Milledoler, Philip, Dd
Milledoler, Philip, D.D.
a noted American divine, was born at Rhinebeck, N.Y., September 22, 1775. His parents were Swiss Germans, who emigrated to America from the canton of Berne about the middle of the last century. Philip was converted in very early youth; was educated at Columbia College; and at nineteen years of age was licensed to preach the Gospel, and became pastor of the German Reformed Church in Nassau Street, New York, succeeding the Reverend Dr. Gross, his pastor and theological professor. He preached there in both German and English from 1795 to 1800. His reputation for unction and eloquence drew large audiences; he became generally known, and in 1800 was called to the Third Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. He accepted the offer, and, removing to the city of brotherly love. labored there for five years with great success, large additions being made to the communion of the Church. In 1805 he accepted a unanimous call as first pastor of the Rutgers Street Presbyterian Church, New York, and remained there until 1813, when he transferred his relation to the Reformed Church, and became one of the pastors of the Collegiate Church of that city. In 1825 he was elected professor of didactic and polemic theology by the General Synod of the Reformed Church, to succeed the venerable Dr. John H. Livingston. At the same time he was appointed president of Rutgers College, and professor of moral philosophy. These offices he accepted and held until 1841, when he resigned, and retired to private life at New Brunswick. He died, full of years, labors, and honors, September 22, 1852. His wife died the next day, and both were buried in the same grave, with a common funeral service. Dr. Milledoler's professional career was marked by diligent and faithful services, by great dignity of character and kind demeanor towards his students, and by a saintly piety which shone through all his life. His gentleness of heart perhaps diminished his ability as a disciplinarian, and unfitted him to cope successfully with the difficulties of his double office. His forte was in the pulpit. His whole ministry in New York was remarkable for the constant divine blessing that followed his labors. In prayer he seemed almost like a man inspired. His use of scriptural language at the throne of grace was most wonderful, and it was woven together with a skill and power that were only to be accounted for by the influence of the Holy Spirit upon his suppliant soul. This fervor and unction in prayer characterized him till the very close of life. His preaching partook of much of the same elevated and tender spirit. His sermons were clear, earnest, solemn, and impressive. His sentences were short, often highly rhetorical in structure and always pregnant with Gospel truth. As a pastor and in the sick-room, he was not surpassed. But in nothing did he so soar heavenward, and seem so full of divine power, as in public prayer. A number of powerful revivals of religion occurred under his ministry. Dr. Milledoler declined several pressing offers of high positions in the Church. In 1823, with Dr. Gardner Spring, he visited, as commissioner of the General Assembly, the missions among the Tuscarora, Seneca, and Cattaraugus Indians. In the great benevolent movements of his time he was an earnest actor. He was moderator of the Presbyterian General Assembly in 1808, and president of the General Synod of the Reformed Church in 1823, and was one of the members of the convention that formed the American Bible Society in 1816. He helped to organize and was the first president of the Society for Evangelizing the Jews, and an active original member and corresponding secretary of the United Foreign Missionary Society formed in 1817. He published a number of sermons, public addresses, and other pamphlets. 'In his old age Dr. Milledoler was most venerable in appearance; elegant in manners, and saintlike in spirit. His snow-white hair, and almost ruddy complexion, and scrupulous neatness in dress, his unfailing courtesy and radiant goodness, stamped him not merely as a Christian gentleman of the old school, but as one who lived for two worlds, blessing this one and waiting for the glory of the next. See Sprague, Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, volume 9; Corwin's Manual of the Ref. Church, s.v. (W.J.R.T.)