The Bible and Children (Benjamin Rush on Education and the Bible, continued)

“My arguments in favor of the use of the Bible as a schoolbook are founded,

I. In the constitution of the human mind.

1. … Memory [develops during childhood]

2. /[Before age seven] children are more capable of receiving just ideas

3. The influence of early impressions is very great upon subsequent life…

4. Habit

5. We remember longest the knowledge we acquire by the greatest number of our senses.

6. Events … described in the Old and New Testaments are calculated, above all others, to seize upon all the faculties of the mind of children.

7. Native preference of truth to fiction

8. In old age [memory tends to revert to] the knowledge acquired early in life.


Benjamin Rush, late 1700’s

From a personal letter, later published as a tract, “The Bible in Schools”

by the American Tract Society, circa 1830

(Paragraphs two through nine)

One Comment

  1. Michael April 30, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    The more I think about it, the more I tend to conclude that teaching the Holy Bible in public school is not forcing any religion on anyone, nor is it establishing a State religion. They can teach other religions side by side. Teaching is not forcing. The government is to allow religion, not prohibit it. Sound moral principle is very important for any civilization. Even speed limit laws are based on Christian ethics. Laws are based on our perception of right and wrong. Our ideas of right and wrong are religious in nature. If Christianity is widely accepted and taught throughout our society, our perception of right and wrong will result it sound and just laws.

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