John Ireland.

A second solemn appeal to the church : containing remarks and strictures on the late violent proceedings of a pretended ecclesiastical court against the author online

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would it have been, for the reputation both of the church
and of Dr. B. Moore, had that promotion taken place
some y ars ago : Dr. H. would then have been respon-
sible for many an act, of which he has virtually been
the author, but of which he has contrived to throw the
odium on another. On this account I learn with regret,
that a jnost material defect * in his consecration has ren-
dered the act itself nugatory. But it is an act which af-
fects me not : if it be supposed that I object to the charac-
ter or conduct of Dr. H. let it be remembered that my
objection is not to the bishop, but to the man ; and I
therefore hasten to meet him, as man to man, on the ground
which himself has selected.

He observes,"!" that with respect to the contents of my
certificate, ''- he is completely at issue with Mr. Warner,
myself, and 2\\ other persons (if any such then are) who
make similar declarations." The word " other '* seems
to intimate that there ma«/ be some, besides Mr. W. and
myself, who can testify to the same fact : and that there
ar? many (altho' I candidlv confess that I can not give
thri names) his unreserved communication to myself
leaves me no room to doubt. He told me that he had
made 5/? Tli/dore acquainted with his charge of forgery
against Mr. Feltus : and I have very good reason to be-
lieve that he did so. But this is irr.-laiive to the purpose.
The question is — not whether Dr. Hobart has actused
Mr. Feltus of forgery ; tJiat question is ( as I understand)

* If a most material defect in the consecration of a bishop may take
place under our onun eyes, will not the neglect to apply the remedy con-
firm ihp doubts of some, respecting our pretension to the regular un-
interrufjted 3ncces9i\ot\ ? will Ihey not doubt, whether in the course
of sow hundred years, similar material defects may not have alrea-
dy n,ri> d the lineal descent ? whether there may not be something-
like !;i.!i in the " Nag's-head " story, and other stories of a like
natui-p ? " Verbum sat sapienti."

■f I t.tke it fir granted, that each of my readers is sufficiently ac-
quainted with all the particulars, to which allusion is here made.


to be brought before a civil tribunal, and therefore ought
not to be a subject of extotensic discussion ; but — whether
the conversation, to the substance of which 1 have sol-
emnly sworn, did or did not take place. Dr. H* asserts
in opposition to my oath, that it did not : and tr.e ground
which he has taken for the support of his asseitionis
the ground of improbability. Let us then examine un-
to which side the right of probability inclines.

Dr. H. ' avers its improbability, from the high crimina-
lity which it imputes to him.' Is a charge then less true,
because it refers to high crimes and misdemeanors.'' Does
Dr. H, imagine ihat he is so highly exaiied, as to bebe}ond
the reach of an imputation of this kind ? Would to G(jd that
he were* But what should we think of such a defence as this
from the lips of a man, standing at thebaroi justice, arraign-
ed for a capital oifence ? — ' It is true, that two witnesses
' of unimpeached character have sworn , to the fact: but

* how, gentlemen of the jury, how can you believe me ca-

* pable of such an act of high criminality ? it would argue

* a baseness, an atrociousness of heart, of which I did
not suppose any individual thought me capable." But had
not Dr. H. been guilty of a j&rCTioz/5 act of equal crimina-
lity ? had he not charged Mr. Macklin with forgery ? And
altho it be admitted that the charge was well founded,
had Dr. PI. " the means of establishing it " at the time
when he first made it ? Did he not draw a bow at a venture ?
and did not this instance of success imboldcn him to let fly
a second shaft which rebounded and struck the archer?
Is it not high criminality to charge (when he had
not the means of substantiating it) a brother clergyman
with so indecent an act, as drawing up his own panegyric,
as writing a fulsome recommendation of himseJ? This
Dr. H. admits that he did ; and he justifies it by saying
that " it is a surmise which will naturally arise in the mind
oi any one.'* I thank God that/ have not such a n^ind,
nor do I wish to have intercourse with any one wtio as:
it raa)^ be natural (nay more, it may be habitual) to some
men to indulge themselves in injurious surmists, respect-
ing their brethren and all the rest of mankind ; but irom
such a nature and such a habit, '« Good Lord deliver '' me
arid mine.

"I he folly of holding such a conversation as has b< en
represented with " two persons who Dr. H. had eVeiy



reason to believe were the most disposed, of all men ih'''
ing, to employ it to his disadvantage," is the second mark
of improbability.

With how much truth this observation will apply to
Mr. Warner, I piesume not to say. Altho' I have no re-
collection of having seen (much less spoken to) this gen-
tleman in 14 years, yet my late enquiries respecting his
character dispose me to believe, that he is as incapable of
wantonly injuring the reputation of a wonhy clergyman,
as of taking a false oath. But I leave him to furnish his
own answer. Dr. H's observation, (as it relates to myself)
1 have already answered, by defying him to produce a sin-
gle reason for believing me capable of employing any thing
to his disadvantage. " How can ye (vipers) being evil, speak
good things ? for out of the abundance of the heart the
mouth speaketh." * Out of the abundance of his heart
(and for the reason assigned by our Saviour) did Dr H,
utter this expression. A very slight acquaintance with
human nature will account for such conduct.

" Forgiveness to tlie injured may belong,

*' Those never pardon who have done the wrong."

Dr. H. conscious to himself that he was meditating the
scheme of my destruction, and having, probably, intrusted it
to some of his " seven spirits," concluded that I was acquain-
ted with his designs J that I cordially hated the man who
cordially hated me ; and that I must necessarily be, of all
men, the most disposed to employ any thing to his dis-

He adds—" With Mr. Ireland I never was in hab-
its of intercourse." To this declaration I have but one ob-
jection, and that is — its total want of truth. Could I for
a moment think so meanly of myself, as to suppose.
that my baj-e word required the support of certificates, I
could produce a hundred to prove the falsehood of that
assertion : but it is sufficiently known already to Bp,
Moore, and to almost every other clergyman in t^e dio-
cese. Let me rot be misunderstood : I am not solicitous
of propogating the idea, that any thing like mtimdcy ever
subsisted between Dr. H. and myself : far from it. jMy
acquaintance with this gentleman commenced during his
residence on Long Island, when he introduced hhn-'^eh'
* Matt. 12. ch, .S*. V.


to me at my own house. A further knowledge cf him in-
spired me with no respect either for his talents or for his
learning: andsome striking indications of a dark, intriguing,
turbulent spirit, together with an assumption of power
which (I thought) ill became hinm, did not make an inti-
macy with him very desirable to me. But still a friendly
intercourse., (such as can scarce fail to subsist between
clergymen who reside near together, and who often come
in contact at the houses of mutual friends , to say nothing
of conventions, minor societies &c. such an intercourse)
was maintained between us, and remained undisturbed
until I went to Carolina three years ago. Where then
was the folly of informing me of the real character of a-
nother clergyman, especially when (as I assert) I went
to him for the express purpose of obtaining that informa
tion ? It is well known that Dr. H, had dreadfully strain-
ed a point, in order |to prevent the admission of Mr«
Feltus into the diocese. Is it any breach of charity to
suppose that he would have rejoiced at seeing him driven
mit of it again ? and was any plan more likely^ than to
ruin him in the opinion of his parishioners, before he could
have had time to establish himself? Was it any instance of
folly to employ a brother clergyman to effect this object ?
Did not Dr. H. know that I had many friends in Brook-
lyn? and was there any folly in concluding that my repre-
sentations might prove injurious to Mr. F. ? I see many
strong marks of something else^ but none o^ folly in such

But whatever marks of criminality or of folly may ap-
pear, I have asserted (my oath* is out of the question at
present) that Dr. Hobart did hold a long and very circum-
stantial conversation with me ; in which he declared that the
Rev. Mr, Feltus had been gnilty of forgery, and that it
was my duty to circulate the fact, for the purpose of pre-
venting the establishment of so unworthy a clergyman in

* I shall never cease to regret that I consented to make this con-
versation the subject of an oath. To every solicitation I uniformly
for a length of time, replied— No ; those who know me, knowr me.
to be incapable of uttering' a falsehood ; if Dr. Hobart dares to con-
tradict me, I am willing to abide the issue ; my avowed readiness to
take the oath, 'when absolutely required, ought to be, in the estimation
of gentlemen, tantamount to an actual oath. The importunities,
however, of friends at length prevailed ot\ uie to recede from my de^


our diocese. Dr. Ho'^art does not (he says) retain a
'distinct recollecison' of this conversation; and yet of
other conversations on subjet ts of minor importance, he
has a ' strong recollection, and of all the circumstances at-
tendirig them.' No allusion (says he, speaking of the in-
tervi^^vv between Mr. Feltus and himself)' no allusion was
xa'Ade^I perfectly recollect^ to the sheet of false accusatio is or
th enargc of forgery j' in the margin of a copy of Dr.
H's pamphlet sent to Mr. F. is the following reply to this as-
sertion, in Mr. F's hand-writing — * They vfi-r^ particularly
mentioned by the Dr. himself.' To Dr. H's indistinct re-
collection then I oppose my strong and clear remembrance, of
all the important circum stances preceding, attending, and
resalcing from, this conversation. I had repeatedly heard
of the charge of forgery, before I saw Dr. H. on the sub-
jeit J with whom I was told that the charge originated. As I
was one of the committee, appointed by the vestry of St.
Ann's church, to recommend a respectable clergyman to fill
the vacancy occasioned by my resignation, I was acting
in the line of my duty when I waited on Dr. H. for in-
formation, respecting the character of the gentleman
who had been recommended as my successor. — — —
Many obvious reasons contributed to excite an interest
in uis reputation, and I was desirous of ascertaining his
real standing in the opin)on of his brethren. For this
express purpose I consulted Dr. Hobert. In a long con-
vCrsation between us, he assured me that he had it in his
power to prove Mr. F. guilty of forgery : he give me his
owa definition of forgery, and mentioned the very docu-
ment said to be forged. I remember well that he em-
ployed the word ^' cattle ;" that I smiled at the expression,
and that he laughingly justified the use of it on that occa-
sion ; that I inquired how a man of Mr. F's disorderly,
dangerous character, could have oi^tamed orders ; and that
he made, in substance, the following reply: — He was or-
daii.ed by Bp. White : you know what that gentleman's
failing is, as well as I do : Dr. W. is in most respects a
gooO and Vciiuable man, but his fondness for making cler-
gymen has led nim to introduce into tlie ministry a greater
number of unworthy men, than any other* bishop in this
country. Fully impressed with the particulars of this

- *
'^ I think the exprebsion was—Than all the other bishops put toge-


jnomentous information, I returned to Brooklyn ; and (as
Dr. H. had suggtisted) immediately called at the house ot"
Mr. Sands, to whose family I detailed the conversation
above recited. I afterwards took occasion (conceiving it
my duty so to do) to inform several other members of the
church : and so thorougly convinced was I that Dr. H.
had told me the truth, and that Mr. F. was a man with
whom I ought not to associate, that I not only refused to
sit under his ministry, but also withheld from him those
attentions which I have invariably paid to every gentle-
man coming into my neighbourhood. This is a fact
known to, and noticed by, every family in Brooklyn. And
yet, could [ descend to the meanness of certificate-hunt-
ing, I could produce a volume of certificates, from Mr.
Sands' family and many others, to proves that it gave me
inexp: essible delight, when I afterwards discovered the
charge against Mr. F. to be groundless, and that I took
pains to contradict the pievious f;^lse report. Soon after
this I became acquainted with Mr. F. and when I assigned
to him the reason of my former distance and rtiserve, he
candidly answered — I never was at a loss to acpount for
your behaviour, tor I was aware that your mind had been
po' ^oned against m>io*

A i now, since no reasonable man acts without a mo-
tive, what motive could have impelled me to depart so
wia ly trom the uniform tenour of my conduct} in the
case of a gentleman and a clergyman coming to reside
nex: d'ior to me ? What frenzy could have impelled me to
publish a story to the disadvantage of an abs jlute stranger
to me, when I had not the most remote interest in it, and
when I was exposed? at every instant, to detection and in-
famy ? .Had I been, " of all men living, the most disposed
to employ a charge to Dr. H's disadvantage," why did I
not employ it during the length of time which I suffered
to elapse ? How happens it, that two men who never had
any acquaintance, and who have not exchanged a wor J (I
think) in a number of years, should agree precisely m the
same story, and should have sworn to the truth of it ?

• During' the time that Mr. F. and myself were almost strangers
to the persons of each other, that gentleman mvariably addressed
me, whenever he had occasion to write a note to me on business, as
a brother clergyman ; from the first hour of his settlement in Brook-
lyn, I have never discovered any trait of that animosity which has
been ascribed to him.

Whom was my story calculated to benefit ? No one.
Whom W4S it my design to injure? Mr. Feltus ? Where
is ih^ probability that I would attempt wantonly to destroy
the reputation of an innocent man, wlio was an entire
str inger to me ? Dr. Hobart ? What probability was there
of my being able to substantiate the charge ; and why
sh ) lid I wish to injure a neighbouring clergyman, who, I
had reason to suppose, was my friend, or at least, not my
enemy ? But I am actually ashamed to be detected in rea-
soning on such a point, and shall retire abruptly from the

Dr. Hobart and myself are then, as he observes, complete-
iv at issue : I assert, and he denies. The event of this con-
troversy has no terrours for me : conscious tbat my reputa-
tion for veracity is as firmly established as Dr. Hobart's, or
any other t^enilemari'sy I fearlessly pronounce that I am pre-
pared to meet him, face to facC) before any tribunal, human
or divine.

In the mean time, as we are at firesent compelled to con-
fine ourselves to probability only, let the reader judge what
degree of credence is to be given to the denial of a man who,
in one page asserts that ' he never directly or indirectly op-
posed tne call of Mr. F. to Brooklyn, and that he does not
believe it was opposed by any of the clergy" — and who in the
next p'Jge gives us his onvn name, among Jive others, attach-
ed to this solemn declaration presented to the bishop — ' We
' shall greatly deplore any event which shall connect Mr. F.
' with us as a presbyter of this diocese ?'— Was this no oppo-
sition to his cyll ? or was it only an attempt to keep him out
of the diocese altogether ? If there be any difference, it must
be much such a differeuce as the French make between
' blanc bonnet et bonnet blanc."

What credence is due to the man who in one page says-—,
' I solemnly declare^ that until a fevv u'eeks before the appear-
' ance of the appeal, the idea never entered into my mind that
« any person imputed to me a charge so utterly unfounded'—-
and who in the next page adds — ' according to the best of my
recollection,, the above letter.' kc. especially when he is coir-
fronted by two men who assert, that he had holden three dis-
tinct conversations with them on the subject of this charge,
three years before the appearance of the appeal; and again by
another gentleman, who asserts,that this charge was/2ar//cw/cr/i,
mentioned, in thatveryconversationwhich(i)r.H. admils)'took
place ?bout a year ago, between him and a gentleman, ' who
' inquired of him (Dr. II.) the causes of his not exchanging
1 with Mr. Feltus ?' AvQu-il these thresmen mistaken ? and ia.

' 73 ^

Dr^ H's want of recollection, or is even his solemti declara-
tion, to set aside their united testimony ?

"What credence is due to a man who in one page says—' I
< never had disagreed with Mr. Feltus'— and in another — ' we
deeply regret to say, that his meanness and duplicity, con-
* nected with a cunning and an inordinate love of power and
« popularity, render it impossible for us to extend our confi-
«denceto Mr. F. ?

What credence is due to a man who asserts, that he ad-
dressed a note, which Mr F. styles a circular, to one clergy-
man only, when ttvo of those circulars are now in existence,
and it can easily be proved that a third was sent and received ?

"What reliance can be f)laced on the word of a man, who in
conversation with a venerable clergyman of N, York, de-
scended to the meanness of personal abuse ? and who, when
that clergyman threatened to make such conduct public, re-
plied— —Do. sir, if you dare : I will flatly contradict you ;
an<l then we shall see which of us will be believed in prefer-
ence ?

If any one can imagine that I derive salisfyction from ex-
posing such instances of depravity, he is egregiously mista-
ken : my forbearance to disclose more than is necessary to
my own vindication (and more than this T hope \ have not
done) is a proof that I take no pleasure in the death of cha-
racters. Had I indeed been permitted ' to die the cnnimon
' death of other men ;' had not my ashes been raked up and
scattered to the winds of heaven ; the public had never been
troubled with my complaints : but when my name is wantoti-
ly dragged forth by every ephemeral scribbler ; when a cha-
racter, t© the establishment of which fifty years have sedulous-
ly and successfully been devoted, is assailed by ' a thing of
yesterday ;' when boys,* who (had they any sense of modes-
ty) would ' tarry till their beards were grown,' usurp the sta-
tion assigned to grey hairs and experience ; I must be more-
or less than man ; I must be insensible to indignities, and
should deservedly be consigned to infamy and execration.

Dr. Hobart talks familiarly of the discipline of the church.
In what then does its essence consist? in entangling the
smaller flies, while the larger and more noxious insects are
permitted to escape ? Discipline ! Are all the terrours of dis-
cipline to be set in array against an offence, of which the
meekest of men -svas guiUy ? And is another clergyman per-

* The number oi 'Keeks, spent by Mr. Hovi in the ntinistry, scarce
equalled the number oi years devoted by myself to the public service
of the church, when he commenced his honourable cn.recr as accu-

^"er ot his brethren.

\ 74

iiiltted with impunity to exliaust the whole vocabulary of
Biiringsgate eloquence * in his abuse of a brother ? Does a
diy pass in which Mr^ How does not pour on the reputatien
of Mi. Jones, everj epithet that rage and vulgarity can sug-
gest? Has not this deportr.~:ent of Mr. How • long attracted

< the attention both of the friends and enemies of the church ?
i Are not his character and conduct such as to reflect ceep
' dis'nace on the clerical profession ? Is it not indispensable

< that somtilnng should be done, that he should be called to
t account V The x-eader will observe that i quote his own
language ; and 1 shall conclude the whole with presenting-
■what was the practice of ihe church, while her discipline was

yi. administered impartially, ' without respect of persons."

./,/ I If any oue nus followed the soldier's life, though he had

never happened to have shed blood, if he were ordamedto
' anv of the inferiour orders, he shall never arrive to the dig-
' nity of a deacon in the church.'

' If any one through haughtiness insult another, he shall
« for his offence be thrust down to the lowest degree of his
' own order, to teach him humility and submission in his sta-
' tion.' ^ '

' Any clergyman noted for scoffing and scurrilons language,
<■ is to be degraded.'

' If bishops neglect to put the laws of discipline in execu=
' tion- which is an act belonging to their office, they are lia-
« ble to be degraded for such neglect, as well as those whom
t they ought to have punished,'

For any inaccuracies of expression which may appear in
these sheets, (and they can scarce fail tp abound) I must bor-
row the apology of Dr. Hobart. Although desirous that my
appeal should make its appearance during the present session
of the convention, yet I knew not until within eight and forty
hour.s, on what day the members were to convene. Since
that time, the writer and the printers have been incessantly
engaged in their respective occupations : aad should the de-
sign of the author be acccroplished in exciting the attention
of the convention to the present state of the church in this
diocese he will not repine at any temporary diminution of
his literary character.

Brooklyn, October 1, 1811,

* A gentleman lately informed nie that he heard Mr. How,
f speaking of Mr, Jones) make use of an expression ivhich cannot ap-
pear in print, and which is never heard to issue c:;cept from thtf
mouths of the most vulvar among the vulgar.


cy^L^ H rCr^,-,/^-^








No. 37, CoNGBESs Stbeet.







No. S7, CoNGBESS Stseet.



The right of property in ResitltSj technically so called, of
Ecclesiastical Councils, and, consequently, the right to publish
them to the world, we had supposed to be vested, exclusively,
in the parties by whom such Councils are convened. Certainly,
in point of fact, their publication, officially and by order, except
to such parties, especially where the only object sought in
calling the Council is the formal dissolution of the pastoral
relation, is an event of rare occurrence. When, therefore, by
order of the late " Council at Danvers," their Result appeared in
the Puritan Recorder of August 12th, and was soon afterwards
ascertained to have been printed in another form, and industri-
ously circulated, not only in the immediate vicinity, but in
remote parts of the country, and this without the consent, or
knowledge even, of those by whom the Council was convened;
it was natural to infer that the deliberations and decisions
embodied in this document were, by its authors, supposed to
possess an interest and importance quite peculiar and extraordi-
nary. And, assuming the correctness of the view taken by the
Council of the case submitted to them, it cannot be doubted
that this supposition was well founded, and that a due regard
to the reputation and rights of an injured pastor, and the exposure
and condemnation of the inexcusable misconduct of a portion of
his people, fully justified, not to say demanded, all the severity
of censure meted out by the Council, while, at the same time,
these motives would at least explain, if they did not excuse, the
unusual course adopted in this case, in the publication and
circulation of their Result. " They that " thus " sin " — thus
deliberately, causelessly and maliciously, should be " rebuked "
— and sharply too — "before all, that others also may fear."
What, then, in the judgment of the Council, as this may be

gathered from the Result, was the case on which they were
called to advise ? It is stated in the Result substantially thus :
The Rev. J. D. Butler — a clergyman of high and well-earned

Online LibraryJohn IrelandA second solemn appeal to the church : containing remarks and strictures on the late violent proceedings of a pretended ecclesiastical court against the author → online text (page 7 of 51)