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constituted the foundation of his eminently attractive character. With a finely-proportioned form, he had a countenance full of generosity, manliness, and intelligence; and though he could not be said to have an unusually vigorous physical constitution, his health was generally adequate to the arduous duties devolved upon him. His countenance was indicative of great purity and nobility of character; and his manners, though cultivated possibly at a slight expense of naturalness, were uncommonly bland and graceful. His intellect was naturally clear, comprehensive, and symmetrical. His taste was so perfect as to set criticism at defiance, insomuch, that in reading his published works, one rarely meets with an expression that admits of being essentially improved. Well do we remember to have heard an eminent scholar and author, who had been brought into sharp antagonism with Dr. Miller, say that he hardly knew a writer in the English language, who he thought equalled him in a fine and classical style. And his intellect, we may safely say, though richly endowed, was no better than his heart—he was naturally genial, gentle, and sincere; incapable alike of double dealing and of needless severity. We remember instances in which some of his expressions of dislike were characterized by great intensity; but there was usually a reason for it in the circumstances that called them forth. And we remember many other occasions, on which his native kindliness of spirit found an apology for mistakes, or delinquencies, which a different temperament would
a have met with severe reprehension.
So also the hand of God was strikingly manifest in the ordering of Dr. Miller's lot. His grandfather, John Miller, emigrated from Scotland, and settled in Boston, in the very early part of the last century, and was a well-educated and highly-respectable man. His father, John Miller, was a native of Boston, where he received his early training, became a member of the Old South Church, studied for the ministry, and finally was ordained with a view to his becoming the pastor of two associated churches in Delaware. He was a man of excellent talents, of liberal culture, and of great devotedness to his work. He was married to a Miss Millington, a lady of superior education, of great personal attractions, and of devoted piety. Trained under such a parental influence, it was to be expected that the son, especially considering the original qualities of his mind and heart, should early develop the germ of a noble character. His first eighteen years were spent under the paternal roof, and his preparation for college was all made under the direction of his father. In 1788, he became a member of the senior class in the University of Pennsylvania, having already gone through the studies of the previous years. Here he found hinself surrounded by influences, social, intellectual, and religious, that were eminently favorable to the development and culture of his naturally fine qualities. He graduated in 1789, with the highest honor in his class, in token of which it devolved on bim to deliver the salutatory oration. It was during his college life that he first became acquainted with the Rev. (afterward, Dr.) Ashbel Green, of Philadelphia, with whom he continued on terms of great intimacy until the close of Dr. Green's life. Among his instructors, the provost of the university, Rev. Dr. Ewing, with whom he afterward became connected by marriage, seems to have left upon him the most enduring impression. He prosecuted his theological studies at Carlisle, under the learned, and justly celebrated, Dr. Nisbet; and the acquaintance thus commenced he recognized as an enduring source of gratification and improvement. In due time he became one of the pastors of the Collegiate Presbyterian churches in New York ; and though he was called, in 1799, to the First Church in Philadelphia, he preferred to remain with his first charge, and did remain with them until his removal to Princeton, in 1813. By his settlement in the ministry he was placed in circumstances most favorable to his improvement and usefulness. His associates in the pastoral charge were men of commanding powers and far-reaching influence, while there were ministers outside of his own denomination, with whom he was in the habit of familiar intercourse, who were justly reckoned among the lights of their day. Indeed it were hardly possible that his lot should have been cast in any other clerical circle in which he could have had better opportunities for communicating a fresh impulse to great minds, or coming under their quickening powers. And then, it is to be borne in mind that the people to whom he ministered, were many of them, not only of the highest standing in society, but distinguished for their intellectual culture, thus presenting to him a powerful motive for the faithful improvement of his faculties, and the utmost diligence in his work. During the whole period of his ministry, and indeed, throughout the residue of his life, many of his most intimate friends occupied some of the highest places of public usefulness; and it cannot be doubted that in inany cases at least, he and they were fellow-helpers in the great cause of human improvement.
Dr. Miller's marriage proved an important auxiliary to almost every good work in which he engaged. Mrs. Miller was the danghter of the Hon. Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant, one of the most eminent lawyers of his day, and a member of the Continental Congress; and this connection brought her husband into intimate relations with the whole circle to which she belonged. She was herself a lady of remarkable powers, of the highest culture, and of deep reverence for religion, though it was not till some time after her marriage that she ventured to hope that she was the subject of a saving change, and to make a public profession of her faith in Christ. From that time it was manifest to all who had an opportunity of observing her daily life, that her treasure was in heaven; and while her fine intellectual and moral character was the subject of universal admiration, it was impossible to resist the conviction, that her crowning attraction was her religion. Though we cannot determine the exact measure of influence that she exerted upon her husband, we cannot doubt that not her heart only, but her hand, was in much of the good that he accomplished.
Another event in Dr. Miller's history, to which he was indebted for a large increase of his usefulness, was his being appointed to a professorship in the Theological Seminary at Princeton. Though his influence as a pastor was wide and deep, it was doubtless greatly exceeded by his influence as professor ; for in the latter case he was brought in direct contact with the minds of those who were in a course of training for the Gospel ministry; and through them, his sound instruction and benevolent activity, would tell on the destinies of
coming generations. At the same time he became by this means a much greater power in the church at large; his opinion on difficult questions was generally regarded as of higher authority; for every one felt that he occupied a place, to which none but the wisest and best could be called. Indeed his office as professor opened to him many new channels of Christian and ministerial activity, and gave him opportunities for doing good which were enjoyed by few of his generation.
We only add that Dr. Miller was favored with many tokens of his Redeemer's gracious presence, and thus rendered strong for the arduous duties to which he was called. His path seems to have shone brighter from the day of his conversion to the day of his death. Mistakes and errors, like every other good man, he sometimes committed ; but when he became
1 convinced, he was always ready to confess and correct. He seemed ever to be in communion with the Lord, his strength, so that when difficult duties devolved upon him, his courage did not falter; or when great trials were in prospect, he could gird himself to meet them with calm submission. He had a triumphant meeting even with the last enemy, knowing in whom he had believed. Through his whole life, God was his helper, and hence he was always ready to do his Master's will, and had the pleasure to see every good work prospering in his hands.
In the view of Dr. Miller's life, and the estimate of his character, which we have now given, our main design has been to direct the attention of our readers to a work in which
be found an account of him alike interesting and faithful. And we deemn it proper, before closing this sketch, to refer a little more distinctly to some of the prominent features of this work, with which its attractiveness is specially identified.
And the first that occurs to us is the minuteness of its details. It is qnite possible that some readers may think that this is carried so far as to be an imperfection; and if it were not for the great purity and elevation of the character delineated we might think so too; but as it is, we find little or nothing in the volumes that we could have wished was not there. On the contrary, there are many things that seem of small importance in themselves, that are yet full of meaning, and, to a thoughtful mind, they bring out character far more impressively than many other things that seem far more imposing. We may add that the whole work is constructed with great simplicity and naturalness, so that one in reading it almost forgets that he is not holding a familiar conversation.
Another characteristic feature of the biography is that it covers a long and deeply-interesting period. The account of the ancestry of both Dr. Miller and his wife takes us back among generations that have long since passed away, and includes in it reminiscences of many individuals of Revolutionary and even ante-Revolutionary fame. But if we limit ourselves to the time in which he was in the full discharge of his duties as a minister of the Gospel, and as an educator of ministers, we shall find that it reaches through several years more than half a century. And during these years, the Presbyterian Church was more than once in a state of great agitation, and once, at least, thoroughly convulsed; while several outside controversies, at different periods, awakened a deep and general interest. Of all these polemic scenes, especially those with which he was more immediately connected, Dr. Miller has left a faithful record, which is preserved in these volumes. Indeed, one cannot read them carefully without becoming acquainted with the more important events of our history, especially the history of the Presbyterian Church, during the period to which they relate.
It is worthy of remark, also, that the work which we are reviewing contains incidental notices of most of the distin. guished clergymen of that day within the Presbyterian Church, and of not a few outside of it. From many of them there are letters; or else there are facts stated illustrative of their characters; and one can hardly help feeling, as he passes along through the work, that, in reading the biography of a single individual, he is brought into communion with a host of illustrious men, who, having served their generation faithfully have fallen asleep. The names of Doctors Green, Griffin, Janeway, Romeyn, Dwight, Morse, and many other noble spirits--some of a later date--are often repeated, and may be said to be embalmed in these pages.