Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Miller, John Cale

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

MILLER, JOHN CALE, D.D. (1814–1880), evangelical divine, only son of John Miller of Margate, Kent, who held a confidential appointment in connection with the American embassy, was born at Margate 11 Oct. 1814. He was educated at Brompton grammar school, matriculated at Oxford from St. John's College 27 March 1832, and was a scholar of Lincoln College from 1834 to 1836, graduating B.A. 1835, M.A. 1838, and B.D. and D.D. 1857. He was ordained to the curacy of Bexley, Kent, in 1837, was assistant curate of Park Chapel, Chelsea, in 1839, and succeeded. Thomas Vores in the sole charge in 1841. His rising reputation as an able and energetic pastor led to his election by the trustees of St. Martin's, Birmingham, to fill the vacancy caused in June 1846 by the resignation of Thomas Moseley. Miller devoted himself energetically to the welfare of Birmingham. A working man's association was established in 1854 on a wider basis than the church educational societies previously in vogue. Hence sprang the working men's parochial mission, a band of working-men missionaries who worked among their neighbours. Miller acquired in a remarkable degree the confidence of the labouring classes, and began in November 1856 in St. Martin's Church special services for them at which he divided the liturgy into three parts so as to obviate iteration and undue length; during the summer season he held open-air services. The tower and spire of St. Martin's Church he restored at a cost of 7,000l., raised by subscription, and for the General Hospital he, in November 1859, organised simultaneous collections on a given Sunday in the churches of Birmingham, by which means the sum of 5,000l. was raised, and the first foundations laid of Hospital Sunday. On 7 March 1866 he was presented by the crown to the vicarage of Greenwich, where he remained till his death. His other appointments were select preacher at Oxford 1867, honorary canon of Worcester August 1852, canon and treasurer 31 Oct. 1871 to 1873, canon of Rochester 1873, and examining chaplain to the Bishop of Rochester 1877. He was a member of the London School Board for Greenwich 29 Nov. 1870 to March 1872. On the platform, as in the pulpit, he was a ready speaker, full of passionate energy. He died in Park Place, Maze Hill, East Greenwich, 11 July 1880, and was buried in Shooter's Hill Cemetery on 16 July.

He married in 1836 Elizabeth, daughter of J. A. Edwards of Winchester, and had issue.

Miller wrote many addresses, lectures, sermons and tracts. His best known books are: 1. ‘Sermons,’ 1838. 2. ‘Sermons preached at Park Chapel, Chelsea,’ 1843. 3. ‘Subjection, no not for an Hour, a Warning to Protestant Christians in behalf of the Truth of the Gospel as now imperilled by the Romish Doctrines of the Tractarian Heresy,’ 1850, 5 editions; a work which evoked several printed replies. 4. ‘Bible Inspiration Vindicated, an Essay on “Essays and Reviews,”’ 1861. 5. ‘A Hymn Book for the Church of England Sunday Schools,’ 1862, 2 editions. 6. ‘Death Words of a Noble Woman [Lady A. F. E. Stanley],’ 1876, 2 parts. 7. ‘Letters to a Young Clergyman,’ 1878.

[John Poland's Records of the Miller Hospital and Royal Kent Dispensary, 1893; Christian Cabinet Illustrated Almanack for 1861, pp. 31–2; Church of England Photograph Portrait Gallery, 1859, portrait No. 35; Drawing-Room Photograph Portrait Gallery, 4th ser. 1860, portrait, No. x.; Davies's Orthodox London, 1874, pp. 199–208; Times, 12, 15, 19, 27 July and 28 Aug. 1880.]

G. C. B.