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Mr Heber Donaldson, a lawyer of Emlenton, Pennsylvania, was recently expelled from the Presbyterian Church to which he belonged for dancing. The statement of the defender was that while at a private party he “ attempted to walk through a quadrille—something he had never before attempted.” He appealed, but the Clarion Presbytery refused to sustain his appeal to the Synod, which recently met at Erie. Mr Donaldson argued his own case through a whole day, maintaining that the Bible did not prohibit dancing. The amusement was not condemned by the laws of the Church, and there was no precedent for his expulsion. A reporter stated that “ his peroration was an able and eloquent resume of the case, and was listened to with, the closest attention by a congregation that filled the church to overflowing.” > On the second day Mr David Lawson, speaking for the prosecution on behalf of the Clarion Presbytery, held.that conscience was not always a safe guide. No line could be drawn between “ promiscuous and social dancing.” Mr Donaldson had committed an offence against the Church, because his example was liable to lead others to the depths of vice. Hence his act was calculated to bring discredit upon the Church. Mr Lawson also

claimed that “in no place did the Jliblo sanction the dancing of both siateij'; together.” On the question being plut iiill the clergymen present adduced masons for the vote they were about to give. Only a few maintained that dancing was not a sin against the law of the Church. Mr Donaldson lost his appeal by a great majority, the votes being seventy-three against him to twenty in his favor. The defendant, however, announced his intention of appealing to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, which assembles at Springfield, Illinois, next spring.

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Bibliographic details

HERESY-HUNTING WITH A VENGEANCE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 534, 14 January 1882

Word Count

HERESY-HUNTING WITH A VENGEANCE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 534, 14 January 1882