The Doctrine of Caiaphas by Rev. David Murdoch D.D.
Were I disposed to expose the weaknesses of Christians, and reveal secrets of the family, I never had a freer opportunity than in showing the unworthy manner taken to undermine my influence with the congregation, and the public, through cabals fomented in one corner. Oh! What men’s consciences have to decide upon before they die, who pretend such love for souls! Poor, weak, human nature in a revival, is as pitiful, rancorous, and envious a thing as it is in a cold, formal condition. Notwithstanding all hindrances, the Lord be blessed us. More than a hundred were added to the church that year, and a morning prayer-meeting kept up, mainly by the members of the Presbyterian Church, for nearly a year and a half. It will be remembered who came late into it, and who left it to perish. With the exception of one of the FOURTEEN, the weekly prayer-meeting has not been visited, by them three times since the month of June, 1858. Mark this, when you come to read the petition to Presbytery.
We had quiet till the close of 1858; but in December of that year, while the effects of our revival were yet lingering with us, a new movement was made in the same quarter. The scheme was to get ten influential men to combine, and bring about a “new state of things.” That was the cant phrase, which meant change of Pastor. Whether the ten righteous men sought for in Sodom suggested the idea I cannot say, but it was said that they were found. In that case, I suppose the inhabitants of this region are safe. To work the plan out to perfection, a secret paper was drawn out and signed, and as secretly circulated. To keep me from suspecting anything, Dr. Beadle had expressed himself ready to come to peaceable terms with me, and a time was actually appointed for us to meet, talk over the grievances, and agree, if possible. The ground of agreement was written, and William P. Konkle was acting as negotiator. I was all in the dark. The paper was said to be making fine progress. On the Saturday previous to our expected meeting for explanation, and highly probable reconciliation, the paper was half shown, and wholly explained, to an honest man, who refused to sign it, and come and told me all he knew. I ferreted out the rest; and after breaking off the mock prospective reconciliation, by a letter to Mr. Konkle, in Dr. Beadle’s possession, and no doubt remembered, I told the whole of my friends, who immediately busied themselves, and produced papers which deserve a place here, as among the most gratifying that ever a Pastor received. The first of these was written and headed by O. Robinson:
To the Rev. Dr. Murdoch: The undersigned, members of your church, desire to express hereby their entire satisfaction with your ministry, and their hope that your relation as their Pastor may not be severed.
Over two hundred and fifty names are attached to this paper, male and female.