Excerpt from Ecclesiastical Law and Discipline: A Charge to the Clergy of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Virginia
Reproach may thus be cast upon the Church by treating the evil as the good. The evil communications of the unworthy may corrupt the good manners of the righteous. The very word, and sacraments, and worship, may come to be despised; and many Will begin to ask, Who Will show us any good?' This principle is not confined to the Church of God. It is true of all communities, civil, social and religious. We see the whole w'orld and each part thereof, says Hooker, so compacted, that so long as each thing performeth that work which is natural to it, it thereby preserveth both other things and itself also. Every thing is for some end, neither can anything be available to any end which is not proportionable thereto. We may not in any one special kind admire her (divine wisdom), that We disgrace her in any other, but let all her ways be accord ing to their place and degree adored. We see how this is exemplified in families, which are designed to be nurseries for the Church of God. Parents are invested with great authority over children, and directed by precept, example, and the exercise of wholesome discipline, to train them up for heaven. But how often is it attempted to effect this by the two former alone, the latter being dispensed with as too painful. Without doubt God does sometimes, for the child ren's sake, make up the deficiency, and bless to them good example and pious instruction. But as a general rule, when authority is not exerted in the exercise of wholesome disci pline, then are pious admonitions and holy examples entire ly lost upon them, and even despised. Therefore it is, that parents are directed to bring up their children in the nurture, that is discipline, as well as admonition of the Lord. Ministers especially are required to be examples in this respect, for they are not allowed to be ordained, without a public, solemn promise, to rule their households well; such as do not, being according to scripture declared to be unfit.
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