Soon afterwards the questions connected with the deposition of Bishop Colenso were referred to him, but, while regarding Colenso's opinions as heretical and his deposition as justifiable, he refused to pronounce upon the legal difficulties of the case.
Nevertheless, he was opposed to Colenso's criticism of the Bible, and replied to it in The Pentateuch and the Elohistic Psalms (1863), written from a conservative standpoint.
Colenso's bold advocacy of the cause of the natives - which he maintained with vigour until his death (in 1883) - attracted almost equal attention.
Dean Stanley owed something to Ewald and spoke warmly of him, but the Preface to the History of the Jewish Church in which he does so bears eloquent testimony to the general attitude towards Old Testament criticism in 1862, of which we have further proof in the almost unanimous disapprobation and far-spread horror with which Colenso's Pentateuch, pt.
Colenso's Commentary on the Romans in 1861, Wilberforce endeavoured to induce the author to hold a private conference with him; but after the publication of the first two parts of the Pentateuch Critically Examined he drew up the address of the bishops which called on Colenso to resign his bishopric. In 1867 he framed the first Report of the Ritualistic Commission, in which coercive measures against ritualism were discountenanced by the use of the word "restrain" instead of "abolish" or "prohibit."