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he was exclusively amenable to the authority of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut.
Certified by DAVID BURR, Clerk of Court.
The Right Rev. Bishop White of Pennsylvania, made solemn oath in his deposition before the Superior Court in Fairfield County in Connecticut, 1st, that he was a member of the House of Bishops in the United States; 2d, that in his opinion it does not come within the province of the said House of Bishops to try, judge or condemn any clergyman, but only to refer him to the state or Diocess to which he does belong for a trial; 3d, that he did not consider the House of Bishops as enjoining any duty upon Bishop Jarvis, or as requiring from him any act relating to Mr. Rogers.
Certified by DAVID BURR, Clerk of Court.
Bishop Jarvis's paper against me was (as he said in said paper) in discharge of a duty enjoined upon, and required from him by the House of Bishops-now the said Bishops make solemn oath, before the Superior Court in Fairfield County, in Connecticut, that they did not enjoin upon him any duty, nor require from him any act relating to me Either then, Bishop Jarvis's papers against me are a sham and lie, a solemn mockery and without authority and void-or the House of Bishops stand perjured before the Superior Court in ConnecticutDare any one deny the fact? I have the original papers now in my possession-I challenge contradiction!
The Right Rev. Bishop Moore made solemn oath, before the said Superior Court, that he was a member of the said House of Bishops, and that the case of Mr. Ro gers was referred to the authority of the church in Connecticut for a trial-But the Rev. Doct. Bronson, president of the standing committee of the said church in Connecticut, says expressly in his letter to the Church in Glastenbury, dated March 13th, 1815, there never has been any complaint, hearing, or trial, of Mr. Rogers, according to the Constitution and Canons of the Church in this state or any other.” Where then is there a member of the Episcopal Church, or of any other Church, Cler
gy or Laity, who would not be ashamed to uphold, or endeavor to carry into effect such cruelty, such oppression, such abominable persecution! The Rev. Doct. Mansfield, Joseph Dudley, Esq. and Samuel J. Andrews Esq. made solemn oath, that they heard Bishop Jarvis declare in behalf of himself and of the Clergy in Connecticut, we have nothing against Mr. Rogers, we acknowledge his character, and his authority to be good, (see page 40) but I was a Republican, and this they dare not bring up as an objection.
After bishop Jarvis had issued his papers against me, and I was settled in Stamford, as before stated; he cal led a number of his clergy together in that place, and sent to the wardens of the church for the key; they replied that the key was in the possession of the Rev. Ammi Rogers, their Rector; that if they wanted it they must apply to him. Bishop Jarvis then addressed a letter to Mr. Ammi Rogers in Stamford, directing the key to be given to the bearer. I returned an answer, that I knew no such a man in Stamford as Mr. Ammi Rogers; that if he wanted the key of the church, he must apply to the proper officer, with the title of his office. The key was not given up, and they held their meeting in the school-house, at a few rods distant from the church. At this school-house bishop Jarvis himself, and some others of his party, had frequent meetings, while the door of the church was shut against them. Their object appeared to be, to divide the affections of my people, and to carry into effect the bishop's papers, by propagating the Lost scandalous and malicious falsehoods, and when the clergy shall undertake to destroy a man's character, no innocence, no virtue, no integrity can stand before
After I had recovered a verdict of $600, before the superior court, for vexatious and unreasonable law suits, I left Connecticut, and moved into Greenfield, in the county of Saratoga and state of New-York, where I had formerly been acquainted; and collected a congre gation, organized a church, had it incorporated according to law, and was settled there as their Rector. I then brought a suit against bishop Jarvis for slander be
fore the circuit court of the United States, to be holden in New-Haven, in Connecticut, in April, 1811. Here I was prepared to support my character and standing, from the town where I was born, from every place where I had resided, and from every parish of which I had the charge. But although I had taken the words of my declaration, in writing, from the mouths of my witnesses, before I brought the suit; yet now, they being in the neighborhood of Bishop Jarvis, and of his federal friends, and in my absence out of the state, they could not be made to remember any thing which he had said against me; I could not prove the words of my declaration, and was obliged, at a great expense, to withdraw my suit Soon after, Bishop Jarvis went into the city of NewYork, I pursued him, and there arrested him with a supreme writ for $20,000 damage, in issuing papers against me, without authority, thereby causing me, my children and friends to be disgraced, and unjustly distressed; causing me to be harrassed and put at great expense with vexatious and unreasonable law suits; distressing my parishes, breaking up my settlements, &c.
After I had sued bishop Jarvis in 1811, before the supreme court in the state of New-York, I was employed and took charge of the Ep. church in Saybrook, Conn. and preached a part of the time in Pleasant Valley in Lime, and remained there until 1813. In April, 1813, my case against bishop Jarvis was brought before the court in the city of N. Y. The questions were, 1st, Did the defendant issue papers against the plaintiff? The papers were ready in court to be produced. 2d, Had the defendant any authority, civil or ecclesiastical, to issue and publish those papers in the manner and under the circumstances in which he did? Courts of law of competent Jurisdiction in the state of Connecticut, had already decided that he had not. 3d, What is the damage in this case, special and exemplary? While this case was depending, and before a decision was obtained, bishop Jarvis died, and the case died with him. Thus the matter ended so far.
In the year 1808, I went to Baltimore, in the state of Maryland, and prosented my petition to the general con
vention of the Episcopal church, then sitting there, complaining of bishop Jarvis, for issuing and publishing papers against me, without hearing or trial; without my knowledge, and contrary to the canons of the church; and praying to have them revoked and declared void, as they were. Humble petitions from the church in Branford, in East-Haven, in Northford, in Wallingford, in Durham, in Woodbridge, in Salem, part of Waterbury, in the north society in Derby, in Stamford, in Greenwich, in New-Canaan, all in the state of Connecticut : and from the church in Ballston, in Milton, and in Charlton, in the state of New-York, to the same amount; and stating their knowledge and approbation of me and my character, were also presented to the general convention at the same time. Whereupon it was resolved, that neither the general convention nor any bishop has the cognizance of the conduct of any minister, except in the diocess to which he belongs and conformably to the canons, by the convention of the church in that diocess, prescribed. This was the amount, if not the very words of their resolution. But to afford the redress prayed for, the House of Bishops, in their pastoral letter to every member of the Episcopal church in the United States, issued and published at that time, the established principle of the church on this point in page 15, and 16,
"The church has made provision for the degradation of unworthy clergymen. It is for us to suppose that there are none of this description, until the contrary is made known to us, in our respective places, in the manner prescribed by the canons. [i. e. neither the Rev. Ammi Rogers nor any other clergyman is to be considered silenced, unworthy or degraded, until he has had a full hearing and fair trial according to the canons of some particular state or diocess, to which he belongs,]" and if the contrary to what we wish is in any instance to be found, [i. e. if Bishop Jarvis has done this thing]" it lies on you, our clerical and lay brethren, to present such faulty conduct, although with due regard to proof, and above all, in a temper which shews the impelling motive, to be
the glory of God, and the sanctity of the reputation of his church."
"While we are not conscious of any bias, which under an official call would prevent the conscientious discharge of duty, WE WISH TO BE EXPLICIT IN MAKING KNOWN TO ALL, THAT WE THINK IT DUE TO GOD AND ΤΟ HIS CHURCH TO AVOID WHATEVER MAY SANCTION ASSUMED
POWER, however desirable the end to which it may be directed we have at least as weighty reasons to restrain us from judging without inquiry, and from censuring without evidence of crime; these are ends to which men of impetuous spirits would sometimes draw. But we would rather subject ourselves to the charge of indifference, however little merited, than be the means of establishing precedents, giving to slander an advantage, against which no innocence can be a shield, and leaving to no man a security, either of interest or of reputation,' [i. e. the House of Bishops would rather let the guilty go unpunished, than be the means of establishing precedents of assumed power, in declaring a clergyman unworthy and degraded without hearing or trial according to the cunons of the church in that state to which he belongs; for this would be giving to slander an advantage, against which no innocence could be a shield, and it would be leaving to no man a security, either of interest or of reputation.] "Although we have no reason to complain that sentiments in contrariety to these prevail among us to any considerable extent," [i. e. no one but Bishop Jarvis has assumed this power,] yet we freely deliver our sentiments on this subject, in order to give us an opportunity of calling on all wise and good men, and we shall not call on them in vain, to aid us in resisting that mischievous spirit, which confounds right and wrong, in judging the character and rights of others.
Signed by order of the House of Bishops in General Convention, at Baltimore, May 23d, 1808.
WILLIAM WHITE, Presiding Bishop.
JAMES WHITEHEAD, Secretary.
Thus the papers issued against me, by Bishop Jarvis are wholly revoked and declared void by the house of bish