The Doctrine of Caiaphas by Rev. David Murdoch D.D.
Another paper was circulated among the members of the congregation, and is in the handwriting of the Hon. Francis Hall, then Mayor of our city.
The undersigned, members of the congregation attending the Presbyterian church in Elmira, desire to express their satisfaction with the relation now existing between that society and the Rev. Dr. Murdoch, as the Pastor. We believe that the Rev. Dr. Murdoch has a strong and permanent hold upon the love and esteem of his people seldom gained – one which enables him to minister to their great welfare. So far as we may be permitted to judge, we believe that he discharges the duties of his office conscientiously and faithfully to his high calling, and profitably to the congregation committed to his care. We earnestly deplore, therefore, any means calculated to break up the connection between our present Pastor and people, or to interfere with his useful labors in our midst, as fraught with incalculable evil to the harmony, prosperity, and spiritual welfare of the church and congregation.
This is signed by sixty-four male members of the congregation, including such men as hold a standing in this community, and such as no man of the Fourteen would venture to despise. When an answer to this appears, as was said, saying, “these were the common rabble,” these names will be forthcoming. In the mean time, I value them more than the nameless paper sent to me by the hand of Mr. Benjamin, already referred to.
These documents were supposed to be as complete, that my friends congratulated me upon the final settlement of the question. In some one of Mr. O. Robinson’s pigeon-holes will be found an article written and addressed to Tracy Beadle, Solomon L. Gillett, and Nathan Reynolds, calling upon them to desist from all further annoyance of the Pastor or people, at the peril of being dealt with. So severe are its terms, that Mr. Robinson was entreated to retain it a short time longer. So completely was the faction seemingly smothered, that it was generally said that St. Louis, or some other place might have its future labors. Certain it is, that overtures were made to the Congregational and Episcopal churches, for the removal of their Pastors, in such a way that another might be got satisfactory to those dissatisfied with me, in either of those pulpits, when a very profitable addition to either of those congregations was pledged. Some persons have a mission for effecting a general pulpit delivery. Our brethren of those two churches could not appreciate the offered privilege.
Assuredly, never were my prospects more favorable for peace. Not yet out of the effects of the revival – the morning prayer-meeting still going on – every pew in the house let – the Sabbath-school in fine condition – no debt upon the congregation – and with three hundred and fifty names on paper, pledged to sustain me; while all the names upon the secret paper, circulated with so much care, amounted to the extraordinary number of SEVENTEEN. So report says, uncontradicted. Was not I a sure man?