called by the proprietors, but in the preliminary proceedings an understanding was reached between Mr. Pierpont
and the proprietors, and it became a Mutual Ecclesiastical Council.
Both parties were represented by able lawyers, well known to the bar in their time, and it was nearly six months after the council assembled before it dissolved.
Its sessions were not continuous, but they were frequent, and a large amount of evidence was presented.
The unanimous opinion of the council, composed of the ministers and delegates of twelve churches, was, ‘That, although on such of the charges preferred against the Rev. John Pierpont
, as most directly affect his moral character, the proof has been altogether insufficient, yet on other charges such an amount of proof has been brought forward as requires this council to express their disapprobation of Mr. Pierpont
's conduct on some occasions, and in some respects, but not sufficient, in their opinion, to furnish ground for advising a dissolution of the connection between him and his parish.’
That the decision of the council was a just one there is every reason to believe.
But it was none too generous to him. For it was but a small number of his brethren in the ministry who supported him in his controversy, some thinking his course extreme, others thinking, as the council said, ‘that it had been marked by a degree of harshness, personality, ridicule and sarcasm at variance with Christian meekness.’
They seem not to have understood him, and therefore were unable to put themselves in his place.
A man of so strong characteristics must have the defects of his virtues.
Standing first for truth and righteousness as the supreme things, and then for his integrity and honor, does not induce the gentleness of the dove, and that his speech should have been now severe and now mixed with scorn for meanness, would be what we have a right to expect.
seems not to have thought him deserving of censure since he wrote to him, ‘Should it be the issue of your ’