Here are some interesting words from Leland Ryken from his book, Worldly Saints: The Puritans As They Really Were.

“Albert Einstein once remarked that we live in a day of perfect means and confused goals. The Puritans did not make that mistake. The strength of their educational theory was that they knew what education was for. Their primary goal was Christian nurture and growth. . . . The . . . founding Harvard College was religious . . . One rule . . . was this: ‘Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life, . . ., and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.’

“When his son entered Harvard as a student, Thomas Shepard wrote to him, ‘Remember the end of your life, which is coming back again to God, and fellowship with God.’. . . the Puritans naturally made the study of the Bible and Christian doctrine central in their curriculum. This practice can be traced to Luther, who had insisted, ‘Above all, the foremost reading for everybody, both in the universities and in the schools, should be Holy Scripture. . . . I would advise no one to send his child where the Holy Scriptures are not supreme.’

“At Cambridge University, Emmanuel College established the Bible as central to the curriculum: ‘It is an ancient institution in the church . . . that schools and colleges be founded for the education of young men in all piety and good learning and especially in Holy Writ and theology, that being thus instructed they may thereafter teach true and pure religion.’ At Harvard College the rule was that everyone shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein . . . as his tutor shall require.”

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