“Education During The Founders’ Era”

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What made America rise to prominence among the nations of the world in just 50 years from its founding?  Why did this young Republic equal England and France in world influence in so short a time?  Many would make visits here to try to find that out.

One of those, a French political scientist by the name of Alex De Toqueville, would identify in no uncertain terms to secret of America’s greatness.  He wrote:

“I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America…in her fertile fields and boundless forests…I sought for it in her…Congress and in her matchless Constitution.

Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.

America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

(Tocqueville, Alexis de. Attributed. Robert Flood, The Rebirth of America (The Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation, 1986), p. 32 Am. God & Co. p.205)

So the root of America’s greatness lay in her morality—or as the Founders called it—her internal self government.  Indeed Noah Webster in his original American Dictionary defined the word, morality, as;

“The conformity of an act to the Divine law,”

But how was that communicated to following generations?  The secret of America’s morality lay in America’s method of education.

Controlled by the parents instead of the government, America’s early education system taught children that the foundation for all learning rooted in morality, or internal self government.  And it taught that the ability to control ourselves was not in our own strength.  They were taught they must be controlled by the Spirit of Christ, Who would come to live in them and through them if they repented of their sin and received Christ as their Master and Deliverer.  And this experience of knowing Christ as Lord was not left to mere head knowledge.  Thus, parents, family members, and Pastors prayed for the children’s conversion by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The education system was designed to teach this need of Christ’s deliverance from ourselves directly through the sharing of the Gospel story.  And it was taught indirectly through the academic subjects.  The first schoolbook in America, The New England Primer, taught children to read by placing the letter A beside a picture of Adam and Eve disobeying God by eating of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden; The caption beside the picture stated:

“In Adam’s fall, we sinned all.”

Thus, America’s early education system produced morality by connecting children with their Creator, and His commands by which He intended man to live.  With this kind of respect for the Bible built right into the education process, America’s morality was passed generation to generation.  Indeed, it was the true foundation of America’s liberty and prosperity.  And this was only what the Bible had promised to a people who would obey the Word of God.  God had said to Joshua early in Israel’s history;

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

(Joshua 1:8)

It was this education system the Founders protected with the Constitution by giving no power to the national government to direct or fund it.  That education system made America the greatest nation in world history.  Shouldn’t we return to it?

Think about it; because if you don’t, someone else will do your thinking for you—
and for your children!  And you won’t like what that brings to you.  I’m Don Pinson this has been Think About It.