Imatges de pàgina
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ihe appellant can make it appear that he was prevented from seasonably prosecuting his appreal by the providence of God.

XII. Members of judicatories appealed from cannot be allowed to vote in the superior judicatory, on any question connected with the appeal.

XIII. If the members of the inferior judicatory, in case of a sentence appealed from, appear to have acted according to the best of their judgment, and with good intention, they incur no censure, although their sentence be reversed. Yet, if they appear to have acted irregularly or corruptly, they shall be censured as the case may require.

XIV. If an appellant is found to manifest a litigious or other unchristian spirit, in the prosecution of his appeal, he shall be censured according to the degree of his offence.

XV. The necessary operation of an appeal is, to suspend all further proceedings on the ground of the sentence appealed from. But if a sentence of suspension, or excommunication from church privileges, or of deposition from office, be the sentence appealed from, it shall be considered as in force until the appeal shall be issued.

XVI. It shall always be deemed the duty of the judicatory, whose judgment is appealed from, to send authentic copies of all their records, and of the whole testimony relating to the matter of the appeal. And if any judicatory shall neglect its duty in this respect; especially, if thereby an appellant, who has con ducted with regularity on his part, is deprived of the privilege of having his appeal season ably issued; such judicatory shall be censured according to the circumstances of the

case.

XVII. An appeal shall in no case be entered, except by one of the original parties.

SECTION IV.

OF COMPLAINTS.

cause

I. ANOTHER method by which a which has been decided by an inferior judicatory, may be carried before a superior, is by complaint.

II. A complaint, is a representation made to a superior, by any member or members of a minority of an inferior judicatory, or by any other person or persons, respecting a decision by an inferior judicatory, which, in the opinion of the complainants, has been irregularly or unjustly made.

III. The cases in which complaint is proper and advisable, are such as the following, viz. The judgment of an inferior judicatory may be favourable to the only party who has been placed at their bar; or the judgment in question may do no wrong to any individual; or the party who is aggrieved by it may decline the trouble of conducting an appeal. In any of these cases

no appeal is to be expected. And yet the judg . ment may appear to some of the members of the judicatory, to be contrary to the constitution of the church, injurious to the interests of religion, and calculated to degrade the character of those who have pronounced it. In this case the minority have not only a right to record, in the minutes of the judicatory, their dissent from this judgment, or their protest against it, but they have also a right to complain to the superior judicatory.

IV. Notice of a complaint shall always be given before the rising of the judicatory, or within ten days thereafter, as in the case of an appeal.

V. This complaint brings the whole proceedings in the case under the review of the superior judicatory; and if the complaint appears to be well founded, it may have the effect not only of drawing down censure upon those who concurred in the judgment complained of; but also of reversing that judgment, and placing matters in the same situation in which they were before the judgment was pronounced.

VI. In cases of complaint, however, as in those of appeal, the reversal of a judgment of an inferior judicatory is not necessarily connected with censure on that judicatory.

VII. None of the members of the judicatory whose act is complained of, can vote in the superior judicatory, on any question connected with the complaint.

CHAPTER VIII.

OF DISSENTS AND PROTESTS.

I. A DISSENT is a declaration on the part of one or more members of a minority, in a judi catory, expressing a different opinion from that of the majority in a particular case. A dissent, unaccompanied with reasons, is always entered on the records of the judicatory.

II. A protest is a more solemn and formal declaration, made by members of a minority as before-mentioned, bearing their testimony against what they deem a mischievous or erroneous judgment; and is generally accompanied with a detail of the reasons on which it is founded.

III. If a protest or dissent be couched in de cent and respectful language, and contains no offensive reflections or insinuations against the majority of the judicatory, those who offer it have a right to have it recorded on the minutes.

IV. A dissent or protest may be accompanied with a complaint to a superior judicatory, or not, at the pleasure of those who offer it. If not thus accompanied, it is simply left to speak for itself, when the records containing it come to be reviewed by the superior judicatory.

V. It may sometimes happen that a protest, though not infringing the rules of decorum, either in its language or matter, may impute to the judicatory, whose judgment it opposes, some principles or reasonings which it never adopted. In this case the majority of the ju

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dicatory may with propriety appoint a committee to draw up an answer to the protest, which, after being adopted as the act of the judicatory, ought to be inserted on the records.

VI. When, in such a case, the answer of the majority is brought in, those who entered their protest may be of the opinion that fidelity to their cause calls upon thein to make a reply to the answer. This, however, ought by no means to be admitted; as the majority might, of course, rejoin, and litigation might be perpetuated, to the great inconvenience and disgrace of the judicatory.

VII. When, however, those who have protested, consider the answer of the majority as imputing to them opinions or conduct which they disavow; the proper course is, to ask leave to take back their protest, and modify it in such manner as to render it more agreeable. to their views. This alteration may lead to a corresponding alteration in the answer of the majority; with which the whole affair ought to terminate.

VIII. None can join in a protest against a decision of any judicatory, excepting those who had a right to vote in said decision.

CHAPTER IX.

NEW TESTIMONY. 1. IF, after a trial before any judicatory, new testimony be discovered, which is supposed to

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