I’m devouring James Garretson’s new biography on Old Princetonian, Samuel Miller (Reformation Heritage Books, 2014). This is a great read for pastors! Samuel Miller urged his students to “acquire the habit of close and fixed attention in study. I know not a more fatal defect in a student, than the want of this habit” (330).
“Make a point, then, of being a ‘hard student’ as long as you live. Keep up the habit of reading much, reflecting much, and writing much, as long as you have strength enough to open a book, or wield a pen. Content not yourself with merely that kind of study which will qualify you to prepare your sermons with success; but let your constant aim be to make rich and solid additions to your stores of professional knowledge. For this purpose constantly keep under perusal some great standard work. And never consider yourself as having gotten though a year well, unless you have carefully read seven or eight such works, in addition to all your other studies. This will render your sermonizing more easy and delightful to yourself, and more profitable to others. It will keep up the activity and tone of your mind. It will avert premature dotage; and better qualify you, in every respect, to do your Master’s work” (335-336).