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THE "PECULIAR PEOPLE" AGAIN. At the last Orsett Petty Sessions, John Baker, a man in respectable circumstances, was charged with having neglected to provide necessary medical aid for his child, Jesse Baker, aged two years and eight months, who, it was presumed, had been allowed to die without any medical assistance. Mr. A. H. Hunt, clerk to the Orsett Board of Guardians, attended for the prosecution, and stated that the summons was taken out by the guardians, who considered it now their duty to take the matter up, owing to several deaths having lately occurred, and prosecute according to the powers given to them by a recent statute, 31st and 32nd Vic., c. 122, sec. 37, which enacts that where parents allow their children to die without medical aid they shall be liable to six months' imprisonment. This was the seeond child the defendant had within the past few weeks allowed to die. Mr A. W. Mercer, surgeon, was next called, and his evi- dence went to show that he was ordered by the Coroner to make a post mortem examination of the body of another child belonging to the defendant, and while performing the operation he saw the second child now alluded to in the present case lying very ill. As the first child bad been allowed to die without medical assistance, he strongly urged the mother and three other women to permit him to give the child some medicine, as it was very dangerously ill; but the mother and the other women positively reiused him per- mission to give the child anything. He then advised them to put a plaster upon it, and give it stimulants, but that they also refused. Ann Cunningham stated that she was one of the three sisters who attended the child. It had every nourishment but had no medicine. Everything that was possible to do for it according to their religion was done. The elders were sent for, and they laid hands on it, and they annointed it with the holy oil. That being the case for the prosecution, The magistrates asked the defendant what he had to say to the charge. The Defendant: What I have to say Is this—The Lord saved me from my sins eleven years ago, and I now go accord- ing to the Scripture, and follow Christ. In the days of Christ, just before he departed, he said, "If I depart I wil send the comforter unto you;" and it was that Spirit which I received eleven years ago that guided me to fulfil his com- mands in this case. The word of God tells me to pray, and that if any are sick, let him send for the elders of the church to annoint the sick with oil, and pray over him. This is what I believe in, and what I have done; and it my child had not been sick unto death, it would have recovered, but as it did not recover it was the lord's will that it thould die. In the last chapter of St. Mark does it not say of them that believe In my name shall they cast out devils. They shall lay hands on the sick. and they shall recover." Here a number of brethren and sisters who were in the court shouted out-" Yes, yes; Blessed be His name;" and other similar ejaculations. The Chairman: But there is nothing in that to tell you not to send for a doctor. The Defendant: There is no passage In the whole book where I am told to send for a doctor. The command is Send for tt>e elders of the church, and let him lay hands on him and annoint him with oil." One of the elders of the church was next called, who stated that he was a whsrfinger, and one of the elders; the child's mother sent for him, and he went and laid hands upon it, prayed over it, and annointed it with oil on several occasions. The Clerk: What name do your denomination give them- selves ? Witness: Just what the Bible says we are—" a chosen and a peculiar people, holy unto the Lord." We are not ashamed of our name. There were other elders sent for besides me. We had a prayer meeting in the room, and there was a lot of us there the night the child died. We held the meeting from seven till nine The Chairman: What would you do yourself If you had a leg broken? You would send for a medical man then, would you not 1 Witness: If I live unte God I shall not have a leg broken If I do not, I might be liable to such a chastisement. God has promised to take care of the rlghteeus, and there have been no broken legs amongst us. After very voluminous evidence, the bench retired for consultation. The Chairman, on returning, said they gave the defendant credit for sincerity, but they were bound to convict. Nevertheless, as it was under a recent Act, not generally known, they would exercise a power given to them to discharge him now on entering into his own recognisances to come up for sentence when called upon. They hoped such a case would not occur again. The Defendant: Well, I mean to go on exactly as I have done; and whether I break the law or not. I mean to follow Christ, and put my trust in Him. I bless God now for having taken my case up. It is He that haa come to my assistance now. Here a number of the brethren and sisters shouted, Yes, yes praise Him and trust in Him. The parties then left the court, evidently under the belief that the defendant was a rescued martyr.




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