Monday, August 1, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Pastor's Response to Decision in Murder Case

Church Record Sunday - Murder Committed by Church Clerk

Cornelius Washington Grafton was the pastor of Bensalem Presbyterian Church in Lincoln County, Mississippi.

Here is his response to the decision of the church elders in the case of church clerk Jonathan McCallum who killed Dock Gordon.

Bensalem Church Sept 17th 1882
The Session met and was opened with prayer. Present Rev C W Grafton, A Baker, C Blue and John Gilchrist.

The following paper from Rev C W Grafton - read and admitted to record.

I concur with all my brethren who had the following principals.

1st The civil officer is God's minister - appointed to execute wrath upon offenders.

2nd A divine law clothes wither the right and duty to use force where ever necessary in the arrest of a criminal - force that will lead to the sheadding(sp) of blood or the destruction of life if the case demands.

3rd That the criminal who resist the operations of the law by attempting to escape or otherwise is resisting the ordinance of God and does it at his own peril.

But it does not seen clear to my mind that our brother used the necessary con? to prevent the effusion of blood in the above case. Such precoussion(sp) I think is required by the moral law and therefore I do not agree with my brethern in their decision rendered yesterday.

C W Grafton, Moderator
Source: Bensalem Presbyterian Church Session Records - March 6, 1881-April 6 1947

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