An Excommunicated. Mennonite.
A novel case is before the law courts in Ohio. An excommunicated Mennonite, by name John Leichty, seeks to recover civil damages for injuries to his domestic peace inflicted by an ecclesiastical council, composed of Bishop Haldeman, of the Mennonite Church of the United States and Canada, and five lay brethren of the Mennonite persuasion. Leichty'a offence was intemperance. The deacona had expostulated with him in vain, and the Bishop waa at last- sent for, and that dignitary determined to make a fearful example of Leichty, and accordingly in May, 1875, placed him under the ban of excommunication. This is nojokewith theMennonites. The excommunicated person is cut off from all the rights and privileges of the Church ; his associates areenjoined to shun him in eating and drinking, in buying and selling, in walk and conversation ; he ie, in short, regarded as a moral leper and an outlaw, until such time as he is moved to repentance, and seeks forgiveness. Leichty, who claims 10,000 dollars damages, seems to have suffered much inconvenience owing to the sentence passed on him. He waa he allegeß, a happy husband and parent, living in peace on hia little farm with his wife and four children, when the bishop came down upon him like a wolf on a fold, and destroyed all domestic comfort. His wife, acting under instructions, avoided him as she would a pestilence, and his life was made thoroughly miserable. For two years he bore this; but finding every effort to propitiate his wife was foiled by the vigilant Church officials, he had no alternative but to resort to civil law. The bishop, who appeared the other day in person to defend the actioD,*denied the jurisdiction of the court and urged that it was purely a case for Church discipline. The jury thought other wise, and awarded the plaintiff damages to the amount of 2500, dollars ; wheeupon, the defendants applied for a new trial, which was granted. This is said to b.e the first case of the kind on record, and the Mennonites are very indignant at the coarse pursued by the refractory member of their sect.
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