Suicide is "a crime of the deepest die... which has become alarmingly frequent in our land," says Samuel Miller. Although these words were penned nearly two hundred years ago, they remain timely unto the present day, when suicide has become epidemic and political activists advocate suicide as a right of self-determination. Miller addresses the topic from a pastoral perspective: "Brethren, be not deceived! Every individual who hears me has an interest in this subject. Who can foresee the situation in which he may hereafter be placed, or the temptations by which he may hereafter be assailed? Or who can tell how soon the conduct of a near relative, or of a valued friend, may bring the subject home, with the deepest interest, to his bosom?"
Samuel Miller (1769-1850) was a Presbyterian pastor in New York City for over 20 years, In 1813 he was selected as the second instructor at Princeton Seminary, where he served for over 35 years as professor of ecclesiastical history and church government.