Miller, George, Dd
Miller, George, D.D.
an Irish divine, distinguished for his eminence in theology, history, and literature, was born at Dublin October 22, 1764. He was educated at Trinity College in his native city, and, after receiving holy orders, soon rose to prominence. In 1801 he was appointed vicar-general of Armagh, and lecturer of modern history at his alma mater. His lectures attracted universal attention, and were published in 1816, under the title of Lectures on the Philosophy of Modern History from the Fall of the Roman Empire to the French Revolution (Dublin, 1816, 8 volumes; 1852, 4 volumes, 8vo). This work of Dr. Miller "possesses unity of subject, harmony of proportion, and connection of parts; theory constituting one of the best of modern histories in English, and affording a systematic view of the progress of civilization" (For. Qu. Rev.). "Dr. Miller assumes, as the basis of his system, that all the events of this world have an intrinsic connection, which gives them the coherence and the unity of a moral drama. A single event or period, taken by itself, is a grain of dust in this mighty balance" (Edinb. Rev. 1:287 sq.). "Dr. Miller," says a prominent critic in the Dublin University Magazine (13:572), "advances and establishes his great principle, that God reigneth in the affairs of men, and that the end of the divine government is man's improvement." In the winter of 1817 Dr. Miller was induced to apply for the head-mastership of the Royal School of Armagh, which was immediately conferred upon him. In conjunction with many able champions of Protestantism, he made a noble stand against the fatal policy of English statesmen, by which Roman Catholic were admitted to political power. While Dr. Miller, in 1793, had hailed with pleasure the commencement of political concessions to the Romish Church, and had even lent a helping hand to these reforms, he now, with deeper philosophy and wider statesmanship, opposed the growing political power of the Romanists. His Letter to Mr. Plunkett: on the Policy of the Roman Catholic Question (Lond. 1826) is a fair index to his opinions. In the same year he showed himself the champion of the true faith by attacking the modern Arian opinions in his Observations on the Doctrines of Christianity and on the Athanasian Creed; and when the Pusey (q.v.) discussions were at their height, he published A Letter to Dr. Pusey in
reference to his Letter to the Lord Bishop of Oxford (1840, 8vo). A Second Letter to Dr. Pusey was published in the winter of 1841, and it suffices to say that Dr. Miller was thereafter considered one of the most formidable opponents of Puseyism. In his position as head-master of the Royal School of Armagh he showed himself uncompromising in his defence of Scriptural education in Ireland. Dr. Miller, being firmly persuaded that "most of our relations to our fellowmen, for which education is to prepare us, grow out of our relations to God," advocated Scriptural education as the only true system. Christian influence must pervade the whole educational institution, he asserted, and all our knowledge must be derived from the holy Scriptures. His Case of the Church Education Society of Ireland argued in Reply to Dr. Elrington (Lond. 1847), and his Supplement to the Case of the Church Education Society (Dublin, 1847), are most important statements of what true education ought to accomplish. Blessed with a mind peculiarly cheerful, contented and happy in his disposition, devout in his religion, truly philosophic in his learning, Dr. Miller was beloved and esteemed by all who came into official or private connection with him. He died October 6, 1848. See Memoir of Dr. Miller in Bohn's edition of Miller's History, 4:5 sq.; Dublin University Mag. 17:674 sq.; Edinburgh Review, 1:287 sq.; Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, 2:1282.