Counsel of Chalcedon
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The Family in Its Offices of Instruction and Worship

From the earliest period in the history of the Church, the duty of Family instruction has been emphasized as the most important of all agencies in perpetuating the knowledge of Divine truth. In Deuteronomy 11: 19, the command is thus laid upon Israel: "Therefore shall ye lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes; and ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." The same injunction is renewed in the parting address of Moses, just before he ascended Mount Nebo to die: "Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day; when ye shall command your children to observe to do all the words of this law." In the new Testament, it is only necessary to refer to Paul's commendation of Timothy, as one that "from a child had known the holy Scriptures," and in whom the immense advantages of a pious descent were signalized, as he "called to remembrance the unfeigned faith that dwelt first in his grandmother Lois, and in his mother Eunice." Without pausing to collate the testimonies upon this topic, it will serve our purpose better to indicate the conspicuous advantages possessed by the Family for the transmission of this traditional knowledge and influence.