Educational Law by David Barton
It was not uncommon for subsequent American literacy laws to stress the need to know the Scriptures. For example, the 1690 Connecticut law declared: This legislature observing that there are many persons unable to read the English tongue and thereby incapable to read the holy Word of God or the good laws of this colony it is ordered that all parents and masters shall cause their respective children and servants, as they are capable, to be taught to read distinctly the English tongue.
The concern that caused this educational law to be passed was that many were illiterate and thereby “incapable to read the holy Word of God” The inseparability of Christianity from education, whether public or private, was evident at every level of American education. For example, the 1636 rules of Harvard declared: 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 JOHN 17:3 and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom let everyone seriously set him by prayer in secret to seek it of Him PROVERBS 2:3.
Every one 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. Those Harvard requirements changed little over subsequent years. For example, the 1790 rules required: All persons of what degree forever residing at the College, and all undergraduates shall constantly and seasonably attend the worship of God in the chapel, morning and evening.
All the scholars shall, at sunset in the evening preceding the Lord’s Day, lay aside all their diversions and. it is enjoined upon every scholar carefully to apply himself to the duties of religion on said day. So firmly was Harvard dedicated to this goal that its two mottos were “For the Glory of Christ” and “For Christ and the Church?” This school and its philosophy produced signers John Adams, John Hancock, Elbridge Gerry, John Pickering, William Williams, Rufus King, William Hooper, William Ellery, Samuel Adams, Robert Treat Paine, and numerous other illustrious Founders.
David Barton – We see worship like a Broadway play, incorrectly. We see the pastor as the actor, the congregation as the audience and we see God as the director. That is incorrect.