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PROFESSOR DICKIE’S TEACHING

REV. P. B. FRASER’S ACCUSATION BEFORE THE ASSEMBLY. At 4 'p.m. yesterday the clerk of the Presbyterian Ct-neral Assembly, the Rev. James H. MatKonxie, read the report of the Judicial Committee, to the -effect that Mr Fraser be required to state his chargee In writing auid the grounds for tbe same, and be- required to appear before the Assembly to substantiate his charges at 10.30 next morning. The Clerk added (hat this was not the usual process of dealing with such charges. The usual process was bv libel. But that process was often much prolonged and complicated, and as it was desirable that this matter should be cleared up speedily., and the Assembly bad power to act as the I committee recommended, he commended that course to the Assembly, and moved accordingly. I Rev. A. M. Finluyson seconded the motion. Rev. I’. Frasei'’ said that he desired to state, with all due respect, that the course | proposed was unparalleled ami opposed to I the laws of the Church. He would not allow the Assembly to hustle him into the position of stating so-called charges and delivering them as a broadside the next morning. That was not according to the Presbyterian constitution and laws. Hn was not going to he hustled by the Assembly, nor by the professor nor all the friends that, he could gather round him. Ho was ] ire pared to stand precisely by what he had said and by what was in the document. Iho Assembly had refused to receive that document, yet now they acted on it. though it was not on the records. Now they asked him to make his reply on it and to .state a caso agaiuifit pretty well the whole faculty. That was not Presbyterian procedure. He was prepared to stand by what ho had said. Ho would compel the professor to open his lips and say what his doctrine was. ami then it. could be k’cii whether he should have a libel flamed. MTait was it that he said? lie would read it again. M'hat he was prepared to substantiate even by to-morrow afternoon was the kernel of his document :

•• 1 have reason, to believe, and publicly allirm, that the professor's teaching and the theology he recommends are subversive of the luiiAiimeotal faith of this Church. ’ He was prepared to come forward and give reasons tor hits belief. That was quite another filing to framing a libel. To flame a libel was not the business of a private individual. He claimed ins rights as an individual. What he required at the last Assembly, and what he now required, ".is t<> know what Professor Dickie meant by setting I’liifesrO" Brow n'.s ‘ Ideology' as a text book for an extra-mural student who was under his care. It would bo a vtoy simple thing for the professor to come forward and make a clem bteast ol it as to his theological standpoint. What he (.Mr Eraser) had said was that lie had reasonable grounds for h's belief, and he was jncpaicd io !;iv<> those grounds and then ict the Assembly frame a libel if they eared io do so. He had taken this method of clearing his conscience in the presence of his Inelhrcu and the Christian community, and the public could judge as to the results. (Applause. I Dr Erwin quoted from the Rook of Order to show that the Assembly bad jurisdiction to hear such a matter summarily instead of remitting it to the :n----ferior Courts. I’rofessor Dickie said that if Ml' I* raser had followed the real law of the church he would have first written and asked why the book referred to had been used, and in that case lie (the professor) would have been able to satisfy Air I‘raser as to Ids soundness in teaching and also give sufficient reason for doing so apart from the inference that had been drawn from that small circumstance. Alv Fraser attacked him behind his back last year. Air Fraser had now taken his own course, and he (the professor) absolutely refused to make any statement about his doctrinal position to Air Fraser. But if the Assembly asked him fur any statement as to Id’s belief about the eternal deity and humanity of our Lord, or any other fundamental truths—if alter Ids five years’ service they wished a statement legarding matters which were to him the very heart of things—lie would comply and" make such a statement before the Assembly. (Applause.) Mr Fraser said he hoped the House before putting the motion would understand what it was doing. He would not make any charge. He would stand by Ids document.

Dr (.libb thought it unnecessary that Mr Fraser should travel beyond his statement. He said that the teaching was subversive of the faith of the church. That was enough. Mr Fraser said he wanted to be perfectly clear. What be bud to show was that'he had reasonable grounds for the belief that the Professor s teaching and the theology that he recommended were subversive of the faith of the church. The Clerk ; That is what the motion soys, and according to Mr Fraser the words are now in writing. Rev. Mr Fraser: Yes, and 1 stand by that document. Rut yon would not receive it this morning, so it is not put in. The Clerk : I have not pot it, but the Assembly heard your written statement. _ Rev. .las. Paterson thought they had better take the, paper from Mr Fraser, and it would be for him to prove the charge therein contained. Rov. .Mr Fraser; I will do that. Here is tho document. The clerk said that the Assembly did not want the document then. The next dav was the time to hand it in. Rev. Mr Fraser said that the Assembly was bound to receive Ids document if it was respectfully worded, and this one was. Rev. Mr Scorgie moved that the document he received. The Clerk : Rut the motion is not carried yet. Rev. Air .Scorgie; Well, cany it. and 1 will move. .Rev. Mr Fraser said that lie was on his trial, ami he asked that the afternoon s sederunt next day be given to (his matter. He could be ready by then. It was agreed to make the hour 3 p.m. instead of 10.50 a.m.. and the clerk's motion as thus amended was carried. Rev. Mr Scorgie then moved that tiedocument he received. This was negatived by 85 to 50. Rev. Mr Fraser presumed he would have the right to speak when the matter came on. The Moderator asked how long lie needed. Rev. Mr F raser said that he could do all he had to do in an hour, perhaps half an hour. He did not want to be compelled to write down all lie had to sa v. The Moderator indicated tint he would get, full liberty.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141125.2.53

Bibliographic details

PROFESSOR DICKIE’S TEACHING, Evening Star, Issue 15659, 25 November 1914

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1,152

PROFESSOR DICKIE’S TEACHING Evening Star, Issue 15659, 25 November 1914

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