January 7 Today in OPC History

Samuel Miller



The Rev. Dr. Samuel Miller died on January 7, 1850. Born in 1769 in Dover, Delaware, and graduated with high honors from the University of Pennsylvania, Miller followed his father in the vocation of Presbyterian ministry. He pastored churches in Delaware and New York, and was moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1806. A year after the founding of the Theological Seminary at Princeton, Miller joined Archibald Alexander as its second professor. He served as Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Church Government for 36 years, until he submitted his resignation to the General Assembly because of declining health, eight months before his death.

Alfred Nevin's Encyclopedia of the Presbyterian Church (1884) described the high reputation that Miller enjoyed: "he had an uncommonly polished style, and there was an air of literary refinement pervading all his performances, that excited general admission, and well might put criticism at defiance." Among his writings was a primer on Clerical Manners (1827), of which he himself served as "an admirable example." As Nevin went on to describe: "There are few men who have an assemblage of intellectual and moral qualities so well fitted as were his to form a dignified character, or to secure a course of honorable and enduring usefulness."

Picture: Miller Chapel next to Alexander Hall prior to its move to the center of campus in 1933.