In this thoughtful address, Samuel Miller considers the role of the Church in fostering a faithful ministry. Miller focuses his discussion on two questions: What are we to understand by an able and faithful ministry; and what are the means which the Church is bound to employ for providing such a ministry?
During his discourse, Miller emphasizes that ministerial training should take place in the context of the Church. He underscores the role of Church judicatories in supervising various phases of ministerial training.
The occasion of Miller's address marked the commencement of an historic venture to provide ministerial instruction in the Presbyterian Church. In 1812, the American Presbyterian began Princeton Seminary; Archibald Alexander was selected as the first professor of the new school. At Alexander's installation, on 12 August 1812, Samuel Miller delivered this inaugural sermon.
The next year, the General Assembly selected Samuel Miller as the second instructor for the seminary. Miller served in that position for over 36 years, as Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Church Government.