The importance of the union of piety and learning in the holy ministry is one of those radical principles of ecclesiastical wisdom which the experience of ages has served, more and more, to confirm.  If the priests’ lips were, of old, to keep knowledge, if the ministers of the gospel are bound to feed the people with knowledge and with understanding, then nothing can be plainer than that ignorance or small and indigested knowledge is, next to the want of piety, one of the most serious defects in a candidate for the sacred office.  It is equally plain that, if this great concern be properly directed, especially if it be directed with order and uniformity, it must be attended to by the church herself.  That which is left to individual enterprise and caprice may, sometimes, be well-managed, but will seldom be managed in any two cases alike.  Besides, unless the church takes this matter into her own hands, she cannot inspect and control the education which her candidates for the holy ministry receive.  Her most precious fountains may be poisoned without her being able to apply an effectual remedy.  No church, therefore, which neglects the proper education of her ministers can be considered as faithful either to her own most vital interests or to the honor of her divine Head and Lord. – Samuel Miller (1769-1850)

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