ceased to be a teacher of truth and righteousness and had become a hireling to do the bidding of his supporters.
The church would have the contempt of all right-minded men if such a view of the ministry could be held.
It was a question of deep significance not only to this special church, but to the cause of religion as well, and in taking his stand against such proscription, Mr. Pierpont
was doing more than to defend his personal rights; he was defending the integrity of the pulpit; he was defending the cause of pure religion to a rightful place as a moral force in the world.
But, further, the controversy of the proprietors of the church with him had reached such a state of feeling that charges were made against him at a meeting of the proprietors which impeached his integrity and honor in certain business affairs which he conducted.
These charges, I may say, briefly concerned his violation of an agreement as to the copyright of his ‘American First Class Book’; his contract to furnish letters during his trip abroad to the Boston Gazette
, and his sale of the right to manufacture a razor-hone, which was not his invention, but had been loaned to him by a parishioner for the purpose of making one for his own use. Such charges could not go unanswered.
To withdraw from his pulpit after they were made was to admit their truth and to have his reputation as a minister and a man hopelessly ruined.
In order that the case might be heard and decided by a competent tribunal, an appeal was taken to a council of churches called by both parties to the controversy.
This failed for the reason that the proprietors had changed the issue agreed upon, and he would not consent to be a party to the council on their terms.
Then the proprietors took the next and only course left to them to bring about his dismission from their pulpit; they called an ex-parte
council of churches preferring grounds of complaint against him and asking that he be regularly dismissed by the council because of them.
The council was summoned as an ex-parte