Place of the Bible In Education
Place of the Bible in Education - An Appeal to Christians - "To
know wisdom and instruction: to perceive the words of understanding:
to receive the instruction of wisdom,
justice, judgment, and equity: to give subtilty to the simple,
to the young man knowledge
and discretion." - Prov. 1:2-4
A. T. Jones
The upheaval over the subject of the lack of, and abhorrance of,
religion in the Public Schools is a continuing topic on many people's
lips. However, what the vast majority of people do not know is
that there is religion in the Public Schools, and this
religion is called Humanism.
gets it roots in Greek mythology and other ancient religions.
The public school curriculum is based on these teachings and,
sad as it may seem, most of the Christian education programs follow
the same basic curriculum as the public schools do, so as to be
accepted by the state for funding and other advantages of the
viewing some other sites we see that they downplay the point of
Humanism as a religon and also its place in the public schools.
However, as much down play as there may be, it is still a fact,
and it still there. Below are Links to other sites on Humanism,
which will give you places where you can get a fuller understanding
on the subject.
following book, "The Place of the Bible in Education"
by A. T. Jones, shows what true Christian education,
in all the diciplines, is - following the same Bible principles
that were used in the Schools of the Prophets.
importance of influencing the value system of the school culture
has been recognized by leaders throughout history. Abraham Lincoln
felt the philosophy of the classroom today will soon be the philosophy
of the government tomorrow! Adolph Hitler agreed when he stated,
"Let me control the textbooks and I will control Germany."
What is at stake is the minds and basic belief systems of the
majority of the students - the future adults of America. The l960s
generation are all grown up and their beliefs are now manifested
in our government, our K-12 public schools, institutions of higher
education, the courts, and throughout all walks of life. While
much of mainstream America may still be operating on an earlier
set of beliefs, it's the educated "elite", products
of the Court's decision of 1962, who are interpreting and adhering
to a profoundly different set of values and beliefs. The beliefs
of these "elite" were often acquired through their many
years of public school education. But were they, and the subsequent
generations, being educated in neutral settings? Is there a massive
collision of beliefs taking place, or about to take place, among
the elite, mainstream America, and God based religions? What are
the competing beliefs, world view systems, that are vying for
the minds of America's youth? ...
Where does Humanism
come from and why is it such a strong force in America? Henry
M. Morris in his l989 work entitled, The Long War Against God,
argues forcefully that evolutionism is the foundation of the humanistic,
atheistic world view. The idea being that the final reality of
life is indeed just impersonal matter - chance. From this line
of human thought this philosophy/religion naturally flows into
the external world as atheism-materialism-humanism including into
the nation's schools and universities. ...
of Webmaster notes
5 - Chapter I - Christian
Education - Whatsoever
is not Christian, is not becoming to Christians. A Christian education
is the only education that can possibly be becoming to Christians.
In Christian education the Book of Christianity must be preeminent.
The Bible is the Book of Christianity.
purpose of Christian education is to build up Christians. Nothing
that is not Christian can ever properly be brought into the education
of a Christian, any more than can anything that is not Christianbe
properly brought into any other phase of the life of the Christian.
Therefore, the Book of Christianity, - the Bible, - must be the
standard of Christian education; it must be the test of everything
that enters into the education of a Christian; and it must supply
all that is needed in the education of the Christian. And this
contemplates education in the highest, broadest, and best sense
- the all-round, practical development of the individual, mentally,
physically, and morally.
has been, and it is, too much supposed that Christianity has to
do only with a sort of spiritualized existence, apart from the
real occupations and practical things of life. This will never
do. Christianity belongs in the deepest sense as a vital working
force, in all that ever rightly can go to make up the sum of
6 - human life upon the earth. And Christian education is
true to its name and profession only when it demonstrates
this all-pervading power of Christianity as a vital element in
all that can properly enter into the course of human life.
can not be denied that the life of Christ is the demonstration
of Christianity. He is the model Man: the Pattern of what every
man must be to be a perfect Christian. And it is certain that
Christ in human flesh demonstrating the Christian life on earth,
put Himself in vital connection with every true relationship of
human life upon this earth. He came into the world an infant;
He grew up from infancy to manhood, as people in this world do;
He met all that human beings in this world meet as they grow up;
He met all the vicissitudes and experiences of human life, precisely,
as to the fact, as all people meet them; for "in all things
it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren." He was
"in all points tempted like as we are;" and He worked
as a carpenter with Joseph, until the day of His showing unto
Israel in the active work of His preaching, healing, ministry.
And He was just as much the Saviour of the world when He was sawing
boards and making benches and tables, as He was when He was preaching
the sermon on the mount. And this demonstrates that Christianity
just as truly and as vitally enters into the mechanical or other
affairs of every-day life as it does into the preaching of the
divinest sermon that was ever delivered.
yet, in all this Jesus was only the Word made flesh. The Word
of God, in written form, was in the
7 - world before Jesus came in the flesh; but through the
blindness and hardness of heart of men, that Word was not allowed
to manifest itself truly in the flesh. He came that this might
be allowed. In Him, the Word that was here before He came, was
made flesh, and dwelt among men, as the model Man. Since, then,
Jesus was the Word made flesh, nothing appeared in His life on
earth, that was not already in the Word. And since that which
He was in the flesh was only what the Word was that was here before
He came, it is certain that it was by the Word of God, through
the Spirit of God, that He was made to be what He was, in the
flesh. And this demonstrates
that the Word of God, the Bible, the Book of Christianity, contains
that which will completely educate mankind in an all-round, symmetrical
education is Christian that does not enter vitally into all the
occupations and affairs of human life upon the earth.
life of Christ, therefore, as it appeared upon the earth - that
life being only the expression of the Word of God - causes to
stand forth clearly and distinctly the great truth that the
Bible, the Book of Christianity, is the greatest educational element,
the greatest educational agency, the greatest educational Book,
in the world. It is therefore true, that in the Word
of God, the Bible, are "hid all the treasures of wisdom and
knowledge," as truly as in Him, who in the flesh was but
the expression of that Word. Accordingly, the Word of God is given,
in order "that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly
furnished unto all good works."
8 -This is the position which the Word of God occupied as
an educational factor in the view of Christianity in ancient time,
and this estimate is grandly echoed by that eminent Christian,
the morning star of Christianity in modern times, John
is no subtlety, in grammar, neither in logic, nor in any other
science that can be named, but that it is found in a more excellent
degree in the Scriptures."TOP
9 - Chapter
II - The World's Education - When
Christianity, as such, began in the world, the Word of God was
its educational Book.
there was at that time in the world that which claimed to be education;
and not only education, but
the only education in any true sense. This which
was claimed to be the true education, and which was accepted by
the world as the only true education, had to be met by Christianity.
And on this question of education, as in all other things, Christianity
and the world were at direct opposites.
and this other education met at the then three great educational
centers in the world; and we know how entirely at opposites they
stood, because we have the words of Inspiration on the subject,
defining exactly what that was which was held by the world to
was one of the three educational centers in the world, at that
time. "Corinth was the Vanity
Fair of the Roman Empire; therefore, at once the London and the
Paris of the first century after Christ." - Farrar.
The great apostle to the Gentiles
spent eighteen months in planting Christianity in that center
of the world's education; and when he had gone away, he wrote
concerning heathendom and its education, these words: "After
that in the wisdom of God the
10 - world by
wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching
to save them that believe." 1 Cor. 1:21.
The world had reached the point at which it did not know God.
It was "by wisdom" that the world reached this point.
It was "by wisdom" that the world was caused not to
know God. And that wisdom was the world's philosophy, the world's
science, - in a word, the world's education. Therefore, Inspiration
plainly shows that that which was accepted by the world as education,
was itself the means of their
not knowing God. But Christianity is the definite
and certain knowledge of God. How could any two things be more
directly at opposites, than are a system which causes men definitely
and certainly to know, and a system which definitely causes men
not to know? TOP
was another of the three educational centers of the world. It
was the most magnificent of "the
magnificent cities of Asia." "Its
markets glittered with the produce of the world's arts - were
the Vanity Fair of Asia. Nor was any name more splendidly emblazoned
in the annals of human culture, than that of the great capital
of Ionia." - Farrar.
In that cultured and educational city the great apostle to the
Gentiles conducted a Christian school nearly two and a half years:
first in the synagogue
"for the space of three months,"
and afterward, "when
divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that
way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated
the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
And this continued by the space of
11 - two years."
Acts 19:9, 10. He was
establishing a distinctly Christian education as against a distinctly
heathen education. That which led directly to the establishing
of this specific school
of Christian education, was that "divers were
hardened, and believed not." Then, from the promiscuous audience,
Paul separated the disciples, those who believed,
and taught daily in the school of Tyrannus the way of Christian
education. As a consequence many of the Gentiles of that cultured
city became Christians.
when Paul wrote to the Ephesians, his epistle contained the following
"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye
henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of heir
mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from
the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because
of the blindness of their heart." Eph. 4:17, 18.
Gentile people of the city of Ephesus were alienated (separated,
cut off) from the life of God through the ignorance that was in
them. It was their ignorance that was the cause of their separation
from the life of God. But Ephesus was a center of education; and
it was precisely that education that caused their alienation from
the life of God. Yet Inspiration declares that they were alienated
from the life of God through the
ignorance that was in them. It is, therefore, perfectly
plain, that Inspiration defines their education to have been ignorance.
was the third of these great centers of the world's education.
Athens was more than this: she was the
mother of the then world's education. Yea,
12 - she was even more than this: she was the mother, in a
large sense, of that which has been the world's education
to this day. And to Athens also went the great apostle
to the Gentiles. There he was brought before the Supreme Court,
to be heard as to what bearing his teachings were having in the
matter of being a "setter forth of strange gods." And
twice in his speech before that Court, and the assembled crowd,
Inspiration uses the precise word that was used with reference
to the world's education in Ephesus. He said:
"Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too
superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions,
I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom
therefore ye ignorantly
worship, Him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all
things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth
not in temples made with hands; neither is worshiped with men's
hands, as though He needed anything, seeing He giveth to all life,
and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations
of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined
the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after
Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us;
for in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also
of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring. TOP
"Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought
not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or
stone, graven by art and man's device.
13 - And the
times of this ignorance
God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent;
because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the
world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof
He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him
from the dead." Acts 17:22-31.
had erected an altar in honor of the unknown God. In this, they
"ignorantly worshiped." That city was wholly given to
idolatry, for it was full of idols of gold, or silver, or stone,
graven by art and man's device, expressing their ideas of God;
and "the times of this
ignorance" God endured, but now commanded "all
men everywhere to repent" of this "ignorance."
But do not forget that all this was but a part, the central part
indeed, of the education of Athens, of the education which she
imparted, of the education of which she was the mother. For that
education culminated in art; that art was idolatry; and that idolatry
was but the manifestation of ignorance. Therefore, again it is
demonstrated that the world's education, Greek education, at that
time, was only ignorance. And when it is understood how supremely
Athens prided herself upon the education which she gave to the
world, some faint estimate can be formed of the depth of the spirit
of their mockery in response to the word of a despised Jew, standing
in such a presence, and defining it all as "ignorance,"
and calling upon them to repent of their education.
ignorance is precisely, and only, what it was. That alter with
its inscription "TO THE UNKNOWN
14 - GOD," was but a monument erected to their ignorance.
For that word "ignorance" which Inspiration uses, is
not merely a term captiously used, to imply that the world's education
was equivalent to
ignorance, and was ultimately
ignorance in that it did not attain to the knowledge of God;
but it is a word definitely selected by Inspiration as truly defining,
in its very essence, the real character of that education: that
it was in itself "ignorance." This is clearly seen when
it is understood what the principle and the process of that education
were. This is given by accepted authority. Socrates was the great
educator of Greece; and Greece, through Plato and Aristotle, was
the educator of the world. And of Socrates it is written: - "Socrates
was not a `philosopher,' nor yet a `teacher,' but rather an `educator,'
having for his function `to rouse, persuade, and rebuke.' - Plato,
Apology, 30 E. Hence, in examining his life's work,
it is proper to ask, not, ` What was his philosophy?' but, ` What
was his theory, and what was his practice,
He was brought to his theory of education by the study of previous
philosophies, and his practice led to the Platonic revival.
theory of education has for its basis a PROFOUND AND CONSISTENT
his departure from some apparently remote principle or proposition
to which the respondent yielded a ready assent, Socrates would
draw from it an unexpected but undeniable consequence which was
plainly inconsistent with the opinion impugned. In this way, he
brought his interlocutor to pass judgment upon himself, and reduced
him to a state of `doubt,' or `perplexity.' `Before I ever met
you,' says Meno in the
p 15 - Dialogue which Plato called by his name, `I was
told that you spent your time in doubting, and leading others
to doubt; and it is a fact that your witcheries and spells have
brought me to that condition.'" - Encyclopedia
was the pupil and reporter of Socrates. Socrates himself left
no writings. It is to Plato that the world owes almost all that
it knows of Socrates, especially as to his "philosophy."
Thus, in the field of philosophy, speculation, metaphysics, Plato
is the great voice and continuator of Socrates. Aristotle was
a disciple of Plato; but he broke away from the particularly philosophical
and metaphysical speculations of his master, and turned specially
to science and physics. Plato leaned to having all things culminate
in philosophy. Aristotle leaned toward having all things culminate
in science: he would
"reduce even philosophy to science." And Aristotle like
Plato continued in education the identical principle of education
which was entertained by Socrates and continued by Plato: that
doubt is the way to knowledge. For with Aristotle
it was a maxim that "to frame doubts well" is a service
to the discovery of truth.
then, as stated concerning Socrates, the basis of the whole theory
of Greek education, both in science and philosophy, was "doubt,"
- "a profound and consistent skepticism." Indeed, the
principal idea of that philosophy is expressed in the word "doubt."
The history of philosophy is but the history of doubt.
the essential characteristic and quality of doubt is that it definitely
causes him who exercises it, not to know. So long as any one doubts
a thing, he
16 - can not know that thing. And
not to know, is simply ignorance. Since, therefore,
the basis of the great Greek educator's theory of education was
"doubt," - "a profound and consistent skepticism;"
and since the essential quality of doubt causes him who exercises
it not to know; it follows that Greek education, being founded
in doubt, and built up through doubt, was essentially ignorance.
And Inspiration pierced to the very core of the whole system when
it repeatedly defined that education as "ignorance."
And the word "ignorance" was definitely chosen by the
Spirit of Inspiration simply because it essentiallydefined the
p 17 -
Chapter III - The Essentials to Knowledge - We
may be told that which is veritably true, the essential truth
of God; yet if we doubt it, and so long as we doubt it, we never
can know it. Therefore, doubt is essentially and only the open
door to ignorance.
Further, we may be told that which is altogether false, an outright
lie; yet though we believe it, however implicitly, we never can
know it. This, for the simple reason that it is not so; and it
is impossible to know what is not so.
Therefore there are just two things which are essential to knowing.
These two things are truth
and faith are the two essentials to knowledge: and the first of
these in order is truth. This, for the reason already stated,
that however implicitly we may believe that which is not so, we
never can know it. Therefore, since that which is believed must
in order to be known, it follows that truth is the first essential
to knowledge. And since even the sincerest truth, when told, can
not be known without our believing it, it follows that the second
essential to knowledge is faith.
Truth and faith, therefore, working together - the truth believed
- is the way to knowledge.
can be illustrated by an experience familiar to almost all. It
is the truth that A is A. We
18 - this truth, and thus, and thus only, we
know that A is A. If we had not believed that truth
when we were told it, we should not now know that A, B, C, D,
etc., are what they are; and had we never believed this, we never
could have known it. If in this we had asked for
proof as a basis for belief, we never could have
had it, and so never could have believed, and so never could have
known this fundamental thing in all literary knowledge. We could
have had no proof, apart from itself, that A or any other letter
of the alphabet is what it is.
is proof of this, but the proof is in the letter itself; and by
believing it, by receiving it for what it is we obtain the knowledge;
and in this knowledge and by experience we obtain the proof. For
in each of the letters of the alphabet there is a value which
responded to our belief: a value which has never failed and which
never will fail us. We know that each of the letters is
what it is: and all the philologists, philosophers, and scientists
in all the world could not convince us that any letter of thealphabet
is other than it simply is. And yet the means by which
we know this is simple
belief of a simple, and simply-told, truth.
thought, this illustration, does not stop here. The first two
letters of the Greek alphabet are Alpha and Beta. Dropping
the "a" from Beta, these two Greek letters give us our
This word "alphabet" signifies all the letters of the
English language. How comes this, when the word itself is derived
from only the first two of the letters of the Greek lan-
19 -- guage? It comes in a very simple way. When we in our
language wish to ask whether a person knows, or we wish to say
that a person does not know, the alphabet, we most commonly ask
not, "Does he know the alphabet?" nor, "Does
he know the A B C D E F G H I J K L M N," and so on through
to "Z?" but we ask, "Does he know the A B C's?"
or we say, "He does not know his A B C's." The Greeks
did the same way: When they wished to express the same thought,
they did not say, "Does he know the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta,
Epsilon," and so on to "Omega?" but simply, "Does
he know the Alpha Beta?" or, "He does not know the Alpha
Beta." And this Greek abbreviation of the whole list of the
letters of that language into only "Alpha Beta" comes
down to us with the dropping of the "a" from Beta; and
so becomes our word "alphabet," the abbreviation of
the whole list of the letters of our language.
common English there is a concise way of saying that a person
knows little or nothing of a subject, in the expression, "He
does not know the A B C of it." The Greeks had the same,
"He does not know the Alpha Beta of it." On the other
hand, there is a concise way of saying that a person is thoroughly
informed, or knows all of a subject, in the expression, "He
knows that subject from A to Z," or, old style, "from
A to Izzard." The Greeks had the same, "He knows that
subject from Alpha to Omega" - he knows all there is to be
known of it. And
this is the basis and the thought
in the expression of Christ in the book of Revelation several
times, "I am
Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first
and the last."
20 -- Jesus is the Alphabet of God. As the expression "Alpha
and Omega" signifies the whole alphabet, and embraces all
there is in the Greek language; and "A to Z" signifies
the whole alphabet, all that there is in the English language;
so Jesus Christ, the Alphabet of God, embraces all that there
is of the language or knowledge of God. As in the twenty-four
letters of the Greek Alphabet from Alpha to Omega there are hid
all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in the world of that
language; and as in the twenty-six letters of the English alphabet
there are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge that there
are in the world of the English language; so in Jesus Christ,
the Alphabet of God, there are "hid all the treasures of
wisdom and knowledge" that there are in the universe of the
language of God.
this Alphabet of God is learned in precisely the same way
and with precisely the same faculty as is the alphabet of Greek,
or English, or any other language. The Alphabet of God is the
truth. We believe that
truth and thus we know that He is
what He is. There is proof of this, but the proof is in Himself.
this Alphabet, by receiving Him for what He is, we obtain the
and in this knowledge and by experience of it we have the constant
living proof. For in this Alphabet of God, in each letter, yea,
in each jot and tittle, there is a value that responds to our
faith: a value that never has failed, that never will fail, and
that never can fail, to respond to any
21 -- man's belief of that Alphabet. And to him who thus
knows the Alphabet of God, all the philosophers and all the
scientists and all the unbelievers in all the world can not prove
to him that any part of this Alphabet is not what He is. Indeed,
any one attempting to prove any such thing only thereby reveals
the fact that he does not yet know the true Alphabet: he does
not yet know his A B C's.
is only as a little child that we learn, it is only as a little
child any one can learn, the alphabet of the English language.
Though a man were a thousand years old, and fully possessed of
all his faculties, and yet did not know the A B C's, the alphabet
of English, he would have to become as a little child in order
to learn it, in order to receive the knowledge that A is A: he
would have to simply believe it as does the little child, and
that each letter is what it is, when he were told, he would
if he should refuse to believe this, by this very refusal - by
his unbelief itself - he would be condemned - he would thus condemn
himself - to everlasting loss of all the treasures of wisdom and
knowledge that are hid in the world of English.
also it is with the Alphabet of the language and knowledge of
God. It is only by believing this Alphabet that any person
can ever know Him. If any one refuses to believe, he can
not know. And whosoever believeth not is by this very unbelief
condemned - he by this condemns himself - to everlasting loss
22 -- the treasures of wisdom and knowledge of God: all of
which lie hidden in the Alphabet of God. For as it is by various
combinations of the contents of the alphabet that words are formed,
and words express thought; so the manifold combinations of the
contents of the Alphabet of God form the Word of God, and the
Word of God expresses the thought of God.
Jesus Christ announced the eternal principle of true learning
when He declared, "Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom
of God as a little child shall in nowise enter therein."
The little child does receive the kingdom of God. He receives
it by simply believing the simple statement of the Word of the
kingdom. This is how every one receives, and how every one must
receive, the kingdom of English or of any other language. It is
how every one must receive the kingdom of God. To receive the
kingdom of God, and to know the Alphabet of God, is as easy as
to know the A B C's. Therefore to learn, not as a philosopher,
but as a little child,
is the true way to knowledge. The truth and faith, working together
- the truth believed - is forever the true way to knowledge.
when God would seek to save the world from the ruin of its ignorance,
He did it by presenting to the world
the truth to be believed.
"For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom
knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching [the
preaching of the Word, which is the truth: the preaching of Christ,
who is the Truth] to save them
23 -- believe.
For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom;
but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block,
and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called,
both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom
of God." 1 Cor. 1:21-24. TOP
have read the words of Inspiration that it was by wisdom that
the world knew not (was ignorant of) God. We have also read the
words of Inspiration that the Gentiles were alienated (separated,
cut off) from the life of God, through the ignorance that was
in them. We have seen that in the wisdom of God, and in the essential
truth of the case, the world's wisdom was ignorance: and that
not only was the world in its ignorance alienated from the life
of God, but that it was by
this ignorance itself
that the world was alienated from the life of God.
then, it is the characteristic of ignorance to separate men from
the life of God; on the other hand, it is the characteristic of
knowledge that it joins men to the life of God, which is eternal
life. Accordingly, it is written, "This is life eternal,
that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ,
whom Thou hast sent." This is equally true, read only in
the words, "This is life eternal, that they might
know." So that, as certainly as ignorance, being
the product of doubt, by which men can not know, alienates men
from the life of God; so certainly knowledge, being the product
of faith in the truth, by which men certainly know, unites men
to the life of God.
p 24 -- We have seen that it is belief of the truth alone
which brings men to knowledge: and since Jesus Christ is "the
Truth," it follows that faith in Christ as the Word of God
is the only way to knowledge. Accordingly, again, Inspiration
draws clearly the distinction between the world of Greek wisdom,
which was ignorance; and faith in Christ, which is the way of
knowledge. And so it is written*: "My aim is that they may
be encouraged, and be bound to one another by love, so attaining
to the full blessedness of a firm and intelligent conviction,
and to a perfect knowledge of God's secret truths which are embodied
in Christ. For
all God's treasures of wisdom and knowledge are to be found
STORED UP IN CHRIST. I say this to prevent any one
deceiving you by plausible arguments. It is true that I am not
with you in person, but I am with you in spirit: and I rejoice
to know of your good order and of the solid front which you present
through your faith in Christ.
then, you have received Jesus, the Christ, as your Lord, live
your lives in union with Him - rooted in Him, building up your
lives upon Him, growing stronger through your faith,
true to the teaching you received, rich in faith,
and always giving thanks. Take care there is not some one who
will capture you by his `philosophy' - a hollow sham! Such teaching
follows mere human traditions, and has to do with puerile questions
of the world, and not with Christ.
-- The Twentieth Century New Testament translation of this
passage (Col. 2:2-10) is so expressive that it is here used. TOP
25 -- For the
Godhead in all its fulness dwells in Christ in a bodily form;
and, by your union with Him, you also are filled with it."
this contrast between the world's ignorance and God's knowledge
is clearly drawn in 1 Cor. 1:18 to 2:10, and, as translated in
the Twentieth Century version, reads: "The
Message of the Cross is indeed mere folly to people who are on
the way to Ruin, but to us who are on the way to Salvation it
is the very power of God. Indeed, Scripture says -
"`I will bring the wisdom of the wise to nothing, "
`And make the cleverness of the clever of no account.'
are the wise men? or the teachers of religion? or the critical
people of to-day? Has not God shown the world's wisdom to be folly?
For since the world, in God's wisdom, did not by its own wisdom
get to know God, God saw fit, by the `folly' of our proclamation,
to save those who believe it! While Jews are asking for miraculous
signs and Greeks are seeking for wisdom, we are proclaiming Christ
who has been crucified! To the Jews He is an obstacle, to the
heathen He is mere folly, but to those who have received the Call,
whether Jews or Greeks, He is Christ - God's power and God's wisdom.
For God's `folly' is wiser than men, and God's `weakness' is stronger
"Look, Brothers, at the facts of your Call. There are not
many among you who are wise as men reckon wisdom, not many who
are influential, not many who
26 -- are high-born; but God chose what the world calls foolish
to put its wise men to shame, and God chose hat the world calls
weak to put its `strength' to shame, and God chose those whom
the world calls low-born and beneath regard - mere nobodies -
to put down its `somebodies,' so that in His presence no human
being should boast. But you, by your union with Christ Jesus,
are God's offspring; and Christ, by God's will, became not only
our Wisdom, but also our Righteousness, our Holiness, our Deliverance,
so that - in the words of Scripture - `Let those who boast, boast
about the Lord!'
my own part, Brothers, when I came to you, I did not come to tell
you of the secret truths of God in the fine language of philosophy;
for I had determined that, while with you, I would know nothing
but Jesus Christ - and Him as one crucified! Indeed, when I found
myself among you, I felt weak and timid and greatly agitated.
My Message and my Proclamation were not delivered in the persuasive
language of philosophy; but they were accompanied by manifestations
of spiritual power, so that your faith should be based, not on
the wisdom of man, but on the power of God. TOP
what we speak of among those whose faith is matured is really
wisdom, but it is not the wisdom of to-day nor the wisdom of the
leaders of to-day - men whose downfall is at hand. No, the wisdom
we speak of, when we deal with secret truths, is divine; it is
the long-hidden wisdom, which God, before time
27 -- began, decreed, that it might bring us glory. This wisdom
is not known to any of the leaders of to-day. Had they known it,
they would not have crucified our glorious Master. But Scripture
speaks of it as
"`What no eye ever saw, what no ear ever heard,
"`What never entered the mind of man -
"`All that God prepared for those who love Him.'
"Yet to us God revealed it through His Spirit; for the Spirit
fathoms everything, even the profoundest secrets of God."
p 28 -- Chapter
IV - The Secret of the Great Apostasy -
In spite of the infinite contrast repeatedly drawn by Inspiration
in the Scriptures between Greek ignorance and Christian knowledge,
Christianity had barely become rooted in the world before there
were those amongst the Christians who began to incline to the
world's way, and to claim virtue for Greek ignorance. And this
was the origin of the great apostasy.
exaltation of worldly wisdom, which was but Greek ignorance, was
the secret of the "falling away" from the truth of the
gospel. And the divine warning against this thing was especially
urged to the Ephesians. First, in the letter to the Ephesians,
as follows: "This, then, is what I say
unto you and urge upon you in the Lord's name. Do not continue
to live as the heathen are living in their perverseness. Owing
to the ignorance existing among them and the hardening of their
hearts, their owers of discernment are darkened, and they are
cut off from the Life of God. For lost to all sense of shame,
they have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, in order to
practice every kind of impurity without restraint.
"But as for you, FAR
DIFFERENT is the lesson that you learnt from the Christ
- if, that is, you really listened to Him, and by living
in union with Him were
29 -- taught the
Truth, as it is to
be found in Jesus. For you learnt with regard to your
former life that you must lay aside your old nature, which, owing
to the passions fostered by Error, was in a corrupt state; and
that you must undergo a mental and spiritual transformation, and
once for all clothe yourselves with a new nature - one made to
resemble God in the righteousness and holiness demanded by
the Truth." Eph. 4:17-24.
again, at that important meeting when, from Miletus, Paul "sent
to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church," in his
address to them, he spoke thus: "Take heed
therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which
the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of
God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. For I know this,
that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you,
not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise,
speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore
watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased
not to warn every
one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I
commend you to God, and
to the word of His grace, which is able to build you
up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified."
apostasy was the burden of the apostle's warning, not only at
Ephesus, but in other places. At Thessalonica, both in his preaching
and in his letter to the Thessalonians, he dwelt much upon this.
For concerning the day of the coming of the Lord in glory,
30 -- having in his first letter written much of this, he
wrote to them in his second letter thus: "As
to the coming of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and our being gathered
to meet Him, we beg you, Brothers, not lightly to let your minds
become unsettled, nor yet to be alarmed by any so-called `inspired'
statement, or by any message, or by any letter, purporting to
come from us, to the effect that the day of the Master is here.
Do not let any one deceive you, try as they may. For come it will
not, until after the Great Apostasy and the appearing of that
Incarnation of Wickedness, who is born for destruction, and who
opposes himself to every one that is spoken of as a God or as
an object of worship, and so exalts himself above them that he
seats himself in the Temple of God, and displays himself as actually
being God!" 2 Thess. 2:1-4. Then, after
having thus stated what that apostasy would reveal, he appeals
to the memory of the Thessalonians, thus: "Do you not recollect
how, when I was with you, I used to speak to you of all this?"
more is said of this in the Scriptures, but there is no need to
cite more of it here. This is sufficient to enable all to see
how certainly the apostasy was connected with the bringing in
of worldly ignorance, and the mingling of it with the knowledge
of God. And it was only in proportion that worldly ignorance -
science falsely so called - was brought in, that the apostasy
grew. And when the apostasy gained the ascendancy, it was but
the ascendancy, under the Christian name, of the original Pagan
Greek philosophy and
31 -- science - Greek ignorance - in the professed Christian
this evil, the apostles preached, wrote, and warned, all their
days. For they saw the enormous consequences that must result
from the entertainment only of the small beginnings that were
apparent, even in their day. Yet in less than fifty years after
the death of the last of the apostles, this apostasy had become
so prominent that there were schools of it conducted under the
Christian name and passing for Christian schools. The leaders
in this thing, the heads of these schools, made the so-called
philosophy of the world their standard; and amongst the standard
world's philosophers they regarded Plato as "wiser
than all the rest, and as especially remarkable for treating the
Deity, the soul, and things remote from sense, so as to suit the
Christian scheme." - Mosheim.
thing was readily adopted by large classes of would-be philosophers
and their imitators, who thus could assume the credit of being
Christians without any of the self-denial or the correction of
the inner life that is essential to Christian experience. The
same old heathen life could be maintained under the name and profession
of Christianity. This evil made such progress that it was not
long before "the estimation in which human
learning should be held was a question upon which the Christians
were about equally
divided. Many recommended the study of philosophy and
an acquaintance with the Greek and Roman literature; while others
maintained that these were pernicious to
32 -- the interests of genuine Christianity and the progress
of true piety.
"The cause of letters and philosophy triumphed, however,
by degrees; and those who wished well to them continued to gain
ground, till at length the superiority was manifestly decided
in their favor. This victory was principally due to the influence
of Origen, who, having been early instructed in the new kind of
Platonism already mentioned, blended it, though unhappily, with
the purer and more sublime tenets of a celestial doctrine, and
recommended it in the warmest manner to the youth who attended
his public lessons. The fame of this philosopher increased daily
among the Christians; and in proportion to his rising credit,
his method of proposing and explaining the doctrines of Christianity
gained authority, till it became almost universal." - Id.
position of Origen at that time may be estimated from the fact
that to this day he is one of the chiefest of the Fathers of the
church; and from the further fact that "from the days of
Origen to those of Chrysostom [A. D. 220-400], there was not a
single eminent commentator who did not borrow largely from the
works of " Origen; and "he was the chief teacher of
even the most orthodox of the Western Fathers."
"Innumerable expositors in this and the following centuries
pursued the method of Origen, though with some diversity; nor
could the few who pursued a better method make much head against
"this new species of philosophy,
33 -- adopted by Origen and other Christians, did immense
harm to Christianity. For it led the teachers of it to involve
in philosophic obscurity many parts of our religion, which were
in themselves plain, and easy to be understood; and to add to
the precepts of the Saviour no few things of which not a word
can be found in the Holy Scriptures. ... It recommended to Christians
various foolish and useless rites, suited only to nourish superstition,
no small part of which we see religiously observed by many even
to the present day. And finally, it alienated the minds of many
in the following centuries from Christianity itself; and produced
a heterogeneous species of religion, consisting of Christian and
Platonic principles combined. And who is able to enumerate all
the evils and injurious changes that arose from this new philosophy
- or, if you please, from
this attempt to reconcile TRUE AND FALSE RELIGIONS with
each other?" - Mosheim.
result of all this is expressed in the one word - "the Papacy,"
as it has been, and as it is. Then occurred a curious though perfectly
logical thing: In order to be "scientific," the apostasy
adopted that pagan science falsely so called. Then, when she had
filled the world with this pagan ignorance
as Christian knowledge, and true science in the
simple reading of nature sought recognition, she anathematized,
and prohibited, and persecuted it.
philosophic trend, as already stated, found its spring in Plato.
But when it is borne in mind that Plato was only the reporter
and continuator of Socra-
34 -- tes, who was the great
Greek educator, the basis of whose system of education was only
"a profound and consistent skepticism," it is plainly
seen that this system of the new Platonism which made the Papacy
was nothing else than the system of Greek education swung in under
the Christian name, and passed off as Christian knowledge when
it was only Pagan ignorance.
this is "how" it is that "we are to account
for the supreme elevation of this man [Plato] in the intellectual
history of our race." This is "how it happens
that the writings of Plato have preoccupied every school of learning,
every lover of thought, every church, every poet, - making it
impossible to think, on certain levels, except through him."
This is how it is that "he stands between the truth and every
man's mind, and has almost impressed language, and the primary
forms of thought, with his name and seal." - "Representative
Men," by Ralph Waldo Emerson, page 46. And this, in turn,
is how it is that " in the history of European
thought and knowledge, down to the period of the revival of letters,
the name of Aristotle was without a rival, supreme. ... It even
came to pass, that for a long period, all secular writings but
those of Aristotle had been dropped out of use in Europe. ...
All sought in Aristotle the basis of knowledge. Universities and
grammer schools were founded in Aristotle." Encyclopedia Britannica,
article "Aristotle." And
this, in turn, is how it is that when Christianity
35 -- was revived for modern times, in the great Reformation,
when Luther began to preach Christianity, and to introduce Christian
education anew into the world, he was compelled to meet, to renounce,
and to denounce, Aristotle, and other teachers of "a deceitful-philosophy,"
as follows: -
"Do not attach yourself to Aristotle, or to other teachers
of a deceitful philosophy; but diligently read the Word of God."
who says that a theologian who is not a logician is an heretic
and an adventurer, maintains an adventurous and heretical proposition.
"There is no form of syllogism which accords with the things
"In one word, Aristotle is to theology as darkness to light."
that blind heathen, has displaced Christ."
again, of education wholly: "I much
fear the universities will become wide gates to hell, if due care
is not taken to explain the Holy Scriptures and engrave it on
the hearts of the students. My advice to every person is, not
to place his child where the Scripture does not reign paramount.
Every institution in which the studies carried on lead to a relaxed
consideration of the Word of God must prove corrupting."
it was the double placing of the worldly ignorance of Greek philosophy
and logic - Plato and Aristotle - above the divine knowledge of
the Word of God, that, at the very beginning of this revival of
Christianity for modern times, led Wycliffe
to declare that "there
-- The special point in this will be more clearly seen when it
is understood that in the Greek system, logic was the test
of truth: than which it would be impossible to make a greater
36 -- is no subtlety in grammar, neither in logic, nor in
any other science that can be named, but that it is found in a
more excellent degree in the Scriptures."
was the key-note of the Reformation. And though to the sincere
Christian it is all so plain and true; yet after the death of
Luther, when the apostasy of Protestantism had begun to come in,
in less than one hundred years Aristotle was again given the chief
place in the seats of learning, and the Greek system of education
was continued; so that to-day it reigns supreme in the schools
of both the Church and the State, even in professed Christian
and Protestant lands. TOP
37 -- Chapter
V - The Greek or "Scientific Method" To-day.
It is certain that Christianity, in ancient times, and at its
revival in modern times, found, and held, and proclaimed, that
the Bible, the Holy Scriptures, the Word of God, is the only
true and sufficient basis of an all-round education for Christians.
Disregard of this principle in the early days of Christianity
developed the Papacy; and disregard of this principle in these
last days of Christianity is developing through Protestantism
a repetition of the course of the Papacy.
professed Protestantism to-day, the Bible is not held in any true
sense as an educational book. The science of the unbelieving world,
the philosophy and the literature of ancient Greece and Rome,
have a far larger place than has the Bible, in that which is recognized
by Protestants as education. The highest course in college or
university is the classical; and this course derives its title
of "classical" from the fact that the literature of
Greece and Rome is the predominant element in the course. This
is true, even with those who are studying for the ministry of
the gospel of Christ. But how the study, for years, of literature
which is essentially Pagan can be a preparation for the preaching
of the gospel which must be wholly Christian, no one has attempted
38 -- Not only is worldly science and Pagan literature more
courted by Protestantism than is the Bible, in education; but
the very theory of education held by Socrates, and continued by
Plato and Aristotle, - "doubt," "a profound and
consistent skepticism," - is held to-day in the education
recognized by Protestantism, in school, college, university, and
even in the theological seminary. For instance, the Outlook
of April 21, 1900, in describing and urging "A Needed Educational
Reform," says: -
"The educational processes of our time, - possibly of all
time, - are largely analytical and critical.
They consist chiefly in analyzing the subjects brought to the
student for his examination, separating them into their constituent
parts, considering how they have been put together, and sitting
in judgment on the finished fabric, or on the process by which
it has been constructed. ... The process presupposes an inquiring,
if not a skeptical, mood. Doubt is the pedagogue which leads
the pupil to knowledge."
in the North American
Review for April, 1900, there was published an article
entitled "The Scientific Method in Theology,"
written by a professor of philosophy in Union College, Schenectady,
N. Y.; who was educated at Amherst and Yale; spent two years in
philosophical study in Germany; and from 1883 to 1885 was instructor
of philosophy in Wesleyan University. Thus, every circumstance
of the article is a pledge that it is authoritative as to the
scientific method in theology, and in that article it is said:
- "Every man, because he is a man, is endowed
39 -- powers for forming judgments, and he is placed in this
world to develop and apply those powers to all objects with which
he comes in contact. In
every sphere of investigation, he should begin with
DOUBT, and the student will make
the most rapid progress who has acquired the
art of doubting well. ... We ask that every student
of theology take up the subject precisely as he would any other
science: that he begin
with DOUBT." TOP
never can be denied that this is simply the repetition in modern
times of the Socratic theory of education. And this, not only
in college and university, but in the theological seminary where
young men are professedly to be trained in "the science concerned
with ascertaining, classifying, and systematizing all attainable
truth concerning God, and His relation to the universe; the science
of religion; religious truth scientifically studied." This,
not only in college and university, where men are to be fitted
only for the everyday affairs of the world; but in a professedly
Christian school, where men are to be fitted preeminently for
the Christian profession, and to be educators in Christianity.
every sphere of investigation, the student is taught and expected
to "begin with doubt," in this study of the science
of the "truth concerning God." And this when the truth
of God itself, given in His own Word, is that "without
faith it is impossible to please Him;" and "whatsoever
is not of faith
Since, then, God has stated it, that "without
faith it is impossible to please Him," and
"whatsoever is not of faith
is sin;" and since, in the theological seminaries of pro-
p 40 -- fessed Christianity, the student is expected, "in
every sphere of investigation," to "begin with doubt,"
it is certain that in that system of education, every student
is systematically taught to begin in the way in which it is impossible
to please God, and which is only the way of sinning. And this
as the preparation for the ministry of the gospel!
authoritative statement of the scientific method in theology shows
that even in the Protestant schools of to-day, in which is taught
particularly the science of the knowledge of God, the process
is directly opposite to that which is stated in the Word of the
Lord Himself. God has said that "he that cometh to God must
believe that He is, and [must
believe] that He is a rewarder of them that diligently
seek Him." The "scientific method" of education
to-day, even in Protestant schools which teach the science of
God, is inevitably that he who cometh to God must doubt
that He is, and must
doubt that He is a rewarder of them that diligently
result of such a process can not possibly be anything else than
that a man - each individual for himself, or else, and ultimately,
a representative for all - shall put himself above God; and there,
sitting as judge, subject the wisdom and knowledge of God to the
dictates of human reason.
is this simply a deduction from the quotation already made, though
it is clearly deducible from that quotation. It is actually stated
in this article in the sentences immediately following the one
already quoted: -
41 -- "We ask that every student of theology take up
the subject precisely as he would any other science: that he
begin with doubt, and carefully weigh the arguments
for every doctrine, accepting
or rejecting each assertion, according as the balance
of probabilities is for or against it. We demand that he thoroughly
' test all things,' and thus learn how to 'hold fast that which
is good.' We believe that even
the teachings of Jesus should be viewed from this standpoint,
and should be accepted
on the ground of their inherent reasonableness."
reason being set above Jesus Christ - who is God manifest - to
analyze, to criticize, to judge, His teachings, for acceptance
or rejection, as
the individual's doubting reason shall decide
- this is manifestly to set reason above God: which, in
turn, is to put reason itself in the place of God as God.
this process a little in its direct working, and see how completely
it lands to-day precisely where
Inspiration declares that it landed in its original course, and
in its prime: - "The great and distinctive
element in all induction is the
formation of the hypothesis, and there can be no inductive
science formed, of any sort, where this is not the chief feature."
then, is to be understood by an hypothesis? And what is the process
the mind goes through in bringing it to view? - An hypothesis
is a supposition,
a guess, or conjecture, as to what the general
effect is which includes the given particular effects, or what
the cause is which has brought about the given effects. ...
might be said about the conditions most favorable for the making
of a good hypothesis; but the chief
p 42 -- thing that concerns us for our present purpose
is the fact that every hypothesis, however formed, is always the
product of the constructive
imagination. All previous acts are simply by way of
gathering material for the imagination to rearrange, and
recombine into a new creation. ...
is for this reason that men of science, in all realms and in all
ages, have always been men of powerful imaginations.
The Greeks were
the first great scientists of the race, because
they were far more highly endowed than any other people with great
imaginative powers. What they saw, excited these powers, and
urged them to conjecture, to reason about things, and try to explain
their nature and cause."
is here no room to inquire whether or not this process to-day
lands where landed the same process in ancient Greece; because
that is where precisely, in so many words, the article itself
lands. And how could this process be more fittingly described
than it is in the Scripture, written directly as descriptive of
this identical process in ancient time: "When
they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful;
but became vain in their
imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed
the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to
corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping
things." Rom. 1:21-23. TOP
how can the rest of the description there given (Rom. 1:24-32)
be escaped, when this process shall be followed to-day? For even
in the quotation last above made, it is admitted that the scientific
43 -- theology to-day is identical with that of old, of which
the Greeks, "the first great scientists of the race,"
were the exemplars; and this, "because they were far more
highly endowed than any other people with great
imaginative powers." And their exercise of these
"great imaginative powers" in precisely the way above
outlined, did lead them into the condition which is described
in the remaining verses of the first chapter of Romans.
yet, this process, by means of "the constructive imagination,"
contemplates "a new creation"! And who shall be the
creator in this new creation? - None other than the human individual
himself, who by guesses gathers "material for the imagination
to rearrange, and recombine, into a new creation." This,
then, makes man a creator in the place of the Creator.
yet further the scientific process in theology, and see what is
the ground upon which its followers land, as to knowledge: - "Given
the hypothesis, the next step in the scientific process is to
verify it: and this is done by making the hypothesis the major
premise of a deductive syllogism, and noting the results. If the
conclusions coincide with the obtained facts, with which we started,
the hypothesis is probably the correct one [the italics
here are the author's]; and other things being equal, may be accepted
as established truth. From this outline of the scientific method,
we see that no induction can be established beyond a high degree
of probability; that is, no one can ever be absolutely certain
that the hypothesis he assumes is veritably true. All generalizations
in every science thus have their logical basis in the
theory of probabilities.
p 44 -- "When Bishop Butler asserted that 'probability
is the very guide of life,' he might have added, 'and we have
no other.' ...
thinkers, from Thales, Plato, and Moses, have had their theologies,
- their explanations of the origin of the universe, as they understood
it, - and many of these explanations have been of extraordinary
merit; but even St. Paul himself could never have been certain
that his explanation was more than a probably true one."
is therein stated, how could it be possible more clearly to state
the impossibility of attaining to knowledge by that method? The
result of this method, as here authoritatively stated, is exactly
described in the Scripture concerning our own time when it speaks
of those who are "ever learning, and never
able to come to the knowledge of the truth." 2 Tim. 3:7.
as if this writer should make it absolutely certain that only
probability is the sole ground as to knowledge, which can ever
be reached by this process, he really goes to the limit, and declares:
- "Whether there ever
existed on the earth such a person as Jesus, and what He experienced,
are purely matters of historical evidence. And as everything that
is a matter of evidence is a matter of probability, this must
where does the process finally land? What is its ultimate?
a certain sense, the mind takes a leap into the dark: it literally
passes per saltum [by a leap] from the realm of the known
to the realm of the unknown."
that is precisely where this process landed, and
45 -- this was its ultimate, in ancient time, when at Athens,
the fountain of this theory of education, they set up that monument
of their ignorance, with its inscription, "TO THE UNKNOWN
such is not
the Christian process, nor is such the ultimate of the Christian
process. In the Christian process, faith, which is the gift of
God, accepts the truth of God; and thus in the mind and heart
there is accomplished "a new creation." And the Creator
in this new creation is God Himself, manifest through Jesus Christ
our Lord, by the Holy Ghost. And in this, in the truest sense,
the mind takes a leap, not "into the dark," but
into the light. It truly, "literally, passes per
saltum," not "from the realm of the
known to the realm of the unknown," but from the realm of
the unknown, the realm of ignorance, to
the realm of the known, the realm of certain knowledge,
even the knowledge of God. For we "know
Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His
Son Jesus Christ." 1 John 5:20.
this not show, then, that the world in this time, and by this
means, has well-nigh reached the point which in ancient times
it had attained when the world by wisdom knew not God, and was
alienated from the life of God through its ignorance? And are
we not therefore also in the time when again in the wisdom of
God it shall please God "by the foolishness of preaching"
- preaching the plain, simple, powerful gospel of Jesus Christ,
the power of God and the wisdom of God - "to save them that
46 -- It is not true that "we have no other guide of
life" than "the theory of probabilities." We have
as the guide of life the certainty of truth, in the Word of God,
as revealed in Jesus Christ, who Himself is "the Truth,"
through the Spirit of God, who is the very "Spirit of truth.TOP"
is not true that "even St. Paul himself could never have
been certain that his explanation was more than a probably
true one." For Paul's explanation was simply the preaching
of the truth of God, derived from God. And not only Paul, but
every other Christian, can be certain that the Word of God which
he receives is certitude itself. And this certitude of the knowledge
of truth he finds, not by reason guided by doubt, but by revelation
there ever existed on earth such a person as Jesus, and what He
experienced, are far more than merely "matters of historical
evidence." And it is not true that "this must be"
only a matter of probability. Every Christian knows that Christ
lived in this world, that He was crucified that He died and rose
again, and that He lives to-day. For every Christian knows by
veritable knowledge of revelation and experience that Jesus is
acquainted with every feature of his life in the flesh. Every
Christian knows that Jesus was crucified; because he himself has
been crucified with Him. Every Christian knows that Jesus died,
for he himself has died with Him. Every Christian knows that Jesus
rose from the dead, for he himself is risen with Him. And every
Christian knows that Jesus, having risen from the dead lives to-day;
for he himself lives with
47 -- Him. Nor is this, in any sense, a guess, or a conjecture.
It is a matter of very truth, in the certitude of knowledge.
these simple things which every Christian knows, and which are
but the A B C of Christianity, demonstrate that true Christianity,
and even the professed Christian
world to-day, are again set completely at opposites by the world's
method of education. And these statements of the methods of education
to-day, methods recognized even by the Protestant churches, show
that instead of doubt being as is professed, "the pedagogue
which leads to knowledge;" upon the authority of its own
masters it is seen to be what it is in truth, the positive and
chosen obstruction to all knowledge.
Outlook presented it as a "problem of education"
that "sorely needs to be taken up by our educators"
- "the problem how religion can be preserved and promoted
while education is being acquired." That is intensely true.
But that problem never can be solved by any method of education
of which doubt is in any degree an element; for doubt simply undermines
all true religion. Faith, faith is the grand element of the true
religion. It is only by an education in which faith is the beginning,
the process, and the end that can ever be solved "the problem
how religion can be preserved and promoted while education is
being acquired." And this will do it; for this is Christian
there is needed, and sorely needed, to-day, an educational reform.
And, since the educational
48 -- process of to-day is one in which doubt is the beginning
the course, and the end, it is certain that the only true educational
reform for to-day is one in which faith is the beginning, the
course, and the end: and that
faith, the faith of Jesus Christ, the faith which enables him
who exercises it to comprehend, to understand, and to know,
the truth, and only the truth - the truth as it is in Jesus.
this it is not implied that in everything the Greeks were absolutely
ignorant. There were many things that they learned as little children.
There were many valuable facts of observation and experience that
they knew. But in that which was their philosophy and their science,
that which to them was preeminently wisdom and knowledge - in
this they were absolutely ignorant. And this which to them was
preeminently wisdom and knowledge, but which was in truth sheer
confused ignorance - this was made to color all else and give
to that the cast of ignorance. That which was as plainly true
and easily to be understood as that A is A was not allowed to
remain plain and simple knowledge, but it must first be doubted,
and then through a process of hypothesis, premise, and conclusion,
and then a new premise and conclusion, must be reasoned
out to a final conclusion, and so "demonstrated." And
thus that which was simple truth, and easily known
if only believed, was overshadowed and utterly vitiated by their
doubting and skeptical reasoning. Thus truth, faith, and knowledge
were annihilated; and in their place was substituted falsity,
doubt, and ignorance.
49 -- They "changed the
truth of God into a
lie . ... And even as they did not
like to retain God in their knowledge,
God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which
are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness."
is proper to inquire, What did Greek education accomplish for
the Greeks, both directly and ultimately?
can never be denied that
mentally Greek education carried the Greeks to the
highest point that has ever been attained in this world in education
that was only human. The Greek language was developed by the Greek
mind to the point wherein it excelled all other human language
in its capacity and facility of expressing nice distinctions of
thought. Of this it has been well said that "It traces with
ease distinctions so subtle as to be lost in every other language.
It draws lines where all other instruments of the reason only
make blots." TOP
art, whether in sculpture or in architecture, the Greek education
developed a standard that has never in the world been equaled.
In physical culture, the development of the human form, also,
Greek education attained the highest point that has ever been
reached by any nation.
this, Greek education undeniably did for the Greeks. But
what did it do for them morally? Mental attainments
that developed the fullest of all human languages, the most consummate
skill in art, and the
completest symmetry of the human form, - what did these attainments
develop as to character? Everybody
50 -- knows that the results in this respect could not be
truly set down in this book, without endangering its seizure by
the police; and making the author liable to prosecution for circulating
It is impossible to walk amongst even the ruins of Greek art without
being constantly offended with the perpetual portrayal and even
the deification of drunkenness and lust, in the otherwise marvelous
productions. In poetry, the highest form of that wonderful language,
it is the same. The Greek poets developed a mythology in which
the gods were portrayed as perpetually indulging the basest of
human passions, and in which every idea of divinity was debased
to the most degraded level of humanity.
what did this education - the literature, the art, the physical
culture, all that it produced - do for the Roman people when adopted
by them? Deep-dyed as was the iniquity of Rome before she expanded
into Greece, yet this iniquity was only given a deeper touch by
that which was derived from Greece. Rom. 1:21-32 is a description
of both. And the world knows the ultimate results - Greece and
Rome perished so entirely that no part remained. The people of
Greece to-day are not Greeks; the Greek nation to-day is not Greek.
The people of Rome are not Romans. The world knows that Greece
and Rome were annihilated by the flood of the barbarians of the
wild forests of Germany. And when this flood of barbarism swept
over Greece and Western Rome, the vices of the open life of even
51 -- highest classes were such as fairly to bring the blush
to the iron cheeks of the Germans. A writer of the times declares:
"We are worse than the barbarians and heathen. If the Saxon
is wild, the Frank faithless, the Goth inhuman, the Alanian drunken,
the Hun licentious, they are, by reason of their ignorance, far
less punishable than we, who, knowing the commandments of God,
commit all these crimes.
Romans, Christians, and Catholics, are defrauding your brethren,
are grinding the face of the poor, are frittering away your lives
for the impure and heathenish spectacles of the amphitheater,
and wallowing in licentiousness and inebriety. The barbarians,
meanwhile, heathen or heretics though they may be, however fierce
toward us, are just and fair in their dealings with one another.
The men of the same clan, and belonging to the same kin, love
one another with true affection. The impurities of the theater
are unknown amongst them. Many of their tribes are free from the
taint of drunkenness: and among all except the Alanians and the
Huns, chastity is the rule."
being the ultimate result of Greek education both to Greece that
originated it, and to Rome, both pagan and "Christian,"
that adopted it; and this result coming solely as the consequence
of the essential immorality of that education; has demonstrated
to the world forever the essential vanity and impotence of everything
which claims to be education, in which character is not the one
52 -- Annihilation being the result of Greek education to
both Greek and Roman, what else than this can possibly be the
result in a society or a nation which in education adopts the
method which is Greek, and in its highest and most
honorable course of education the literature,
which is Greek and Roman? TOP
VI- The Separation of Christianity and the State -
The Greek theory of education adopted by the apostate Church led
to the union of Church and State, and the total ruin of the State.
The principle of Christianity is the total separation of religion
and the State. Christianity recognizes the right of the State
to exist apart from the Church; and requires that the Church must
exist apart from the State.
Church and the State occupy two distinctly different realms. The
realm of the Church is the realm of morals; the realm of the State
is the realm of civics. The realm of the Church is the inner life
of man, and the world to come: the realm of the State is the outward
life of man, and the world that is.
The State rightly constituted, and abiding within its own realm,
can interfere with the affairs of the Church; and as a matter
of fact, no State ever has interfered with the affairs of the
Church, except when it went outside of its proper realm, and assumed
to itself the garb of religion. The Church, abiding in its own
realm, can never interfere in any way with the interests of the
State; and, as a matter of fact, the Church has never done so,
except where she left her own realm, ascended the throne of civil
power, and presumed to wield the sword of the State.
54 -- The State, within its own realm, and for itself, has
a right to establish a system of education, which in the nature
of things must be only of this world. The Church, in her own realm,
must maintain Christian
State, in establishing and conducting such system of education
as may seem to it best, can not ask that the Church shall abandon
Christianity. The Church, in her own realm, in maintaining Christian
education, can not ask that the State shall abandon such system
of education as it may have adopted; and must not antagonize the
State in its chosen system of education, any more than in any
other affair or act of the State within its own realm.
Government of the United States is the only one ever in the world
that was founded upon the principle announced by Jesus Christ
concerning civil government - the total separation of religion
and the State.
"No one thought of vindicating religion for the conscience
of the individual, till a voice in Judea, breaking day for
the greatest epoch in the life of humanity, by establishing a
pure, spiritual, and universal religion for all mankind, enjoined
to render to Caesar only that which is Caesar's. The rule
was upheld during the infancy of the gospel for all men. No sooner
was this religion adopted by the chief of the Roman Empire, than
it was shorn of its character of universality, and enthralled
by an unholy connection with the unholy State. And so it continued
till the new nation - the least defiled with the barren
scoffings of the eighteenth
55 -- century, the
most general believer in Christianity of any people of that age,
the chief heir of the Reformation in its purest forms - when
it came to establish a government for the United States, REFUSED
TO TREAT FAITH AS A MATTER TO BE REGULATED BY A CORPORATE BODY,
OR HAVING A HEADSHIP IN A MONARCH OR A STATE." -
George Bancroft. TOP
men who made the United States, distinctly declared that in the
matter of this fundamental principle of the separation of religion
and the State, they were acting
"upon the principles on which the gospel was first propagated,
and the Reformation from Popery carried on."
"We hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, 'that
religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner
of discharging it, can be dictated only by reason and conviction,
not by force or violence.' The religion, then, of every man must
be left to the conviction and conscience of every man, and it
is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate.
This right is in its nature an inalienable right: it is inalienable,
because the opinion of men depending only on the evidence contemplated
in their own minds, can not follow the dictates of other men.
It is inalienable, also, because what is here a right towards
men is a duty towards the Creator.
is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage,
and such only, as he believes to be acceptable to Him. This duty
is precedent, both in order of time, and in degree of obligation,
to the claims of
p 56 -- civil
society. Before any man can be considered a member of civil society,
he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the universe;
and if a member of a civil society who enters into any subordinate
association must always do it with a reservation of his duty to
the general authority, much more must every man who becomes a
member of any particular civil society do it with a saving of
his allegiance to the universal Sovereign. We maintain, therefore,
that in matters of religion, no man's right is abridged by the
institution of civil society; and that religion is wholly exempt
from its cognizance."
the course of its existence, the United States has developed and
established a system of education. The principle upon which this
system of education is founded is acknowledged to be, in this
respect, the principle upon which the nation was founded - the
separation of religion and the State: therefore religion must
not be taught in the State schools. This principle, though infringed
in instances, has been generally adhered to on the part of the
State. But THE CHURCH has
not adhered to this principle: indeed, she has hardly
recognized it at all. She has generally acquiesced in the State's
adhering to the principle, and refusing to incorporate religion,
or the religious method, in its system of education; but she has
not at all adhered to the principle that the
Church must not adopt the secular method in education. But
this story is so well told by the United States Government itself
that we need go no further in defining it.
the Annual Report
of the United States Com-
of Education for the school year 1896-7, the United
States Government has made perfectly clear the distinction between
the secular method and the religious method in education: a distinction
strictly in accordance with the principles of Christianity, and
with the fundamental principles upon which the Government of the
United States was founded. TOP
as to the secular school: "The
secular school gives positive instruction. It teaches mathematics,
natural science, history, and language. Knowledge of the facts
can be precise, and accurate, and a similar knowledge of the principles
can be arrived at. The self-activity of the pupil is before all
things demanded by the teacher of the secular school. The pupil
must not take things on authority; but, by his own activity, must
test and verify what he has been told. He must trace out the mathematical
demonstrations, and see their necessity. He must learn the method
of investigating facts in the special provinces of science and
history. The spirit of the secular school, therefore, comes to
be an enlightening one, although not of the highest order. But
its enlightenment tends to make trust in authority more and more
difficult for the young mind."
Next, as to religious education: "Religious
education, it is obvious, in giving the highest results of thought
and life to the young, must cling to the form of authority, and
not attempt to borrow the methods of mathematics, science, and
history from the secular school. Such borrowing will result only
in giving the young people an overweening confidence in the finality
of their own immature judgments. They will become conceited and
shallow-minded. It is well that the child should trust his own
p 58 -- intellect
in dealing with the multiplication table and the rule of three.
It is well that he should learn the rules and all the exceptions
in Latin syntax, and verify them in the classic authors; but he
must not be permitted to summon before him the dogmas of religion,
and form pert conclusions regarding their rationality."
this is an excellent reason as to why and how religion can not
be taught in the public schools: why religious education can not
be adopted by the State. And it gives just as excellent reason
why the Church, in her education - "religious education"
- can not even borrow, much less adopt, the methods of the secular
"The self-activity of the pupil is before all things demanded
by the teacher of the secular school." But in Christianity,
instead of self-activity of the child or of the man, it is self-surrender
that is before all things demanded. "If any man will be My
disciple, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow
Me." "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ
Jesus; who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to
be equal with God," "but emptied Himself."
(b) In the secular school, "the
pupil must not take things on authority." But in Christianity,
in religious education, both the pupil and the teacher "must
cling to the form of authority." This, because God is the
Author of the religious sense in man, and of Christianity the
only true complement of the religious sense; and the Word of God
is the authority of Christianity. And God is supreme in everything.
When He has
59 -- spoken, that ends the matter. That is authority, the
very ultimate of authority: not only because it is the Word of
God, but because it is essential truth. And essential truth is
the highest possible authority, and must be accepted as the authority
which it is. Jesus Christ, who is the Truth, "spake as One
having authority, and not as the scribes." His word was as
from One having authority, not because he had any
position of authority, but because of the essential
truth which was expressed in the Word which He spake. All authority
in heaven and on earth was given to Him, because He had all the
truth in heaven and earth.
(c) "The spirit of the secular school,"
though "an enlightening one," yet is not "of the
highest order;" while on the other hand, "religious
education, it is obvious," gives "the highest results
of thought and life."
(d) The enlightenment of the secular
school "tends to make trust in authority more and more difficult
for the young mind." Since, therefore, the enlightenment
of the secular school tends to make trust in authority more and
more difficult for the young mind: and since religious education
must cling to the form of authority; it clearly follows that to
adopt the spirit of the secular school, or to borrow the methods
of the secular school,
in religious education, is nothing less than to undermine
the very citadel of religious education.
(e) It is therefore in perfect wisdom
that the United States Government has given the counsel that in
religious education there must be no "attempt to borrow the
methods of mathematics, science, and history from the secular
school." And this, for the further excellent
60 -- reason that "such borrowing will result only in
giving the young people an overweening confidence in the finality
of their own immature judgments. They will become conceited and
Christian desires that his children shall have a religious education.
And surely no Christian who has any wish for the welfare of his
children would consciously incorporate into their education that
which would result in giving them an overweening confidence in
the finality of their own immature judgments, and which will cause
them to become conceited and shallow-minded. Surely, therefore,
it has been in complete unconsciousness of the principles involved,
and of the disastrous results incurred, that the Church leaders
and teachers have, in education, taken precisely the course which
the United States Government declares must not be taken: that
is, the borrowing of the secular method in religious education.
For that same report continues: "With
the spectacle of the systematic organization of the secular schools
and the improved methods of teaching before them, the leaders
in the Church have endeavored to perfect the methods of
religious instruction of youth. They have met the following dangers
which lay in their path:
"First, the danger of adopting methods of instruction
in religion which were fit and proper only for
secular instruction: secondly, the selection of religious
matter for the course of study which did not lead in the most
direct manner toward vital religion, although it would readily
take on a pedagogic form.
"Against this danger of sapping, or undermining, all
61 -- authority
in religion, BY THE INTRODUCTION OF THE METHODS OF THE SECULAR
SCHOOL, which lay all stress on the self-activity of the child,
the Sunday-school has not been
sufficiently protected in the more recent years of its history.
Large numbers of religious teachers, most intelligent and
zealous in their piety, seek a more and more perfect adoption
of the secular school methods.
"On the other hand, the topics of religious instruction have
been determined largely by the necessities of the secular school
method. That method is not adapted to teach mystic truth.
It seeks everywhere definite and especially mathematical results.
But these results, although they are found everywhere in
science and mathematics, are the farthest possible from being
like the subject matter of religion. Hence, it has happened
that in improving the methods of the Sunday-school, greater and
greater attention has been paid to the history and geography of
the Old Testament and less and less to the doctrinal matters of
the New Testament."
(a) "The introduction of the methods
of the secular school" in religious education incurs the
danger "of sapping or undermining all authority in religion."
And against this danger, even "the Sunday-school has not
been sufficiently protected in the more recent years of its history."
What, then, of the religious education of the children of Christians
in the United States outside
of the Sunday-school?
(b) "More and more perfect adoption
of the secular school methods" has been sought even in the
in the Sunday-school. What, then, of the religious
education of the children of Christians
apart from the Sunday-school? TOP
p 62 -- (c) "The topics of religious
instruction, even in the Sunday-school, have been "determined
largely by the necessities of the secular school method,"
which method "is not adapted to teach mystic truth;"
and the results of which "are the farthest possible from
being like the subject matter of religion." What, then, of
the topics and methods in the religious instruction of the children
of Christians apart from the Sunday-school?
the professed Protestant Church has so far forsaken her own true
Christian ground in education, and has so far adopted the topics
and methods of secular education, has she not gone a long way
in the course of the original apostasy in adopting the topics
and method of secular education in that day? And in so doing,
has not the Protestant Church in this day gone just that far on
the way to the positive union of the Church and the State which
resulted in the like course in ancient time? And with all this,
how can the State here escape the certain ruin that must come
from this apostasy and union of Church and State, as certainly
as it came from that apostasy and union of Church and State in
ancient time of which this is so exact a parallel and likeness?
p 63 --Chapter
VII- The Bible's Right to Supreme Place in Christian
From the evidence presented by the United States Government, it
is certainly plain that, for the welfare of both the Church and
the State, in this nation, there is demanded on the part of the
professed Christian Church an education which shall be Christian.
The document published by the United States Government, from which
we have quoted, is nothing less than an appeal, a powerful appeal,
that the church leaders and teachers shall plant themselves upon
the ground of a religious education which shall indeed be religious,
instead of being a "more and more perfect adoption of the
when history has demonstrated that when the Church adopts the
secular method in education it ends only in the ruin of the State,
and the rise of the Church over that ruin into an ecclesiastical
world-power, a theocratical world kingdom, of the most desperately
oppressive character of all powers that ever were on earth: then
is it not for the highest possible welfare of the State, and of
human society as a whole, that the Church shall be called back
from this secular ground, to her own fair realm of the Christian
religion in its purity and its sincerity, and to the education
64 -- wholly becoming to her as the true and sincere Christian
education, to be Christian, must find its spring in the Word of
God alone. That Word must be the basis, the inspiration, and the
guide in every line of study. And there must be such a true faith
and such perfect confidence in that Word as the Word of God, in
which are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; and such
a profound study of that Word, illuminated by the Divine Spirit;
that it shall be clearly seen that truly "There is no subtlety
in grammar, neither in logic, nor in any other science that can
be named, but that it is found in more excellent degree in the
Scriptures." This will make her that she shall be indeed
the light of the world.
anybody to profess to believe the Bible for what it is, - the
Word of God, - and at the same time not allow that the Bible must
be the leading book in all education, are two things that will
not hold together at all.
Bible claims for itself that it is the Word of God. It comes to
men as the Word of God. If it is not accepted and held as the
Word of God, it is no more than any other peculiarly national
book. To believe the Bible, is to accept it as the Word of God;
for that is the only claim that the Bible makes for itself. Not
to accept the Bible as the Word of God, is not to believe the
Bible at all.
how shall men know that it is the Word of God? This is the question
that thousands of people ask.
65 -- They ask, "What proof is there, where is the evidence,
that it is the Word of God?"
is evidence, - evidence that every man can have, - evidence that
is convincing and satisfactory. Where is it, then? Let us see.
the Word of God, where alone could evidence be found that it is
such? Where should we expect to find such evidence?
there any one of greater knowledge than God, or of greater authority
than He, of whom we may inquire? - Certainly not. For whoever
God may be, there can be no higher authority, there can be none
of greater knowledge.
then, we were to ask God whether this is His Word. And suppose
that, apart from the Bible, He should tell us, in so many words,
"The Bible is My word," we should even then have only
we have that already,
over and over; so that even then we should have no more evidence
than we now have in abundance: and the evidence would be in nowise
different; for it would be the evidence of His word, and that
we already have.
the truth is that the Word of God bears
in itself the evidence that it is the Word of God.
And it is impossible that it could be otherwise.
God had never yet spoken a word to the human family, and should
this day send a message to all people at once, and in their own
native tongues, that word, being the word of God, would have
to bear in itself the evidence of its being the word of God; for
p 66 -- could not possibly inquire of any other, because
there is no person whose knowledge or authority is superior to
this. And that word, bearing in itself the evidence of its being
the word of God, all the people could obtain this evidence by
accepting it as the
word of God. Each one who did this would know it to
be the word of God; for he would have the evidence
in the word, and
by accepting it, also in
is precisely the position that the Bible occupies toward the people
of this world. It comes as the Word of God. As such, it must bear
the evidence in itself; for there can be no higher, no better,
evidence. Whoever receives it as the Word of God receives in it
and in himself
the evidence that it is the Word of God. And so it is written,
"When ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye
received it not as
the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of
God, which effectually
worketh also in you that believe." 1. Thess. 2:13.
a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true
in Him and in you." 1 John 2:8.
again: "My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me. If
any man will [is willing to] do His will, He
shall know of the doctrine, whether
it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself." John
7:16 , 17.
he who accepts the Word as the Word of God finds the evidence
that it is the Word of God. He who will not accept the Word can
not have the evidence. In rejecting the Word, he rejects the evidence;
because the evidence is in the Word.
make this yet plainer, if possible, especially to
67 -- those who do not know that the Bible is the Word of
God, we may, for the sake of the case, suppose that the Bible
were not the Word of God, and that the God of the Bible were not
the true God. Suppose, then, that we should find the true God,
and ask Him whether the Bible is the Word of God; and suppose
He should say, "It is not the Word of God." We should
then have only His
word; and the only way that we could know whether or
not this answer were true would be by believing it, by accepting
it as the word of God.
then, the only possible way in which any person could surely know
that the Bible is not
the Word of God would be by the Word of God. And even though he
had the Word of God to this effect, the only way that be could
be sure of it - the only evidence
he could have - would be
by believing that Word.
there is no word
of God that the Scriptures are
not the Word of God; while there is
the Word of God that the Scriptures
are the Word of God. That Word of God bears in itself
the evidence that it is the Word of God: and every soul who will
receive it as it is, will have the evidence. The evidence will
be plain to him who believes the Word.
Bible, then, being the Word of God, is supreme knowledge and supreme
authority upon every subject that is true. There can not be any
truer knowledge than that of God: there can not be any higher
authority than that of the Word of God. As certainly, therefore,
as the Bible is an educational book at all, so certainly is it
the supreme educational Book.
p 68 -- And the Bible is educational only. The Author of
it presents Himself as the Teacher of men: "I am the
Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit." "And they
shall be all taught of God."
by whom that Word came, and who is indeed the Word of God, calls
all men to Him to learn: "Come unto Me, all ye . . . Learn
of Me." In calling all men to Him to learn of Him, in that
very thing He presents Himself as the Teacher of all. He is the
great Teacher "sent from God."
these two Supreme Teachers have given the Holy Spirit, and Themselves
in Him, to be the Teacher of men. "The Comforter, which is
the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall
teach you all things" - not all things good, bad, and indifferent;
not all things speculative, conjectural, and false; but all things
that are true:
not false science, but true science; not false philosophy, but
true philosophy. For He is the Spirit only of
truth. He is a guide only into truth:
and "He will guide you into
all truth." And He teaches only the Word of God:
"He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your
I have said unto you." "He shall not speak
of [from] Himself; but whatsoever
He shall hear, that shall He speak."
Holy Spirit being the Representative of the Godhead to men, being
the Spirit of Truth,
teaches only in and through and by means of the Word of God, as
that Word is the
truth. The Godhead, therefore, in the Holy Spirit,
is the Supreme Instructor; and the Word of God is the basis of
all true instruction. To
69 -- the Bible, therefore, being the Word of God and being
instruction from the Lord, belongs, by divine right, the place
of first consideration in all Christian, in all true, education.
kind of treatment, then, is it of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit - what kind of treatment is it of the Godhead,
when they put men before the Godhead, and the books of men, the
books of even pagan and infidel men, before the Book of God, in
education? Is this fair? Is it reverent? Is it of faith? Is it
the Bible by divine right belongs the first consideration and
the supreme place in all Christian education. To the Bible also
by the very philosophy of education itself belongs
the first consideration and the supreme place in Christian education.
Bible should be the first thing in every line of study, for the
reason that is expressed in a saying familiar to all: First impressions
are most lasting. For this reason the Bible should be the source
of the first instruction that the child receives in the world;
and, as everybody is a child in the beginning of every line of
study, the Bible should be the first of all things in all studies.
is the truth that when a person lives, and a few do live, to such
an age that the life simply fades out because of age, the last
thing that such a person thinks of is the first thing that he
ever learned. This may be said again, for it is a
principle of education: The first thing that is ever
fixed upon a person's mind is
70 -- the last thing that that mind dwells upon, if the life
of that person is completed and simply fades out in old age.
notable instance of this is William Ewart Gladstone, the great
English statesman, who died in 1898. He died a very old man. As
his life was fading out indeed, it was noticed that he was saying
over and over again the Lord's prayer
in French. That excited some query: as he was an Englishman,
why should he be saying the Lord's prayer in
French? Inquiries were made, and it was learned that
when he was a little child, he was in charge of a French nurse,
and that that French nurse was a Christian, and had taught him
the Lord's prayer in her native language. And as that happened
to be the first thing that was fixed upon his mind, it was the
last thing that was dwelt upon by his mind as it faded out in
if that nurse had not been a Christian, and had taught that child,
"Hi, diddle, diddle, the cat's in the fiddle," it would
have worked precisely the same way, and
that would have been the last thing that he would have
spoken on his death-bed. If she had taught him Aesop's fables
or fairy tales instead of the Lord's prayer, these would have
been the last things that he would have murmured as his mind faded
who was personally known to the writer, died at a little past
ninety-six years of age. The Lord's prayer was also one of the
last things that that person repeated. Another thing she did in
the last days of her life was to count - one, two, three, four,
five, six, seven, and so on up to ten, but
not beyond - just as a little
71 -- child learns to count. So that mind, in its last hours,
was dwelling on the things of her first hours of conscious memory
- the things that were first fixed in her mind.
beautiful it is that the last thought of a mind fading out in
death is the thought of God in His Word! How aptly in the resurrection
will the first thought take up the connection! This is enough
to illustrate the principle that is the basis of the philosophy
of using the Bible as the first thing in all Christian education.
all will admit, is all well enough in the case of the child, who
is learning the first things. Yet it is no more necessary there
than it is everywhere else; for every one is a child, an infant,
in the things that he is first learning. If you or I were to begin
to study any new language, we should be altogether babes in that
language. We know nothing at all there; there is not a thought
in the language that is ours; not a word in the language that
can possibly convey a thought.
illustrate: suppose you would learn the German language, and that
the first words you ever learn are these: "Im
anfang war das Wort." Then the first thought
which ever enters your mind in the German language is, "In
the beginning was the Word." Then, having learned
this, wherever after that, as long as you live, you meet the word
that word will unfailingly recall the expression, "Im
anfang war das Wort," and the
thought, "In the beginning was the Word."
suppose it be Greek, and the first words that you ever learn in
it are the same: "En arch hn d LogoV
72 -- "En
arche en ho Logos." The word arche
means "the beginning," and the word logos
means "the word." "In the beginning was the Word."
Then, having learned
this, wherever you meet either the word arche
instantly occurs the thought first lodged in your mind with the
passage, "In the beginning was the Word."
suppose you unfortunately fall into the hands of a teacher with
whom the Bible is not supreme, and therefore is not the first
and most important book in every line of study. Suppose that the
first words in the language that he gives to you are from some
fairy story, some fable, some novel, some play, or from
any other source than the Bible. When you learn those
words, you receive the thought
expressed by the words. And having learned
that, then afterward, when you meet those same words
in the Bible, instantly and irresistibly your mind will revert
to that first thought in those words, and the clear rays of light
and truth in the words of the Bible will be clouded and confused
by being mixed up with that fairy scene, or whatever it was that
was first associated in your mind with those words. Then your
very study of the Bible will be hindered, and you will be crippled,
by such a bad beginning in the new language.
the other hand, when you begin right, with the words of the Bible
and the thoughts of God first, then if, for any purpose, you should
find it necessary to read these other books, you will find the
light and wisdom and strength of the thoughts of God constantly
recurring and abiding
73 -- with you, guiding you in the way of truth, and guarding
you against that which is false. In illustration, an actual occurrence
can be cited: A few years ago the author of this book was passing
through a high school, in which persons of another language were
taking first lessons in English. The students had just gone from
the room, and lying on the desks were their books of study in
English; some of them open at the latest lesson. And the subject
of that lesson was "The Mischievous Monkey." Those students
were taking their first lessons in a new language. The first and
only thoughts that they were getting in that language were thoughts
about a mischievous monkey. When they had studied that piece clear
through so that they could intelligently read it in English, a
large proportion of what they knew, and of the thoughts that they
were able to think, in English were solely concerning a mischievous
the account of that mischievous monkey words were used that are
frequently met in the Bible; because they were common English
words. Suppose then that those students should soon afterward
turn to the Bible in English, and there meet some of these same
words: every time they should meet one of those words, there would
be that mischievous monkey obtruding himself upon, and frollicking
among, the thoughts of the Word of God. That is as certain as
that those students received the thoughts about that mischievous
monkey as their first thoughts in English. And that would also
be a positive hindrance to their ever getting from the
p 74 -- Word of God in English the clear, pure thoughts
of that Word.
a lasting injury, then, it is to students, and especially the
young: what an imposition upon them when they are kept for years
in the wild, foolish, false, and wicked imaginings of pagan poets,
philosophers, or dramatists, or even the writings of historians,
before they are qualified to read New Testament Greek or Bible
Latin! Is a mind whose whole warp and woof in Greek is pagan,
the better qualified to understand and appreciate Christian Greek?
Is a mind that has roamed from one to three years all over Gaul,
amid the barbarities of Caesar and the Gauls, or that has dwelt
all its Greek or Latin life in the pagan miasma of Homer or Virgil,
- is such a mind the better prepared to read in Latin, to Christian
profit, the gospel of John or the epistles of Paul? Are paganism
and barbarism an essential basis for Christianity? Are pagan thoughts
and heathen conceptions an essential antecedent to Christian thoughts
and divine conceptions?
not, why do teachers who consider themselves, and expect others
to consider them, Christians,
cause their students of Greek, or Latin, or any other language,
to build up their minds in that language wholly of pagan material,
and that from one to three years, before they are expected, or
given any chance, to form their minds of the Lord's thoughts -
the perfectly good, the perfectly pure, the perfectly true?
all practical purposes, the mind is composed of thoughts. The
object of study is to build up the mind,
75 -- to obtain thoughts - knowledge. What, then, can be the
object of professed Christian teachers in having students study
pagan Greek and pagan Latin first of all? Whatever their object,
the certain result is to build up the minds of the students in
paganism and of paganism. What the mind is, the man is. And when
the mind is pagan, the man is pagan; and if the mind is mostly,
or even partly, pagan, then the man is mostly or partly pagan.
is it the God-given task, or responsibility, of Christian teachers
to cause students to become even in any degree whatever, pagan?
The only possible answer is, No. Then what Christian teacher can
ever put any pagan book into the hands of any student as a text-book,
or as a book for study at all?
is not to say that no other book but the Bible can ever be read
or studied in a foreign language; but it
is to say that no other book should ever be read or
studied in any foreign language until that language has been learned
from the Bible, and until the Bible can readily be read at sight
in that language. When this has been, and can be, done by a person,
then that person can read with perfect safety, and to profit,
any other book in that language which he may find it necessary
is the better, which affords the better prospect to the mind and
soul - to begin a study in such a way that wherever the person
shall go afterward in that field, the thought of God shall accompany
him; or to begin in such a way that paganism, infidelity, or world-
76 -- liness, shall be first in all the field, even to the
overshadowing of the Word of God when it is studied? - To ask
that question is certainly to answer it in all Christian minds.
is therefore perfectly plain that, both by divine right and by
the simple philosophy of education, to the Bible belongs the first
consideration and the supreme place in all Christian education.
What Christian teacher, then, can be loyal to the Godhead in putting
any book but the Bible first of all into the thoughts of any student
on any subject?
77 -- Chapter
VIII - The Educaton of Daniel -- The
Bible is treated fairly, and is given its true place in education,
it is confidently held to be distinctly an educational book as
when it is held to have clearly an educational purpose, and to
be positively committed to the principle of a complete education
the Bible is all this is abundantly proved by the contents of
the Book itself. In order to cause this to be seen most fully,
and yet to do it in the briefest space, we shall approach the
subject through the book that is in more than one point a pivotal
book in the Bible - the book of Daniel.
book of Daniel was written especially for the last days; for when
Daniel came to explain to King Nebuchadnezzar the great things
of the king's dream, he said that God "maketh known to the
Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days." Dan. 2:28.
In explaining to Daniel the things revealed, the angel said that
he was giving understanding of what should befall God's people
"in the latter days." Dan. 10:14. And when the writing
of the book was finished, Daniel was commanded to "shut up
the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end"
(Dan. 12:4); and was then told, "Go thy way, Daniel; for
78 -- are closed up and sealed till the time of the end"
book of Daniel, then, being specifically designed for the last
days, contains principles, as well as prophecies, which are of
special importance, and have a special bearing, in the last days;
and not the least of these are the principles of education. These
principles are given to save the people of the world in the last
days from calamities and destruction of which those that came
upon Babylon are but a feeble representation. To ignore these
principles, given especially for this time, is but to court a
destruction as much more dreadful than that other as world-wide
destruction and eternal ruin are greater than local destruction
and temporal ruin.
Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon captured Jerusalem the first time,
"the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs,
that he should bring certain of the children of Israel and of
the king's seed and of the princes; children in whom was no blemish,
but well favored, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge,
and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to
stand in the king's palace, and
whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of
the Chaldeans." Dan. 1:3, 4.
blemish" and "well favored." This would require
that they should be physically sound, well built, and symmetrical.
words translated "wisdom," "knowledge," and
"science," in verse 4 - Hebrew
daath, madda, and
chokmah - are closely related, though the second is
79 -- extension of the first, and the third an extension of
The word translated "wisdom" signifies "knowledge,
understanding, and intelligence." It implies the faculty
to discern what is valuable knowledge, and the ability and capacity
to acquire such knowledge. The word translated "knowledge"
relates to "the mind or thought," and implies knowledge
acquired by thinking and application. The word translated "science"
signifies "skill, dexterity, sagacity, shrewdness, ability
to judge;" and is well translated in our word "science,"
which signifies "skilful in knowledge." It implies a
selected and systematized knowledge. Therefore the requirement
of King Nebuchadnezzar in the selecting of these youth was that
they should be physically sound and symmetrically built; and that,
mentally, they should be -
1. Skilful in discerning what is valuable knowledge, and
skilful in the ability to acquire such knowledge;
2. Cunning in the acquisition of knowledge by thinking
and application; and -
3. Understanding how to correlate, classify, and systematize
the knowledge which they had the faculty to discern was valuable
knowledge, and which they were cunning in gathering.
they must have "ability"
in all these things. What they knew was not to be mere head-knowledge;
but they must have the faculty of observation and adaptation so
trained that what they had learned could be practically applied
in their experience in every-day
80 -- affairs. They were to have such ability, such every-day
common sense, as would enable them to use their knowledge to practical
advantage in the common things of daily life, so that they would
be practical men wherever they were; so that they could adapt
themselves to any circumstances or situation, and be the master
and not the slave of either circumstances or situation.
the specifications distinctly made in the scripture, and from
the close and thorough examination that must be passed, it is
certain that all that we have outlined was comprehended in the
requirements of the king respecting the youth who were to be chosen.
And this is no small tribute to the educational ideas of King
Nebuchadnezzar. Indeed, his views of education, as shown in this
verse of the Bible, were, for all practical purposes, far
in advance of the educational system that prevails
to-day, even in the leading colleges and universities of the United
States. Yet Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were able successfully
to pass such an examination. Where,
then, did they get such an education, being, as they were, but
mere youth? The answer to this question is worth having. Besides,
we need it just now; for all this was written especially for the
Where, then, did Daniel and his three companions obtain the education
which enabled them successfully to pass the examination required
by King Nebuchadnezzar? Where did they obtain an education which
made them "skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge,
and understanding science;" and which gave them "ability"
in all these things? - Without
p 81 -- hesitation it can be answered, in a "school
of the prophets," the divinely-established schools in Israel.
There was at that time a "college," or "school
of the prophets," in Jerusalem. For in the eighteenth year
of Josiah, king of Judah, which was only fifteen years before
the captivity of Daniel, there is the clear record of such a school
the eighteenth year, of Josiah, while at his command the temple
was being cleansed and repaired from the abominations of Manasseh
and Amen, a copy of the Pentateneh, or "book of the law of
the Lord of Moses," was found by Hilkiah the priest. Hilkiah
"delivered the book to Shaphan" the scribe; and "Shaphan
carried the book to the king," and "read it before the
king." "And it came to pass, when the king had heard
the words of the law, that he rent his clothes," and commanded
Hilkiah the priest, and Shaphan the scribe, and others, "Go,
inquire of the Lord for me, and for them that are left in Israel
and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found."
"And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed,
went to Huldah the prophetess. ... Now she
dwelt in Jerusalem in
the college [margin, "in
the school"]; and they spoke to her to that effect."
Here was, in Jerusalem, a college, or school, in which "dwelt"
the prophetess. This at once shows this school to have been a
school of the prophets; because that which gave to those schools
the name schools of the Prophets was the fact that a prophet dwelt
with the school, and was, under God, the head of the school.
p 82 -- This fact is revealed in the two other instances
in which they are mentioned: in 1 Sam. 19:20 "the company
of the prophets" was seen, and "Samuel standing as
appointed over them." In 2 Kings 6:1-6 we meet
again "the sons of the prophets," and Elisha the prophet
is dwelling with them; for they said to Elisha, "The place
where we dwell with
thee is too strait for us."
we find three schools of the prophets in three widely-separated
ages, - the age of Samuel, the age of Elisha, and the age of Josiah,
- and in each instance a prophet is dwelling in the school. These
three passages were written to give us information as to the schools
of the prophets. They show why these schools were called schools
of the prophets. They show also that the college, or school, in
Jerusalem, in which dwelt Huldah the prophetess, was a school
of the prophets as certainly as was the school where dwelt Elisha
the prophet or Samuel the prophet.
It was, then, in a school of the prophets, in the Lord's school,
and in the system of education of the Lord's designing,
where Daniel and his three companions obtained the education of
which we read in Dan. 1:4, - the education which made them "skilful
in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science,"
and which gave to them such "ability" in all these that
they were able to pass successfully the examination required for
entrance into the royal university of Babylon.
to Part B