Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MURRAY, Nicholas, clergyman, born in Ballynaskea, Ireland, 25 December, 1802 ; died in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. 4 February, 1861. His parents were Roman Catholics, and destined him for the church, but he refused to take holy orders, and was apprenticed to a merchant, who treated him with such cruelty that he ran away and emigrated to the United States, landing in New York in 1818. He was then employed in the printing establishment of Harper Brothers, became a Protestant, and was graduated at Williams in 1826, and at Princeton theological seminary in 1829. He was ordained joint pastor of the Presbyterian churches in Wilkesbarre and Kingston, Pennsylvania, in the autumn of the latter year, and from 1833 till his death was in charge of the church in Elizabethtown, New Jersey He was secretary of the Foreign missionary society of the Presbyterian church in 1835, moderator of the general assembly in 1850, a founder of the New Jersey historical society, and for many years a trustee of Princeton theological seminary and Williams college, receiving from the latter the degree of D. D. in 1843. In 1847 he began the publication, in the " New York Observer," of a series of letters addressed to Archbishop Hughes, signed " Kirwan," in which he attacked with ability some of the doctrines of the Roman Catholic church. This controversy with Archbishop Hughes excited much interest. Dr. Murray then lectured on "Popery." He visited Ireland in 1851, and again in 1860, in the interest of Protestantism, and preached and lectured against the practices of the Roman Catholic church. His publications include " Notes, Historical and Biographical, concerning Elizabethtown, New Jersey" (Elizabethtown, 1844); " Letters to the Right Reverend John Hughes" (New York, 1848 ; enlarged ed., 1855); "Romanism at Home" (1852) : " Men and Things as I saw them in Europe" (1853); "Parish and other Pencillings " (1854) ; " The Happy Home" (1859);" Preachers and Preaching" (1860); and a volume of sermons entitled "A Dying Legacy to the People of my Beloved Charge" (1861). See a "Memoir" of him by Samuel I. Prime (1862).
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