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Thomas Murphy’s addresses presbyters serving in the church’s higher courts. Nevertheless, his advice is useful to all Christians who find themselves engaged in public controversy:
“There are some persons who seem to lose their Christian spirit and temper as soon as they engage in public discussions. They enter upon them in a wrangling and angry manner, and at once render the exercise of calm, Christian wisdom impossible. Such a spirit is utterly inconsistent with the character which should be found Christ’s servants. . . . Each one, as he has opportunity should strive to banish angry strifes. . . . It is like men to resent opposition, but it is like Christ to bear it.””
– Thomas Murphy, Pastoral Theology: The Pastor in the Various Duties of His Office (Audubon New Jersey: Old Paths Publications, 1996; first published, 1877), 485-486.