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Christian Education.

Christian Education.

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Published by glennpease
BY THOMAS ARNOLD, D.D.


Deuteronomy, xi. 19.

Ye shall teach these my words unto your children, speaking of
them when thou sittest in thine house, and tchen thou walkest
by the way, when thou liesl down, and when thou risest up.
BY THOMAS ARNOLD, D.D.


Deuteronomy, xi. 19.

Ye shall teach these my words unto your children, speaking of
them when thou sittest in thine house, and tchen thou walkest
by the way, when thou liesl down, and when thou risest up.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 19, 2013
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CHRISTIA EDUCATIO.BY THOMAS AROLD, D.D.Deuteronomy, xi. 19.Ye shall teach these my words unto your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and tchen thou walkestby the way, when thou liesl down, and when thou risest up.This is the simplest notion of education ; for, un-doubtedly, he is perfectly educated who is taughtall the will of God concerning him, and enabled,through life, to execute it. And he is not welleducated who does not know the will of God, orknowing it, has received no help in his educationtowards being inclined and enabled to do it.Stated in these words, I do not know that anyone would much dispute the truth of this descrip-tion. But when we come to unfold it, and try toarrive at an accurate knowledge of it in detail,SERMO XVI. 179we find room for very great differences of opinion,such as have given birth to various controversies,and to many different systems in practice. These,of course, it is not my purpose to enter into ; butit may not be amiss to show how a description,seemingly so simple, can lead to all these differ-ences, and what it is which so often perplexes men'snotions when they come to speak of education.ow the origin of these disputes arises, in agreat degree, from making a division such as wefind in the prayers used in other places of educa-
 
tion, and partly also in that one which is in dailyuse here ; a division, namely, between " true reli-gion" and " useful learning." For men's ideas of what is " true religion" being thus very much nar-rowed, the point in which all were agreed becamegreatly reduced, whilst a new and very importantone was introduced, on which men might greatlydiffer. It was thought that the great and allowedend of education was sufficiently fulfilled by whatwas called teaching the Bible ; that thns we shouldknow God's will respecting us, and be also disposedto practise it. But here the study of the Biblebeing considered as synonymous with " religiouseducation," it followed, on the one hand, that allthose things which were necessarily taught besidesthe Bible, in colleges and higher schools, werelooked upon as distinct from religion ; and, on theother hand, that they who held M religious educa-n 2180 SERMO XVI.tion" to be all that was needed as a matter of necessity, taught, in schools for the poor, nothingbut the Bible.This will sufficiently show how the great dis-putes about education are consistent with men'sadmitting that definition of it which I gave at thebeginning of my sermon. All but the Bible be-came debatable ground, and its greater or lessusefulness was asserted or denied on all sorts of different principles, men seeming to suppose allthe while that religious education was not con-cerned in the dispute. And thus I have no doubtthat it has been with perfect sincerity in theminds of many of its supporters, that a system of 
 
education has been set up, which professes toleave religion out, and yet to teach history, politi-cal economy, law, and moral philosophy. It issaid, — " We do not profess to interfere with reli-gious education, — that we leave to the parents ; wemerely wish to give education in science, bothphysical and moral." I have no doubt that thiswas, and is said, in a great many cases, withperfect sincerity; the more so, because it quiteagrees with the opinions of another set of persons,to whom I alluded before, and who, meaning togive a religious education, teach the Bible only.It is manifest, that both these classes of personsgo upon the same ground, namely, that religiouseducation is to be given only out of the Bible ; andSERMO XVI. 181that in perfect consistency with this notion, oneclass wishing to educate only religiously, teachesno history; and another class, while teachinghistory, believes that it is wholly abstaining fromreligious education.ow, if we consider a little what were the cir-cumstances of the Israelites, and what the extentof the words spoken in the text, it will help tothrow some light upon this subject. " Ye shallteach these my words unto your children." Whatwords do we think are here meant ? Was it theTen Commandments, as given on the two tablesfrom Mount Sinai ? Or was it the five books of the Pentateuch, as we now have them, fromGenesis to Deuteronomy? o such thing; thespecial thing meant to be taught, was a knowledgeof God's statutes and ordinances; not the TenCommandments only, not all the early history of their forefathers contained in the book of Genesis,

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