Milnor, James, Dd
Milnor, James, D.D.
a distinguished divine of the Protestant Episcopal Church, was born at Philadelphia June 20, 1773. He studied for a while at the University of Pennsylvania, but about 1789 turned his attention to jurisprudence. His first settlement as a legal practitioner was at Norristown, but about 1797 he returned to Philadelphia, where he married. Until then he had lived, as he had been educated a Quaker; but as he had not been trained to any great strictness in the customs of the Friends, and as his wife belonged to an Episcopal family, it cost him little sacrifice to change his denomination. In consequence of his marriage, he had, moreover, been in due form "read out of meeting." In 1805 Mr. Milnor was elected a member of the select council of Philadelphia for two years. In 1807 he was elected for three years to the same body; and in 1808 was raised to the presidency of the council for one year. In 1810 he was elected to the Congress of the United States, as a member of the House of Representatives, from the city and county of Philadelphia: his term there closed March 4, 1813. He was for a long time a man of. the world, though in the better sense of that expression; but about the year 1800 he began to turn his attention to religion. At first he inclined to Universalism, but finally, in 1812, became a communicant in the Episcopal Church. Soon after the expiration of his term in Congress he removed to Norristown, where, while preparing himself to enter the ministry, he acted as lay-reader in St. John's Church by permission of bishop White. He was ordained deacon in St. James's Church, Philadelphia, August 14, 1814, and was admitted to the order of Presbyters in the same place August 27, 1815. On October 21 following he was unanimously elected by the vestry a minister of the United Churches in Philadelphia. He finally received a call from St. George's Church, in New York, which he accepted after much hesitation, and was installed by bishop Hobart September 30, 1816. He was made D.D. by the University of Pennsylvania in 1819. In 1830 he was sent to the British and Foreign Bible Society as a delegate of the American Bible Society, and of various other religious and benevolent institutions. On his return he resumed his charge at St. George's, and continued there until his death, April 8, 1844. Dr. Milnor was distinguished for his dignity and wisdom, and especially for his benevolence and piety. He ardently labored for the advancement of the kingdom of Christ, and his life is full of incident and instruction, "alike attractive to the ardent youth, the man of business, the humble Christian, and the mature theologian." Dr. Milnor published an Oration on Masonry (Phila. 1811): a Thanksgiving Sermon (New York, 1817): A Sermon on the Death of his Excellency De Witt Clinton (New York, 1828): — Two Sermons in: the National Preacher (1836): — A Charitable Judgment of the Opinions and Conduct of Others (New York, 1845). See the Rev. John S. Stone, D.D. Memoir of the Rev. James Milnor, D.D. (New York, 1848, 12mo); Prot. Epis. Qu. Rev. and Ch. Register, April 1855, page 311; N.Y. Ch. Rev. 2:31; New-Englander, 7:122 sq.; Princeton Rev. 21:236; Sprague, Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, 5:562; Meth, Qu. Rev. July 1849, page 407; Drake, Dict. of Amer. Biog. s.v.