Samuel Miller

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We are pleased to begin today our series on Election Day Sermons, authored by the Rev. David W. Hall, pastor of the Midway Presbyterian Church, Powder Springs, Georgia. This series will post every Saturday and will run through most of this year, concluding at the end of October. We had originally intended to post the first segment next Saturday, January 30th, just prior to the Iowa Caucus, but Dr. Hall thought the following to be timely, and so we begin the series today. The last post in the series should appear approximately right before Election Day in November of this year. 

A Sermon on the Anniversary of the Independence of America by Samuel Miller (July 4, 1793)
by Dr. David W. Hall 

On January 18th at Liberty University, a Republican candidate referred to a Bible passage in his talk (and was criticized for wrongly citing it—although some scholars would agree that “2 Corinthians” is as acceptable as “Second Corinthians” as far as phraseology goes, but we doubt that Mr. Trump was aware of those nuances), advising that Christianity was under siege. While such remarks stir our passions, more than two centuries earlier, another speaker referred to that same passage with an entire sermon devoted to it. If one wishes a more thorough explication of this passage, one could consult Samuel Miller’s “Sermon on the Anniversary of the Independence of America.” Perhaps even Mr. Trump would benefit from a more detailed acquaintance with this classic sermon.

If one doesn’t believe that earlier American preachers frequently preached politically-ladened material, he is simply not aware of history. In this 1793 memorial sermon, a youthful stalwart from Princeton chose the text from 2 Cor. 3:17 (“And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty”) to remind his listeners of the blessings of liberty. He addressed them as “near witnesses of these stupendous transactions,” even though the events were well known. He set the stage with this well-stated opening:

In contemplating national advantages, and national happiness, numerous are the objects which present themselves to a wise and reflecting patriot. While he remembers the past, with thankfulness and triumph; and while he looks forward, with glowing anticipation, to future glories, he will by no means forget to inquire into the secret springs, which had an active influence in the former, and which, there is reason to believe, will be equally connected with the latter.

Neagle-Sartain portraitSamuel Miller (1769-1850) was the second Professor at Princeton Seminary (NJ) beginning in 1813. Ordained in 1793, he pastored several churches in New York City (Wall Street and First Presbyterian Churches) The author of numerous theological and ecclesiological texts, Miller is viewed as a co-founder of Princeton Seminary (1813), becoming the pedagogical guiding light for the likes of Archibald Alexander, Charles Hodge, and others. His interests ranged from theater to slavery, and from history to government. He also served as Moderator of the Presbyterian General Assembly. He is a distinct link between the Colonial era and the nineteenth century.

Miller wishes to offer “a few general remarks on the important influence of the Christian religion in promoting political freedom.” Fully cognizant of the original setting and meaning of this passage in Corinthians, notwithstanding, Miller believed that “the proposition contained in our text is equally true, whether we understand it as speaking of spiritual or political liberty, we may safely apply it to the latter, without incurring the charge of unnatural perversion.” Far from hesitating to apply this ancient text to his moment, he preached:

The sentiment, then, which I shall deduce from the text, and to illustrate and urge which, shall be the principal object of the present discourse, is, That the general prevalence of real Christianity, in any government, has a direct and immediate tendency to promote, and to confirm therein, political liberty.

This important truth may be established, both by attending to the nature of this religion, in an abstract view; and by adverting to fact, and the experimental testimony with which we are furnished by history.

Like Calvin before him, Miller still spoke of human depravity and referred to “tyranny” (used 6 times in this sermon) as the causative enemy both to be avoided and which justified rebellion. Further, political liberty did not automatically flow from consent of the governed, dispersed governmental branches, nor did “political liberty . . . rest, solely, on the form of government, under which a nation may happen to live.” Instead, “It must have its seat in the hearts and dispositions of those individuals which compose the body politic; and it is with the hearts and dispositions of men that Christianity is conversant.” Thus, enduring liberty, “that perfect law of liberty, which this holy religion includes, prevails and governs in the minds of all, their freedom rests upon a basis more solid and immovable, than human wisdom can devise. For the obvious tendency of this divine system, in all its parts, is, in the language of its great Author, to bring deliverance to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to undo the heavy burdens; to let the oppressed go free; and to break every yoke.

With piercing specificity, he claimed: “The prevalence of real Christianity, tends to promote the principles and the love of political freedom, by the doctrines which it teaches, concerning the human character, and the unalienable rights of mankind; and by the virtues which it inculcates, and leads its votaries to practice.” A correlate of this biblical faith was:

Christianity, on the one hand, teaches those, who are raised to places of authority, that they are not intrinsically greater than those whom they govern; and that all the rational and justifiable power with which they are invested, flows from the people, and is dependent on their sovereign pleasure. There is a love of dominion natural to every human creator; and in those who are destitute of religion, this temper is apt to reign uncontrolled. Hence experience has always testified, that rulers, left to themselves, are prone to imagine, that they are a superior order of beings . . .

In contrast to the religion of self,

Christianity, wherever it exerts its native influence, leads every citizen to reverence himself-to cherish a free and manly spirit-to think with boldness and energy-to form his principles upon fair inquiry, and to resign neither his conscience nor his person to the capricious will of men. It teaches, and it creates in the mind, a noble contempt for that abject submission to the encroachments of despotism, to which the ignorant and the unprincipled readily yield. It forbids us to call, or to acknowledge, any one master upon earth, knowing that we have a Master in heaven, to whom both rulers, and those whom they govern, are equally accountable. In a word, Christianity, by illuminating the minds of men, leads them to consider themselves, as they really are, all coordinate terrestrial princes, stripped, indeed, of the empty pageantry and title, but retaining the substance of dignity and power. Under the influence of this illumination, how natural to disdain the shackles of oppression-to take the alarm at every attempt to trample on their just rights; and to pull down, with indignation, from the seat of authority, every bold invader!

One of Miller’s clearest summaries asserts: “The prevalence of Christianity promotes the principles and the love of political freedom, not only by the knowledge which it affords of the human character, and of the unalienable rights of mankind, but also by the duties which it inculcates, and leads its votaries to discharge.” Further, he sees “the native tendency of the Christian religion” as promoting “civil liberty.” Miller adds: “When we compare those nations, in which Christianity was unknown, with those which have been happily favored with the light of spiritual day, we find ample reason to justify the remarks which have been made.”

Miller not only extols the value of religion for the public square but also he claimed that “there never was a government, in which the knowledge of pure and undefiled Christianity prevailed, in which, at the same time, despotism held his throne without control.” As a specific, Miller thought Christianity mitigated against slavery, which yielded “to the mild and benign spirit of Christianity. Experience has shown, that domestic slavery also flies before her, unable to stand the test of her pure and holy tribunal. After the introduction of this religion into the Roman empire, every law that was made, relating to slaves, was in their favor, abating the rigors of servitude, until, at last, all the subjects of the empire were reckoned equally free.” He also expected that “Christianity shall extend her scepter of benevolence and love over every part of this growing empire-when oppression shall not only be softened of his rigors; but shall take his flight forever from our land.”

This sermon is available in printed form in both Election Day Sermons (Covenant Foundation, 1996) and the excellent anthology by Ellis Sandoz, Political Sermons of the American Founding Era (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1998); it is accessible online at: http://consource.org/document/a-sermon-on-the-anniversary-of-the-independence-of-america-by-samuel-miller-1793-7-4/
I
t is also available as a photographic scan of an original copy, here.

Excerpts from Miller’s stirring conclusion are below to entice the reader to access the whole.

Again; if it be a solemn truth, that the prevalence of Christianity, has a natural and immediate tendency to promote political freedom, then, those are the truest and the wisest patriots, who study to increase its influence in society. Hence it becomes every American citizen to consider this as the great palladium of our liberty, demanding our first and highest care. . . .To each of you, then, my fellow citizens, on this anniversary of our independence, be the solemn address made! do you wish to stand fast in that liberty, wherewith the Governor of the universe hath made you free? Do you desire the increasing prosperity of your country? Do you wish to see the law respected-good order preserved, and universal peace to prevail? Are you convinced, that purity of morals is necessary for these important purposes? Do you believe, that the Christian religion is the firmest basis of morality? Fix its credit, then, by adopting it yourselves, and spread its glory by the luster of your example! And while you tell to your children, and to your children’s children, the wonderful works of the Lord, and the great deliverance which he hath wrought out for us, teach them to remember the Author of these blessings, and they will know how to estimate their value. Teach them to acknowledge the God of heaven as their King, and they will despise submission to earthly despots. Teach them to be Christians, and they will ever be free.

Dr. David W. Hall, Pastor
Midway Presbyterian Church
Powder Springs, Georgia

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It was on this day, January 21st, in 1843 that The Charleston Observer published a letter from the Rev. Nathan Hoyt, in which he took care to defend the views of Dr. Samuel Miller, stating that Miller was quite clearly opposed to plagiarism and anything which might be construed as such. In proof of his point, Hoyt provided a letter from the Princeton professor, in which he sets for his high standard and consistent expectation for the ministry.

[For the Charleston Observer]

Charleston, S.C., January 21, 1843.

Brother Gildersleeve,—During the sessions of the Hopewell Presbytery, recently convened in Greensboro’, it was asserted, no doubt through mistake, that the Rev. Dr. Miller of Princeton, did not disapprove of one Minister’s making use of the plans or skeletons of another in his public performances. I addressed a letter to Dr. Miller, touching this point, and also requesting him to give me his views relative to Plagiarism, as I had been requested by some members of Presbytery to write and publish an article upon that subject. I send with this a copy of almost the entire letter of Dr. M., and would request you to publish it in the Observer, as I have his permission to make what use of it I think proper. It is due to this venerable Father in the Ministry that thosee portions of his letter which I herewith transmit, should be published, ast least, throughout the bounds of Hopewell Presbytery.

Whoever reads the Doctor’s letter will perceive that he is the last man upon earth to sanction any approach to Plagiarism. I regard this letter, (which the Doctor says was written in haste,) as richly worthy of being preserved. Yours, &c.

N. Hoyt.

Athens, Jan. 10, 1842.

(Copy,) “Princeton, Dec. 29, 1842.


miller_Samuel_1812Rev.
and Dear Brother,—Your letter of the 21st instant, reached me last evening; and, though somewhat pressed with engagements, I seize the first opportunity to reply. It has always been my aim, in my Lectures on Sermonizing, to express the strongest disapprobation of Plagiarism in every form, as basely deceptive and mean, as really immoral in its character, and as calculated to injure the man who practices it, and ultimately, if he be a Minister, those who attend on his ministrations. When I have been asked what Plagiarism is? I have uniformly answered, that it is not easy, in all cases to draw the line. On all the great leading subjects of pulpit instruction, there is a large mass of common-place ideas which have been repeated by successive writers, for hundreds of years past. He who, in preaching on Faith and Repentance—on Justification and Sanctification—on Christian hope and Eternal Blessedness—should resolve to say nothing but what was strictly original with himself; nothing that had ever been expressed, even in substance, by any one before, would certainly never be able to preach at all. In this sense, no man, however great his talents or his learning, can hope to be regarded as an original at the present day.

[pictured above right, Dr. Samuel Miller, as portrayed by the artist Thomas Sully, in 1812]

If a preacher, at the present day, were about to prepare a sermon on the doctrine of Original Sin, or on the doctrine of Atonement—and, as a preparation for the work, were carefully to read over President Edwards‘ Treatise on the former subject, and Mr. Symington’s on the latter—and even then to compose his Sermons on those subjects respectively in strict conformity with the Treatises just mentioned—but in his own language throughout—I should not charge him with Plagiarism; the substance would, in this case be borrowed, but the style, the form, would be all his own. I do not know that there is, in either of those books, a single truth which had not been substantially set forth by preceding writers; but there is in each of them a clearness, a force, and an amplitude of illustration, which render their works, respectively, of great value. But I have always denounced as Plagiarism, in the true and proper sense of that word, any of the following practices, viz.:—

I. When a writer or speaker delivers, as his own, the whole, or the greater part of the work of another, in the language of the original writer. This is the most gross and shameful form of the offence.

II. When a writer or speaker copies the whole plan of another—adopting his divisions, his subdivisions, and, in the main, his whole arrangement—making only some trivial alteration here and there in the style and minuter details, for the sake of avoiding the charge of being a servile copyist; such a person deserves to be called a Plagiarist. He is nothing but an humble retailer of the thoughts and language of others.

III. He who allows himself to copy verbatim even a single paragraph, without acknowledgment, exposes himself to the charge of Plagiarism. One who means to be strictly delicate and accurate on this subject will never copy the very words of another, without advertising his hearers or readers of the fact, by saying, as he passes along–”to use the language of another,” or “in the language of an elegant writer,” &c. I would certainly advise that this be done, even if the quotation extend only to a single sentence.

IV. If a thought be very striking and original, I would not allow myself to adopt it, without acknowledgment, even if it were expressed in my own language. It were easy to select some remarkably beautiful thoughts from Bacon, from Milton, or other great masters, of sentiment and diction, which so exclusively belong to them, and that it were great injustice to repeat any of them without tracing the property to its right owner, either by directly naming him, or acknowledging, in some way, that they do not belong to him who quotes them.

I have sometimes advised my pupils, whenever they hear sermons which exhibit a very striking or happy plan, to make a record of it, and have suggested to them, that although copying the plan or plans, thus recorded on the same texts, or even when treating the same subjects, would be Plagiarism; yet, that to a watchful, active mind, looking out for analogies and relations, a happy plan on one subject may suggest a still more happy one on an allied subject—or even on one very remote at first view.

I have never given any advice or counsel different from what I have above stated. If Mr. _____” makes any different representations, he misunderstood and misrepresents me. Yet I can easily imagine how he might have mis-apprehended my suggestion—stated in the preceding paragraph—respecting striking plans of sermons. By a little inadvertence, he might have supposed me to mean, that such plans might, with propriety be used, when preaching afterwards on the same texts.

I am, my dear Sir, with much respect, your friend and brother in Christ,

SAMUEL MILLER.”

[excerpted from The Charleston Observer, III.17 (21 January 1843): 9, where it first appeared in print. The letter was subsequently included in volume 2 of The Life of Samuel Miller, pp. 450-452.]

Image source: The Princeton University Library Chronicle, volume XIV, Number 3 (Winter 1953)

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Dr. Samuel Miller“A Long Obedience in the Same Direction”

It was on this day, January 7th, in 1850, that the esteemed Rev. Dr. Samuel Miller passed from this earth to stand before His Lord and Savior. Dr. Miller had long served as professor of Ecclesiastical History and Church Government at the Princeton Theological Seminary. The Seminary had been established in 1812, and Dr. Miller was installed as the Seminary’s second professor in 1813, joining Dr. Archibald Alexander in the work. Miller proceeded to labor at this post until his retirement in 1849. The following text presents first that portion of the Report from the Board of Directors of the Seminary concerning Miller’s decease, and then in the second paragraph, the official response of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. as it met that same year. Drawn from Samuel Baird’s Digest (1855), pp. 303-304:—

174. Obituary notice of Dr. Miller, of Princeton Seminary.

1850, p. 621. [The Board of Directors of the Princeton Seminary report that] “at the tme of this inauguration, [of Dr. J.W. Alexander,] the Rev. Dr. Samuel Miller, Emeritus Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Church Government, who had been appointed by the Board to take a part in the exercises, was unable to be present by reason of the feeble state of his health. He continued gradually to sink, honouring religion, and enjoying in a high degree its supports and consolations, until on the 7th day of January, 1850, he departed this life in the eighty-first year of his age; having been Professor from the year 1813. The Board would here express their grateful sense of the divine goodness, in raising up for the Seminary in its infancy a man of such distinguished personal excellence, and such fitness for the high and important office in which he was so ably, so successfully, and so long employed.

p. 465. Resolved, That the Assembly record with deep emotion the decease of the venerable Professor Emeritus of Ecclesiastical History and Church Government, Rev. Dr. Samuel Miller, of whom becoming mention is made in the Report by the Board; and while the Church is, in this dispensation of Divine Providence, called to mourn the departure of one who has long stood among the foremost in her counsels, and in her confidence—one of the most prominent and able defenders of her faith and order—one of the staunchest friends of all her benevolent institutions—one whose conspicuous talents, ripe judgment, and elevated piety, made him eminently a fit model and a safe guide for her rising ministry; and whose rare excellence and purity of character beautifully exemplified, in the eyes of all who knew him, that religion to the cause of which his life was devoted—it is matter of profound thankfulness that such a man was raised up to the Church, and spared to her through so many years of usefulness, and permitted to perform so valuable a part in founding our first Theological Seminary—which has served to a great extent as the model of all our after institutions—in arranging its plan and giving it establishment; and that it was not until this great work of his life was done, and he had ceased from the active discharge of these duties, that he was taken to his glorious reward.

Excerpted from A Collection of the Acts, Deliverances, and Testimonies of The Supreme Judicatory of the Presbyterian Church, from its origin in America to the present time: with Notes and Documents explanatory and historical: constituting a complete illustration of her polity, faith, and history, by Samuel J. Baird. Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1855, pp. 303-304.

Words to Live By:
In my work at the PCA Historical Center, I have been struck over the years at how just a very few in the Church are accorded an extra measure of respect and admiration. Those who knew them honor their memory as ones marked by an unusual depth of character, an undeniable piety, who were circumspect in all their dealings with others. Samuel Miller was such a man. So too was Dr. Robert G. Rayburn, of whom we wrote this past Monday, and Harold Samuel Laird was yet another. Would that all Christians had that same bearing and could command similar respect. Is that possible? How does one come to be such a person? There is no easy answer. The only answer I have thus far is that we must live our lives as close to the Lord as possible, always quick to confess our sins, and with our eyes fixed on Christ, (in the words of Eugene Peterson) striving to live “a long obedience in the same direction”.

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John, Father of Samuel

You see it in the Bible—when you wanted to bless someone, you looked to bless their father (1 Samuel 17:56). Conversely, a curse on a son was understood as a curse on the father (Gen. 9:25; 1 Kings 11:9-12). All Christians want their children to grow strong in the Lord, to be greatly used in His kingdom. So when we see such a child now grown, it is understandable that we might look to the parents, to see their character and method with their children, that we might learn and profit from their wisdom. Dr. Samuel Miller, of Princeton, was a man greatly used of the Lord, and so it fitting that we should look at the life of his father, the Rev. John Miller. This day, July 22, 1791, marks the date of Rev. John Miller’s passing.

John Miller was born in Boston, on December 24, 1722. By ancestry, he was the great-great-grandson of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins. His father, John Miller, Senior, had immigrated from Scotland in 1710 and found remarkable success as a manufacturer, refining sugar. The Millers had two children, John, the eldest, and Joseph, who never married and who, in early adulthood, was lost at sea during a voyage to Great Britain. John, the subject of our post today, never graduated from any college, but did manage to obtain an excellent classical education at a public school of high reputation in Boston. Here he became proficient in Latin and Greek, and it was during this time that he also came to faith in Christ and began to aim toward the pulpit ministry.

In May of 1748, John was licensed to preach by the Congregational association in Boston and soon began to travel throughout the Delaware and Maryland colonies. When a call came to serve the Presbyterian church in Dover, Delaware, John returned to Boston to secure ordination. Once installed in the Dover church, it was not long before an additional call came, to also serve the Presbyterian church in Smyrna (also known as Duck Creek), which was twelve miles north of Dover. Rev. Miller’s solution was to pastor both churches concurrently, establishing his home between the two churches, some four miles from Dover. And in this arrangement he spent the remaining years of his ministerial career, serving as pastor of these two churches for over forty years.

As seems so often to have been the pattern in those times, Rev. Miller had deferred marriage until he was established in a charge. But now, wasting no time, he courted and then married Margaret Millington, the daughter of a successful planter.  Dr. John Rodgers of New York was  on one occasion heard to pay the compliment that she was one of the most beautiful women that he had ever seen. Yet her physical beauty was exceeded by her moral beauty, and she proved to be a great blessing to her husband, to her children, and to all who knew her. Margaret was known for her good sense, for her prudence, for her skill and wisdom in keeping her home, and for her active engagement in charity towards others. Above all, Margaret’s life was characterized by an honest and sincere love of her Lord.

Not long after having been settled as a pastor, Rev. Miller purchased a farm of 104 acres, and here he resided for the remainder of his life. Never a man of great means, the farm allowed him to supply many of the basic needs of his family, and by careful husbandry, allowed Rev. Miller to eventually send four sons to college.

“On this estate his children were born, and from here they went forth to do good.” Of his children, two sons died in infancy, and one son died before his own passing—John, a medical doctor, who died in 1777,  at age 25. The remaining children were present at his beside when the Rev. John Miller died, at the age of 69, and in the 44th year of his ministry. These were: Elizabeth [1755-1817], wife of Col. Samuel McLane; Mary [1762-1801, wife of (1) Vincent Loockerman, Jr. (he died in 1790,) and (2) wife of Major John Patten; Edward [1760-1812];Joseph [1765-1798], who married Elizabeth Loockerman; Samuel [1769-1850],  who was twenty years pastor of the Wall Street Church in New York, then Professor of Theology in Princeton Seminary; and lastly, James [1772-1795]. Thus Samuel, who never enjoyed robust health himself, was the last surviving child of the Rev. John Miller, and that by over thirty years and more.

Words to Live By:
What distinguished the rearing of the Miller children? There are undoubtedly many things that we could look at and discuss. But one moment in their parents’ lives seems particularly significant. Ten years before Samuel Miller was born, his parents lost their first child, Joseph. A few days following, Joseph’s death, his father made this entry in his journal:

“October 5th, 1759. Last night my son Joseph, a promising child, aged nineteen months and eight days, departed this life, after a short but violent illness in the lungs. My heart was far too much bound up in the child. His little, pretty ways insensibly stole my affections from objects infinitely superior to all earthly comforts; the parting stroke has given me a much more affecting view of this than I had before. Oh that I may see the rod and him that has appointed it—see that God has a controversy to plead with me and my house.”

Our children belong to the Lord, and they are His alone. Perhaps what the Rev. John Miller learned is summed up in the words of Psalm 127:

Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

God gives us a great blessing in our children, but they belong to Him. And as difficult as it may be, our hearts must never be set upon His gifts, but always only upon the Giver.

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SpragueWBA Life of Prayer and Practice.

Late in the month of January, 1850, the Rev. William Buell Sprague performed the difficult task of saying goodbye to an old friend, the Rev. Dr. Samuel Miller of Princeton Theological Seminary. Dr. Miller had died early that month, on January 7th, and now it was Sprague’s duty to bring this tribute in praise to God for a life well lived.

Rev. Sprague’s memorial was subsequently published, under the title, A Discourse, Commemorative of the Rev. Samuel Miller, D.D., late Professor in the Theological Seminary at Princeton, delivered in the Second Presbyterian Church, Albany, on Sabbath evening, January 27, 1850 (Albany, Erastus H. Pease & Co., 1850).

Note: I don’t see where Sprague’s discourse can be found on the Web at this time, but if you care to have a copy, please write to me [archivist {AT} pcahistory /DOT/ org].

We present here just a small, but interesting portion of Sprague’s memorial concerning Samuel Miller:—

Dr. Samuel MillerHe possessed, in a high degree, the devotional spirit. No one could hear him pray without being struck with the humble, grateful, child-like temper that marked his supplications. There was a reverent freedom, an elevated fervour, in his approaches to the throne of grace, which showed that he was engaged in his favourite employment; and we felt that the fire which was burning so brightly in the lecture-room or the sanctuary, had been kindled in the closet. It was not necessary that one should be personally acquainted with his private religious habits, to feel perfectly assured that he was eminently a man of prayer; for his public devotional services proved it, as truly as the shining of Moses’ face proved that he had been on the Mount. And what he exemplified so well in his own character, he affectionately and impressively urged upon others, and especially upon his pupils. Many a student can testify that the last interview which his revered professor held with him, previous to his leaving the seminary, was concluded by his offering up a fervent prayer that God’s blessing might attend him in all coming time, and throughout a coming eternity.

Dr. Miller was distinguished by a benevolent spirit, in connection with a well directed Christian activity. I have already said that he possessed a large share of natural benevolence; but I refer here to that higher quality which is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and is habitually controlled and directed by Christian principle; and of this, I may safely say, he was a bright example. He walked constantly in the footsteps of Him who went about doing good. He watched for opportunities to do good; — good to the bodies and souls of men; — good to those near at hand and to those afar off. Without very ample pecuniary means, he was still a liberal contributor to the various objects of Christian benevolence that solicited his aid; and, in some instances, I know that he volunteered the most unexpected and generous benefactions. His benevolence, however, did not reserve itself for signal occasions; but was manifested in his daily intercourse with society and in connexion with all the little affairs of life. Indeed he seemed always to be acting in obedience to the impulses of Christian good will; and if an opportunity presented to confer innocent pleasure, much more substantial benefit, upon any of his fellow creatures, even the humblest, — provided no paramount interest required his attention, he deemed it an occasion not unworthy of his consideration and his efforts.

It was one great advantage that he possessed above many other good men, that his Christian life was ordered with the strictest regard to system. His purposes of good were formed, and his means of accomplishing them arranged, so as to occasion no perplexing interference. You would often find him greatly pressed with engagements which, with his feeble health and advanced age, he scarcely felt adequate to meet; but you would never find him thrown into an inextricable maze and not knowing what to do next, for want of due forethought and calculation. It was surprising to many that he accomplished so much, in various ways, in his last years: the secret of it was that he worked to the full measure of his strength and did everything by rule.

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