not pretend that it is vacant, but admits that the Rt. Rev. Dr. Onderdonk is really, and according to the letter of the Canons, its Bishop. All the clergy of this Diocese, so far as we know, regard Dr. Onderdonk as their Bishop; most with whom we have conversed scout the idea of any other view being taken; and yet if the above intimation is true, the Bishop of Connecticut declares not in word only, but in deed, that the Diocese is virtually and according to the spirit of the Canons vacant. In other words, the Bishop of Connecticut becomes the instigator and abettor of Schism by proclaiming to the Diocese of New York that the way is open for the lovers of division and discord to set aside their lawful and canonical Bishop, and set up another in opposition to him. Should any portion of our Diocese, no matter whether a majority or minority, respond to this seditious overture, and madly follow out the course to which it invites, beyond all doubt the Church would be rent in twain; we should have two rival Bishops in the same See, burling their reciprocal fulminations; and the Schism would rend more or less every Diocese in the Union."

In 1846, The Freeman's Journal and Catholic Herald, edited by Mr. McMasters, (who was to have been examined with Mr. Carey, but whose name was withdrawn, and who afterwards seceded to Rome,) came promptly to the aid of Dr. Seabury in a prolonged echo of "The Churchman's" denunciations of Bishops P. Chase and Hopkins, and Mr. McMasters endeavored, by means of the language of Dr. S., to hold up those distinguished Prelates to the derision of Romanists.

It would be humiliating and sickening to bring forward further proofs of this fact. They must be familiar to all who have read the pages of The Churchman. Never before has the Church been so insulted in the persons of her Bishops. No other pen has taken such bold license as Dr. Seabury's in assailing the sacred ermine, and in impeaching the judicial integrity of our Spiritual Fathers; and no other hand has discharged shafts tipped [5/6] with such calumny at the spotless characters of a Brownell, a Meade, an Otey, and the other upright and pure-minded men who presided in the Court of 1845.

A FOURTH FACT. The candidate is an upholder of immorality and impurity.

PROOF. Take Dr. Seabury's code as expressed in his own words:--

'We consider the whole persecution against him (Bp. (.).) to be the offspring of Envy, foiled once and again in its aims, and lashing' itself onward with the desperate resolve--

Flectere si neques superos Acheronta movebo,--

moulding to its purpose vain and weak partisans, and working through their instrumentality on a stats of mind previously poisoned by calumny mid strongly pro-occupied by religious bigotry."--[Churchman Editorial of May 20, 1847.]

"With such an agency, such instruments, and such elements to work upon, it is very easy to exaggerate the most innocent freedom-; into imprudences, and attribute to them appearances which do not belong to them."--[Ibid.]

"We desire not to be understood as admitting that Bishop O.'s present difficulties are the natural consequences of any 'imprudences on his part,' or of any 'acts which bear the appearance of crime' "--[Ibid.]

"We have never had but one opinion on the subject, and that is, that it (the Presentment) ought to have been dismissed. The Canon says, that a Presentment may be made 'for any crime or immorality.' It does not authorise one for 'impurity'--as distinguished from crime or immorality."--[Same Editorial.]

The following passages are without a parallel in the writings of Protestant Episcopal Clergymen, and the doctrine which they inculcate would, if subscribed to by the Laity, sweep away the very foundations of Christian morality, and prove that purity and virtue are, after nil, nothing but certain conventional ideas, or to use Dr. Seabury's own elegant phrase--'fig-leaf proprieties with which a refined society sews to itself aprons.'

In his Editorial of Nov. 8, 1815, he observes; (we use a few italics and capitals:)--"The very offences alleged against Bishop O., as was remarked shortly after the trial by the Evening Mirror, have been offences against the taste and breeding of what are called the upper classes of society. Neither in the judgment of charity--as is proved by the opinion of the six Bishops--nor the judgment of men of the world--as was shewn by the Evening Mirror, NEED THEY BE CONSTRUED INTO OFFENCES AGAINST MORALITY, however this complexion may be given to them by RELIGIOUS MALEVOLENCE, OR ARISTOCRATIC FASTIDIOUSNESS."

"Let us," remarked a commentator of 1845, "see the meaning of this assertion. The offences alleged in the Presentment were chiefly the taking of impure, unchaste, and grossly indecent liberties with the persons of single and married women, contrary to his consecration vow in that behalf, and to the great scandal of the Church of Christ. These offences then, being not inconsistent with morality, but only against the taste and breeding of the upper classes, no blame whatever could attach to the Bishop for taking these liberties with young women of the lower classes of society, or indeed with any who might chance to be so free from aristocratic fastidiousness, as to invite, encourage, or permit them.

"In all this there would be no breach of morality--however impure, unchaste, or immodest. But take another case; the Bishop ventures upon these lascivious indecencies with the pure wives and daughters of his country clergy, or those of the plain farmers who have given him a welcome. They have no right to complain. No offence has been committed except against the taste and breeding of the upper classes, to which they do not belong, and they are not entitled to feel any aristocratic fastidiousness in regard to the amusements of the Bishop."

In another number of The Churchman, this was the demoralising doctrine unblushingly put forth by a Presbyter (its editor, and now a candidate for the mitre) to screen the proved "immoralities and impurities" of a Bishop, from the rebuke of the Church, and the virtuous indignation of society!--

"In the sense in which these words ('immorality,' 'imprudences,' &c.) are generally used, and as denoting certain degrees of grossness or approaches to crime which stop short of its commission, we believe the charge to be totally unfounded, and suppose Bishop Onderdonk to have had no more improper feeling towards the ladies who have felt themselves aggrieved than if they had been so many ivory statues; to have been as insensible to the virginei * * vultus with which his prosecutors entered on the trial, as he was unprepared for the foedissima ventris proluvies which they have left in their track. 'Imprudences' and 'indiscretions' in another sense, and considered as denoting a too great freedom and familiarity of manner, the overflowings of a guileless heart, affectionate even to weakness, and too little heedful of the fig-leaf proprieties with which a refined society sews to itself aprons, we do not care to deny: not because we think them unimportant in their place--far otherwise--but because they are wholly irrelevant to the charge of 'immorality.' and because they are matters of individual taste, on which it is impossible to lay down any definite rule for the guidance of all.'

[7] The bard, who had these facts in his mind's eye, caught with his pencil an accurate and striking likeness, and transferred it to the canvas infant colors:--

"Fathers and Brethren! in these our ancient quarrels,
We fear we're loosing all our ancient morals.
A learned Editor, whose grey goose-quill
Hath oft reduced proud Bishops to his will;
Whose weighty columns oft have labored sore
With unknown tongues and legendary lore;
Whose canvas sheet, outspread like, gallant sail,
Hath tilled with every wind and noisy gale;
Whose fruitful wit hath oft perplexed our view,
With shifting shades and each chameleon hue;
This wondrous man hath taken another tack,
And throwing knightly armor on his hack,
Booted and spurred, he reins his gallant steed,
With lance in hand he looks the knight indeed.
But this proud knight in his bright errantry,
Reverses all thy rules, O Chivalry!
With coward-lance he seeks to win a name,
Not righting for but 'gainst sweet women's fame:
Oh shame to knighthood; pluck his visor off,
From out the lists the dastard recreant scoff;
Take off his spurs, shiver his traitor lance,
Beneath his stride let no proud charger prance,
And when from off his thighs ye tear the greaves,
Write on his shield, the knight of fig-tree leaves!"

"The Diocese of New York," it is said by Dr. Berrian, in his letter 6f nomination, "from its very organisation, to the present time, has had the invariable character of a High Church Diocese. This has been at once the stronghold of sound principles, and the source from which they have been spread throughout the land. And with such a champion (Dr. Sea-bury) to defend and maintain them, bearing the banner of 'Evangelical truth and Apostolic order,' what glorious triumphs might we not be led to expect! But a false step in the choice of our leader, might endanger the safety of the host itself."

What mocking words are these? Let the VOICE OF TRUTH be heard:--

"Look," says one, "at the case as it really is. The man who has shown more changeableness of theological learning than any of the Diocese, is held up for remarkable firmness and consistency. The man who has done more to introduce division into the Church than any other, is held up for the Episcopate, as the very man to produce unity and peace. The man who, more than any other of the whole Church, except his editorial, successor, perhaps, has treated the Bishops who happened to differ from him contemptuously and abusively, as if he gloried in such language, is held up to receive their consecration and take his place among them as eminently worthy of their fellowship. The man who, more than any other, treated the decision of the Bishops in the ease of the suspended Bishop with contumely, and endeavored to represent the immoralities, for which the suspension was imposed, as trifles, even if they were facts, and has ever since been peculiarly zealous to counteract as much as possible the wholesome effect of that discipline--that man is held up, by the intimate and bosom friend of the suspended--if not the suspended himself--as the very man above all others, to take Dr. Onderdonk's own place, for the time being at least, and do what? Honor and sustain that same discipline, of course.

"Clergy and Laity of the Diocese of New York: professing to he fully sensible how important it is that the sacred office of a Bishop should not be unworthily conferred, can you cast your suffrages for a man of such a history? Firmly persuaded that it it is your duty to bear testimony on the solemn occasion of the election of a Bishop, without partiality or affection, can you, in the presence of Almighty God, testify that this man is not so far as you are informed justly liable to evil report? Gentlemen of the Standing Committees of our Church: can you, in the form prescribed by the Canons, sanction such an election? Reverend Fathers in God, 'commanded in Holy Scripture and by the ancient Canons, not to be hasty in laying on hands and admitting any person to government in the Church of God;' would you not have more regard to the honor of the Church and of the truth, than to assent to his consecration, did all the Committees sanction it?



Of the Certificates to be produced on the part of the Bishop elect.

Testimony from the Members of the Convention in the Diocese from whence the person is recommended for Consecration.

We, whose names are underwritten, fully sensible how important it is that the sacred office of a Bishop should not be unworthily conferred, and, firmly persuaded that it is our [7/8] duty to hear testimony on this solemn occasion, without partiality or affection, do, in the presence of Almighty God, testify, that A. B. is not, so far as we are informed, justly liable to evil report, either for error in religion or for viciousness in life; and that we do not know or believe that there is any impediment on account of which he ought not to be consecrated to that holy office. We do, moreover, jointly and severally declare, that we do, in our conscience, believe him to be of such sufficiency in good learning, such soundness in the faith, and of such virtuous and pure manners, and godly conversation, that he is apt and meet to exercise the office of a Bishop, to the honor of God and the edifying of his Church, and to be a wholesome example to the flock of Christ.

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