Murdock, James, Dd
Murdock, James, D.D.
one of the profoundest religious and ecclesiastical scholars of the United States, a bright ornament of the Congregational body, was born at Westbrook, Connecticut, February 16, 1776, of Irish descent. He was left an orphan at the age of fourteen; but he struggled with his fate, and finally succeeded in making his way to Yale College, where he graduated in 1797. He then took up the study of theology under the wellknown Congregational theologian, Dr. Timothy Dwight. Instead of entering at once the ministry, he decided to teach for a while, and became successively preceptor of Hopkins grammar school in New Haven, and of the Oneida Academy. now Hamilton College, at Clinton, N.Y. In January 1801, he was admitted to the ministry, and June 23, 1802, was ordained pastor over the congregation at Princeton, Massachusetts. In 1815 he removed from that place to become professor of languages in the University of Vermont. In 1819 he exchanged this position for the Brown professorship of sacred rhetoric and ecclesiastical history in the theological seminary at Andover, Massachusetts, and this post he held until 1822, when he removed to New Haven to devote himself altogether to special studies in ecclesiastical history and Oriental literature, which he prosecuted with a youthful zest beyond his fourscore years. He died at Columbus, Mississippi, August 10, 1856. Dr. Murdock did the literary world great service by his superior English version of Mosheim's Church History. He published likewise, with great acceptance, Mosheim's Commentaries on the Afff\airs of the Christians before Constantine. SEE MOSHEIM. Dr. Murdock published a translation of the Peshito-Syriac N.T. (N.Y. 1851, 8vo). His miscellaneous productions were numerous and able. It was his temper to make fundamental researches, and to press his investigations into original sources. While at Andover he published Two Discourses on the Atonement. Later he brought out an English version of Munscher's Elements of Dogmatic Hist. (1830), and Sketches of Modern Philos. (1842). He also edited Milman's Hist. (of Christianity (N.Y. 1841), and brought out a collection of his Sermons, one of which, on the atonement, attracted much attention. He was also a frequent contributor to periodicals, especially to the Church Review, and this well-known quarterly did itself the honor to ignore its denominational boundaries (Protestant Episcopal) and furnish a pretty full account of the doctor shortly after his decease (see below). Dr. Murdock was president of the "Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences," vice-president of the "Connecticut Philosophical Society," and one of the founders of the "American Oriental Society." See Brief Memoirs of the Class of 1797 (Yale), by Thomas Day; Church Rev. January 1857, art. 2.