The Doctrine of Caiaphas by Rev. David Murdoch D.D.
Dr. Beadle took in hand to prosecute a charge against me, and the said Lester Smith was to be the witness. The oath was legally taken before a justice, so that it might be legal and effective before an ecclesiastical body. On the 4th day of April following, Dr. Beadle called me into his bank-room, and took what he designated the “first step” of discipline, according to the rule in Matthew 18th. About an hour afterward he came into Mr. Benjamin’s room, and announced himself as about to take the “second step in the presence of a brother.”
I confessed it in part, and owned that I had called them by a name that was beneath me, a minister, to utter. Had I not done so, Dr. Beadle, having taken the preparatory steps, doubtless intended to go on, till I would have been deposed from the ministry. All for a single slip of the tongue.
I would not have noticed this little episode, but to show the virulence with which I was pursued, and the length to which my enemy would have gone. And I mention it for another reason. That naughty word is still produced against me, notwithstanding the confession made, which is all honorable minds, wipes out a charge forever. But not so here.
I had peace to pursue my work for some time. In the spring of 1855, we had a season of revival, in which we were blessed, when nearly thirty persons were added to our communion – some of these as influential persons as are of this community. And let me say it here, from book knowledge – for I kept notes – with the exception of Deacon Reynolds, not a man of the FOURTEEN aided in the work, though the venerable Dr. Wisner used his personal influence to induce them to join in the work. It was called a “bogus revival,” and in this way ridiculed, as if a fear existed lest my influence might, through those means, be strengthened and increased. However, the effect was good upon the church, and to myself, in wiping away a slander constantly uttered, that no revival of religion had followed my preaching.
Notwithstanding all this, on the annual meeting in September, 1856, a string of resolutions were introduced by one of the fourteen, averring that this church was not being in a prosperous condition equal to the other congregations of Elmira, and consequently the cause lay with the Pastor. Here the majority listened to the call for investigation, as upon all occasions, being ever anxious for peace, and a committee was appointed consisting of three, who were to look round upon the state of things, and report. The effect, of course, was to keep the water roily. No more was expected of the movement. A report was brought, in the form of an answer to the resolutions; but while the book has the resolutions faithfully recorded, you will look in vain for the answer that Dr. Hart brought in. Mr. Gillett will tell you it was but a small neglect, and of the same nature with that already noticed.