With what reason canst thou expect that they children should follow thy good instructions, when thou thyself givest them an ill example? Thou dost but as it were beckon to them with they head, and shew them the way to heaven by thy good counsel, but thou takest them by the hand and leadest them in the way to hell by thy contrary example.

John Tillotson
John Tillotson (1630-1694) English prelate, Archbishop of Canterbury
Sermon 62 “On the Education of Children”

Collected in The works of Dr. John Tillotson, Vol 3, ed. Thomas Birch (1820). Full text.

More commonly quoted in the paraphrase/modernization by John Charles Ryle, Bp. of Liverpool (1880-1900): "To give children good instruction, and a bad example, is but a beckoning to them with the head to show them the way to heaven, while we take them by the hand and lead them in the way to hell."


Added on 9-Dec-10 | Last updated 9-Dec-10
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