The Doctrine of Caiaphas by Rev. David Murdoch D.D.
There was some reluctance felt by us to the holding of a public meeting. This, of course, only increased their assurance of success. Dr. Beadle and Lester Smith went to Horsehead for counsel. But Mr. Carr did not encourage the meeting, until Dr. Beadle pledged his word, as a Christian, that if the vote was in my favor, he would sit down submissively and make no more resistance.
The meeting was called by the order of the Session, though it has never been recorded. The clerk, one of the most correct of men of business, neglected to insert the minutes, upon the unheard of ground, that the “proceedings were not furnished to him;” as it were not the business of every Secretary to obtain those documents connecting with his trust, if not produced. However, the Moderator, Rev. Reuben Close, has furnished me the following, which may be relied upon.
March 18, 1854
A meeting of the First Presbyterian Church of Elmira was held in the church house. The question, whether it should seem proper that the pastoral relation of David Murdoch, D. D., should cease, or be continued? After a full and satisfactory discussion of the question, on both sides, the vote was taken, expressive of the wishes of the church. More than two thirds of those present, whether counted as males or females, or both together, expressed their wish that the pastoral relation should be continued, and the vote was declared accordingly.
R. H. Close, Mod.
The record of O. Robinson, who was clerk, pro tem, will show fourteen men, and fourteen women; and it is impressed upon my memory, by the innocent jest of Mr. Benjamin, who, in one of his happy moods, called them the immortal FOURTEENS.
Notwithstanding this complete discomfiture, and the positive promise of Dr. Beadle, those male malcontents met in Squire Hiram Potter’s office the week following, and discussed the question of bringing me before Presbytery for slandering them; calling them by an ugly name. Lester Smith made oath – a copy of which is on my table before me – in which he says that on the 20th of January, 1854 Note #2he called upon me, when I said a very naughty thing about himself and those who “opposed” me.
Note #2 On the 20th January, 1854, I was in Wellsborough, Pa., and did not return till midnight.