This would be Dimmesdale and the argument takes place in Chapter
Eight, "The Elf Child and the Minister." Governor Bellingham
(who is based on a real person, btw) wants to take Pearl away from
her mother, Hester, doubting that she is morally fit to raise the
child. Dimmesdale's defense of Hester and Pearl stems from
his own guilt (he is the father) and his reasoning is that God made
a decision to give Pearl to Hester as a moral compass, guiding her
back to faith. What God has done, he argues,
should not be questioned.
Here is a part of Dimmesdale's reasoning:
"God gave her the child, and gave her too, an instinctive
knowledge of its nature and requirements, -- both seemingly so
peculiar, -- which no other mortal being can possess. And,
moreover, is there not a quality of awful sacredness in the
relation between this mother and this child?"
Continues Dimmesdale: "For if we deem it otherwise,
do we not thereby say that the Heavenly Father, the Creator of
all flesh, hath lightly recognized a deed of sin, and
made of no account the distinction between unhallowed lust and
holy love? This child of its father's guilt and
its mother's shame hath come from the hand of God, to work in many
ways upon her heart...It was meant for a blessing, for
the one blessing of her life!"