« AnteriorContinua »
be highly important to the exculpation of the accused, it is proper for him to ask, and for the judicatory to grant, a new trial.
II. It sometimes happens, in the prosecution of appeals, that testimony, which had not been exhibited before the inferior judicatory, is represented to exist, and to be of considerable importance in the case.
III. Representations of this kind ought not to be lightly, or of course, sustained. But the superior judicatory ought to be well satisfied, that the alleged testimony is of real importance, before they determine to put the inferior judicatory to the trouble of a new trial.
IV. When such testimony, therefore, is alleged to exist, either by the appellant, or the judicatory appealed from, it will be proper for the superior judicatory to inquire into the nature and import of the testimony; what is intended to be proved by it; and, whether there is any probability that it will really establish the point intended to be established.
V. If it appear that the fact proposed to be established by the new testimony is important; that is, if it appear to be such a fact as, if proved, would materially alter the aspect of the cause; and if there be any probability that the testimony in question will be sufficient to establish the alleged fact; then the superior judicatory ought to send the cause back to the inferior for a new trial.
VI. Cases may arise, however, in which the judicatory appealed from, and the appellant, may concur in requesting the superior judicatory
to take up and issue the appeal, with the additional light which the new evidence may afford. In this case, and especially if very serious injury is likely to happen, either to the appellent, or to the church, by the delay which a new trial would occasion, the superior judicatory may proceed to hear the new testimony, and to issue the appeal, with the aid of the additional light which that testimony may afford.
VII. When, however, the judgment of the inferior judicatory is reversed; and it is apparent that the new testimony had considerable influence in procuring the reversal; it ought to be so stated in the decision of the superior ju dicatory ; inasmuch as it would be injustice to the inferior judicatory to reverse their decision, upon grounds which were never before them, without explaining the fact.
I. WHEN a member shall be dismissed from one church, with a view to his joining another, if he commit an offence previous to his joining the latter, he shall be considered as under the jurisdiction of the church which dismissed him, and amenable to it, up to the time when he actually becomes connected with that to which he was dismissed and recommended. II. The same principle applies to a minister:
who is always to be considered as remaining under the jurisdiction of the presbytery which dismissed him, until he actually becomes a member of another.
III. If, however, either a minister, or a private member, shall be charged with a crime which appears to have been committed during the interval between the date of his dismission, and his actually joining the new body, but which did not come to light until after he had joined the new body, that body shall be empowered and bound to conduct the process against him.
IV. No presbytery shall dismiss a minister, or licentiate, or candidate for licensure, without specifying the particular presbytery, or other ecclesiastical body, with which he is to be connected.
LIMITATION OF TIME.
I. When any member shall remove Irom one congregation to another, he shall produce satisfactory testimonials of his church membership and dismission, before he be admitted as a regular member of that church; unless the church to which he removes has other satisfactory means of information.
II. 'No certificate of church membership shall be considered as valid testimony of the good standing of the bearer, if it be more than
one year old, except where there has been no opportunity of presenting it to a church.
III. When persons remove to a distance, and neglect, for a considerable time, to apply for testimonials of dismission, and good standing, the testimonials given them shall testify to their character only up to the time of their removal, unless the judicatory have good information of a more recent date.
IV. If a church niember have been more than two years absent from the place of his ordinary residence and ecclesiastical connexions, if he apply for a certificate of membership, his absence, and the ignorance of the church respecting his demeanour for that time, shall be distinctly stated in the certificate.
V. Process, in case of scandal, shall commence within the space of one year after the crime shall have been committed; unless it shall have recently become flagrant. It may happen, however, that a church member, after removing to a place far distant from his former residence, and where his connexion with the church is unknown, may commit a crime, on account of which process cannot be instituted within the time above specified. In all such cases, the recent discovery of the church membership of the individual, shall be considered as equivalent to the crime itself having recently become flagrant. The same principle also applies to ministers if similar circuiusiances should occur.