Squier, Miles Powell, Dd
Squier, Miles Powell, D.D.
an eminent Presbyterian divine and educator, was born in Cornwall, Vt., May 4, 1792. The family was of English origin, settling in Connecticut in the days of the Pilgrim fathers. He was trained with assiduous care, and at fourteen entered the academy at Middlebury, Vt., where he pursued his academical studies; graduated with honor at Middlebury College in 1811, and at the Andover Theological Seminary, Mass., in 1814; was licensed to preach the same year, and immediately began his labors as a supply to the Congregational Church, Oxford, Mass.; thence he removed to Vergennes, Vt., where he remained till the spring of 1815, when he accepted an appointment of missionary to the western part of New York State. He was ordained May 3, 1816, by the Geneva Presbytery as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Buffalo, N.Y., which relation existed till 1824. In 1817 he was a commissioner to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church which met in Philadelphia; in 1825, after closing his pastorate in Buffalo, he spent a short time in agricultural pursuits for the benefit of his health; in 1826 he accepted the secretaryship of the Western agency of the American Home Missionary Society at Geneva, N.Y., in which work he spent eight years; in 1833 he was occupied in superintending the affairs of the Geneva Lyceum, which he had founded, at the same time supplying the churches at Junius, Newark, Castleton, and West Fayette, N.Y., and in the winter of 1839-40 the Southwark Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. In 1845 he was: induced to visit Beloit, Wis., where it was proposed to, establish a college, and he resolved to identify himself with it. In 1846 the charter was obtained, in 1847 the cornerstone was laid, and in 1849 he was elected professor of intellectual and moral philosophy, entering upon his duties in 1851. The subjects of his lectures at Beloit College were as follows: The Truth of Religion: — The Method and the Acquisition of Knowledge: — Mental and Moral Habits: — The Value of a Philosophical Mind: — The Value of Moral Sciences: — The Generic Properties of Mind: — Philosophy and its Uses: — and Elements of Moral Science. In August, 1861, he went to Europe to attend the Evangelical Alliance in Switzerland, and while abroad he received the attention due his high position as an eminent educator. He lectured in the college for the last time in 1863, and by reason of declining health he made arrangements for a successor, he retaining a place in the catalogue as emeritus professor. For several months before his death he manifested an uncommon degree of interest in the promotion of the Redeemer's kingdom. The interviews with his friends relative to his departure were most gratifying and instructive. He longed to depart and be with Christ; and after charging each member of the household to minister in every way to the health and happiness of his wife, he passed gently away, June 22, 1866. Dr. Squier was a man of note and eminence, fully up to the times in which he lived. He frequently represented his presbytery in the General Assembly, and at the time of the disruption of the Presbyterian Church was one of the leaders of the opposition to the Old school party. Frederick E. Cannon of Geneva, N.Y., writes of him: "Intellectually, he belonged to the small class of original, independent, self-reliant thinkers, metaphysical in the cast of his mind, receiving no dogmas or conclusions without careful investigation, and fearless in announcing and maintaining the positions which he had taken. Having great faith in intellectual culture, he devoted his life and fortune mainly to the great interests of popular education, and schools, colleges, and seminaries are the monuments upon which his name is most distinctly inscribed. Religiously, he was evangelical, earnest, and progressive. His practical religion was based on broad and comprehensive views of providence and grace. He was always and everywhere prompt to urge the claims of Christ upon all the unbelieving, especially upon young men, and to press the Church of God to a higher and bolder standard of spiritual life and work. Socially, he was genial, kind, and cordial. His home was always open to the ministry, and at no man's board were they more cheerfully welcomed or more generously entertained. He was frequently a contributor to the periodical press, and was the author of, The Problem Solved, or Sin not of God (N.Y. 1855): — Reason and the Bible, or the Truth of Revelation (1860): — Miscellaneous Writings, with an Autobiography, edited and supplemented by Rev. James R. Boyd (Geneva, N.Y. 1867): — and The Being of God, Moral Government and Theses in Theology. Upon these subjects Dr. Squier bestowed his maturest thoughts. See Wilson, Presb. Hist. Almanac, 1867, p. 318; Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v. (J.L.S.)