Miller, Samuel (the Elder)

Samuel Miller


Books  (22)

A Brief History of the Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church at Princeton, New Jersey, Together with its Constitution, By-Laws, etc., 1838, 62 pages in all.  The Brief History is the first seven pages followed by the organizing Plan of the Theological Seminary for 37 pages.

Here is the first history of Princeton Seminary, written by its second professor who oversaw its inception.  Includes the organizing Plan for the seminary, an important historical document which articulates Princeton’s original vision, parameters and by-laws.   Read the section on the personal piety of the students, starting on p. 19.

A brief retrospect of the eighteenth century. Containing a sketch of the revolutions and improvements in science, arts, and literature during that period, vol. 1, vol. 21805, 462 & 440 pages, here is another volume 2 with different contents, 1803, 536 pages

Being a review of the great progress and advances made in the natural sciences and arts during the 1700’s.

Doctrinal Integrity,  Buy  including The Utility and Importance of Creeds and Confessions, 1839, 138 pages, and Adherence to our Doctrinal Standards, 1833, in three letters, with a Preface by Kevin Reed, 1989

The classic piece showing the Biblical warrant and necessity for creeds in the church, and the great importance of officers upholding them with their vows.  

Infant Baptism Scriptural and Reasonable, and Baptism by Sprinkling, part 1part 2, part 3 & 4HTML  Buy  1835, 163 pages

Why read modern treatments of infant baptism when you can read better older works?  Here it is.

Jonathan Edwards, no date, 251 pages, written for the American Biography series

Little known biography of Edwards from an always careful pen.

A Letter to a Gentleman of Baltimore: in reference to the case of The Rev. Mr. Duncan, [in reference to the necessity and utility of creeds] 1826, 91 pages.  This is a lengthy letter to an anonymous friend reviewing Rev. Mr. Duncan’s book Creeds, which argued against the use of creeds due to the sufficiency of the Bible.

Letters Concerning the Constitution and Order of the Christian Ministry… with a Prefatory Letter on the Episcopal Controversy, 1830, 558 pages.  The Letters are systematically laid out in the table of contents starting with the testimony of scripture concerning church government, then the testimony of the history of the church, followed by the rise and progress of prelacy and its practical problems.

Miller became heavily involved in public debates about prelacy (top-down church government by bishops) due to the rise of the influence of Episcopalians in his area.  This is must reading for a defense of presbyterianism from scripture and history, and for showing the Biblical and historical errors of episcopalian government.

Letters from a Father to his Sons in College, 1852, 260 pages

Here is help for godly living as well as overseeing the development of your own children as they leave home and grow into independent young adults at college.  Much needed by fathers and mothers in our own day as youth are everywhere neglecting and forsaking the God of their fathers in college.  Be a constant, positive influence in their life for good.  

Letters of a Grandfather, to the surviving children of Mrs. Margaret Breckinridge, comes after p. 90, then numbering starts over, 1839, 98 pages

Grandfathers, teach your grandchildren practical godliness!  Write letters to them!  

Letters on Clerical Manners and Habits, 1835, 414 pages

“Love… does not behave itself unseemly,”  1 Cor. 13:4,5.  Study your life with an eye to this verse.  Here is a book to help.  Filled with practical wisdom and application of the scriptures.  This is especially important for ministers and elders (clerics) who are to be blameless in all things (1 Tim. 3:2), and yet often needlessly offend by one word (James 3:2).  The book is also interesting and a bit humorous as it sheds light on the culture of a different day.  Culture changes but the principles of God’s Word, which it is filled with, do not.  

Letters on the Eternal Sonship of Christ: addressed to the Rev. professor Stuart, of Andover1823, 308 pages, 8 letters specifically aimed at Unitarianism

More relevant in our day than ever as some teachers are casting skepticism on the ‘begottenness’ of the Son in eternity.

Letters on the Observance of the Monthly Concert in Prayer, 1845, 120 pages

Letters on Unitarianism : addressed to the members of the First Presbyterian Church, in the City of Baltimore1821, 328 pages

Letters to Presbyterians, on the present crisis in the Presbyterian Church in the United States1833, 340 pages

Memoir of the Rev. Charles Nisbet, D.D.: Late President of Dickinson College, Carlisle, 1840, 357 pages

Memoirs of the Rev. John Rodgers, D. D., late pastor of the Wall-street and Brick churches in the city of New-York, 1813, 449 pages

Presbyterianism, the Truly Primitive and Apostolic Constitution of the Church of Christ: or a View of the History, Doctrine, Government, and Worship of the Presbyterian Church, 1848, 308 pages

The Primitive and Apostolical Order of the Church of Christ Vindicated, 1840, 398 pages

The Ruling Elder: respecting the Warrant, Nature and Duties of the OfficeHTML,  Buy  1840, 335 pages

The best American book on the subject preserving the historic reformed view that the Ruling Elder is a distinct office from the Minister and that the Ruling Elder is also a “presbyter” (“elder” in the English) along with the Minister.  Thornwell would come along and claim that the Ruling Elder holds the same office as the Minister.  Hodge in the North then rightly distinguished the Ruling Elder as a separate office, but excluded the Ruling Elder from the category of “presbyter” (“elder” in English), as do the Episcopalians.

Thoughts on Public Prayer,  Buy  1849, 324 pages

Helpful practical advice for those who lead in public prayers, especially for ministers.  We should study prayer, not for the purpose of artificiality, but so that we can better articulate our own thoughts and desires, contour our prayers most fittingly to our and other’s circumstances, and to express a greater range and depth of Biblical and godly sentiment.

The Utility and Importance of Creeds and Confessions,  Buy  1839, 138 pages, included in Kevin Reed’s reprint Doctrinal Integrity above


Chapters out of Books

Conversation, HTML, from his Letters on Clerical Manners and Habits. 1835

Presbyterians do not Observe Holy Days, 1835, 14 paragraphs, from his Presbyterianism the Truly Primitive and Apostolical Constitution of the Church of Christ, p. 73-78

Religious ConversationHTML, from his Letters on Clerical Manners and Habits. 1835


Articles  (15)

Charles Nisbet, 1785-1804, a five page biographical reflection in William B. Sprague’s Annals of the American Pulpit, 1858, p. 455

The Christian education of children and youth1840, 84 pages

Church Attachment and Sectarianism, 6 pages, from The Presbyterian Magazine, Jan., 1854

“It is indeed, not only a misfortune, but a sin, that the Church of Christ which ought to be one in name, and in profession, as well as in fact, is divided into so many different denominations,” Miller rightly states.  Let us not be sectarians and forget that we are part of the One Body of Christ on earth.  This is a very balanced treatment.

The importance of a thorough and adequate course of preparatory study for the holy ministry1832, 58 pages

John Ewing, 1759-1802, 1859, a four page biographical reflection in William B. Sprague’s Annals of the American Pulpit, p. 216

Letter, on temperance of alcohol, 1836, p. 23, two and a half pages

Letter on Christmas Observance, HTML, 1828, 7 paragraphs, this letter is addressed to a secular commercial advertiser

Letter to William B. Sprague on revivals, p. 22 of the Appendix, 22 pages

Matthew Wilson, D.D., 1754-1790, 1859, a three page biographical reflection in William B. Sprague’s Annals of the American Pulpit, vol. 3, p. 178

Revivals of Religion, Part 1 and 2, 1833

The Views of Calvin on Prelacy, Vindicated, 1844, Appendix II, p. 87, 40 pages

The Vows of Teaching and Ruling Elders, 1833, two pages, abridged by Rev. Morton H. Smith


Lectures and Discourses  (10)

A Discourse Delivered Delivered in the Chapel of Nassau-Hall, Before the Literary and Philosophical Society of New Jersey, at its first Annual-Meeting, Sept. 27, 1825, 1825, 50 pages

A Discourse Designed to Commemorate the Discovery of New York by Henry Hudson, 1810, 30 pages

A Discourse for Promoting the Manumission [Freeing] of Slaves, and Protecting such of them as have been, or may be Liberated, 1797, 36 pages

The Guilt, Folly, and Sources of Suicide: Two Discourses, HTML,  Buy  1805

Suicide is not often addressed at length by Christian ministers.  Here it is.

The Importance of Mature Preparatory Study for the Ministry, 1829, 54 pages

The Importance of the Gospel Ministry, 1827, 68 pages

On Ecclesiastical Polity, 1833, p. 171, 42 pages

On the Importance of Creeds and Confessions: an Introductory Lecture, with an Appendix entitled A Letter to Scripturista, 1833, p. 301, 95 pages

The Rejection of Revealed Truth Referable to Moral Depravity, Heb. 3:12, 1830, p. 195, 44 pages



Introductory Address to: Lectures to Young People, 1835, by William B. Sprague, 15 pages


Sermons  (18)

The Appropriate Duty and Ornament of the Female Sex, Acts 9:36-41, 1808, p. 249

Christian weapons not carnal, but spiritual, 2 Cor. 10:4: a sermon, delivered in the Second Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, Oct. 13, 1826, at the installation of the Rev. John Breckinridge1826

The dangers of education in Roman Catholic seminaries, Deut. 6:6,71838

The Duty, the Benefits, and the Proper Method of Religious Fasting, Dan. 9:3, Two Sermons  1831

Fasting is not often addressed by Preachers, and the common Christian is largely unfamiliar with it, though it was a staple of God-fearing religion in the Bible.  Here is help for a significant aspect of the Christian life.

The Duty of the Church to Take Measures for Providing an Able and Faithful Ministry, 2 Tim. 2:2: a Sermon Delivered at Princeton, Aug. 12th, 1812, at the Inauguration of the Rev. Archibald Alexander, D.D. as Professor of Didactic and Polemic Theology, 1812, 47 pages

An historic occasion, being the opening of Princeton Seminary, the first presbyterian seminary in America.  Miller aptly suited his discourse for the occasion.

The Earth Filled with the Glory of the Lord, Num. 14:20,21,  Buy  1835

The Difficulties and Temptations which Attend the Preaching of the Gospel in Great Cities, Rom. 1:15,16: a Sermon Preached at the Ordination and Installation of William Nevin1820

Each part of the Lord’s vineyard has different terrain, circumstances, problems and peculiar qualities, which require different callings, gifts, and methods of labor.  Here is help for those that labor in large cities.

The Evidence and Duty of Being on the Lord’s Side, Ex. 32:26, 1826, two sermons, p. 97

The Good Man: A Sermon in Memory of the Rev. George S. Woodhull, Acts 11:24, 1835

Holding Fast the Faithful Word, Titus 1:9: a Sermon Delivered… at the Installation of the Rev. William B. Sprague, D.D.  1839  49 pp.

The Importance of Domestic Happiness, Job 5:24, 1835, p. 241

A happy home is a large part of life that ought not to be neglected, but ought to be cultivated and nurtured.  The blessings and fruits born by it will richly reward you. 

The Importance of Gospel Truth, John 17:17, 1832, p. 1

The Literary Fountains Healed, 2 Kings 2:21, 1823

The sacred office magnified: a Sermon delivered… at the installation of the Rev. John C. Backus, Rom. 11:13, 1836

A sermon delivered June 7th, 1823, at the opening of the New Presbyterian Church in Arch Street in the city of Philadelphia, for the public worship of God, 2 Chron. 6:41, 1823

A Sermon delivered… at the ordination of the Rev. Mssrs. William Goodell, William Richards, and Artemas Bishop as Evangelists and Missionaries to the Heathen, Isa. 61:4, 1822

Ps. 2:11, A Sermon Observing a Day of Thanksgiving, Humiliation and Prayer, on Account of the Removal of a Malignant and Mortal Disease, Which has Prevailed in the City of New York Some Time Before, 1799

The Nature and Effects of The Stage, Lam. 2:1,13: A Sermon on the Burning of the Theatre at Richmond, 1812

Christianity the grand source, and the surest basis of political liberty, 2 Cor. 3:17.  A Sermon Preached for the Anniversary of the Independence of America, July 4th, 1793, 1793


Introductions  (7)

An Introductory Essay to: An essay on the spirit and influence of the reformation, 1833, 12 pages

An Introductory Essay to: A history of popery, including its origin, progress, doctrines, practice, institutions, and fruits, to the commencement of the nineteenth century1834, 15 pages

An Introductory Essay to: A Manual on the Christian Sabbath by John H. Agnew, 1834, 16 pages

An Introductory Essay to: The articles of the Synod of Dort, by Thomas Scott, 1856, 50 pages

A Recommendatory Letter to: History of the Ancient Christians Inhabiting the Valleys of the Alps by Jean P. Perrin, 1847, 7 pages

A Recommendatory Letter to: The force of truth, 1841, by Thomas Scott, 11 pages

A helpful introduction to a classic of Christian literature.  This is Scott’s autobiographical account of the development of and the force of the truth of the doctrines of grace on his own soul.  Scott was an Anglican pastor and first published this account in 1779.

A Recommendation to: The internal evidence of the Holy Bible, or, The Bible proved from its own pages to be a Divine revelation, by Jacob J. Janeway, 1845, two pages




Samuel Miller on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel



Related  (7)

Trumbull, David – [Handwritten] Notes on Church History From Lectures by Samuel Miller (1842-1845)  160 pp.

Trumbull (1819-1889) was an early Protestant missionary in Chile and the founder of the Presbyterian Church in that country.

A Discourse Commemorative of the Character and Life of the Late Rev. Samuel Miller, 1850, by the Rev. Henry A. Boardman, 40 pages

The life of Samuel Miller, D.D., LL.D., vol.1,  vol. 2  Buy  1869, 373 & 577 pages, by his son Samuel Miller

The major biography of Samuel Miller by his son.

The Intellectual Life of Samuel Miller: The Opening Address of the Session of 1905-1906 at Princeton Theological Seminary, 1906, by John De Witt, a professor at Princeton Seminary, 22 pages

Samuel Miller, 1791-1850,  Buy  1858, thirteen pages of biographical reflection on Miller from William Sprague, James Carnahan, and Nicholas Murray including a bibliography, in William B. Sprague’s Annals of the American Pulpit, vol. 3, p. 600

Two letters in reply to certain publications of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Miller, by George Weller, 1836, 134 pages, an episcopalian response to Millers’ An Examination of the Reasons for Rejecting Episcopacy

A Vindication of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in a series of letters addressed to the Rev. Samuel Miller, D.D.: in reply to his late writings on the Christian ministry, and to the charges contained in his life of the Rev. Dr. Rodgers ; with preliminary remarks, by Thomas How, 1816, 534 pages

An episcopalian response to several of Miller’s writings on presbyterianism against epsicopalianism