.

The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 32 : General Provisions Applicable to all Cases of Process

Paragraph 12 : Charge to the Judges

32-12. When the trial is about to begin, it shall be the duty of the moderator solemnly to announce from the chair that the court is about to pass to the consideration of the case, and to enjoin on the members to recollect and regard their high character as judges of a court of Jesus Christ, and the solemn duty in which they are about to engage.

[DIGEST : The singular difference between the current text and that of PCA 1973 and the Proposed BCO is the minor difference of spelling, where the current text has "case" while PCA 1973 reflected the older PCUS text behind it and employed "cause". The PCUS draft editions of 1867 and 1869 had slight differences of wording but were essentially the same text.]

ANTECEDENT TEXTS :
1. PCA 1973, RoD, 6-12, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 147-148
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, 6-12, Proposed text, p. 44

3. PCUS 1933, VI-§204
4. PCUS 1925, VI-§204

5. PCUS 1879, Rules of Discipline, VI-12
When the trial is about to begin, it shall be the duty of the Moderator solemnly to announce from the chair that the court is about to pass to the consideration of the cause, and to enjoin on the members to recollect and regard their high character as judges of a court of Jesus Christ, and the solemn duty in which they are about to engage.

PCUS 1869 draft, Canons of Discipline, VI-12
When the trial is about to begin, it shall be the duty of the Moderator solemnly to announce from the chair that the court is about to pass to the consideration of the cause assigned for judgment, and to enjoin on the members to recollect and regard their high character as judges of a court of Jesus Christ, and the solemn duty in which they are about to act.

PCUS 1867 draft,
Canons of Discipline, VI-12
When the trial is about to begin, it shall be the duty of the moderator solemnly to announce from the chair that the court is about to pass to the consideration of the cause assigned for judgment, and to enjoin on the members to recollect and regard their high character as judges of a court of Jesus Christ, and the solemn duty in which they are about to act.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, p. ), on :

183.--XII. When the trial is about to begin, it shall be the duty of the Moderator solemnly to announce from the chair that the court is about to pass to the consideration of the cause, and to enjoin on the members to recollect and regard their high character as judges of a court of Jesus Christ, and the solemn duty in which they are about to engage.
This charge marks the passage of the members of the court out of relation to the case as representatives of the Church accusing, and sets them free from every obligation but the one obligation to ascertain and declare the will of Jesus Christ in the case.



©PCA Historical Center, 12330 Conway Road, St. Louis, MO, 2007. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter Index [links to Par. 1 of each chapter]:
FoG..
1
2
3.
4
5.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
§5
RoD
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
II. Preliminary Principles
§1
§2
§3
§4
§5
§6
§7
§8
DfW
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]