The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States, Chapter 7

Christian education, from the very beginning of the New England colonies, engaged the attention of the Puritans, and ample provisions were made for the instruction of all the children and youth in every branch of human and divine knowledge. This, indeed, was one object they had in coming to the New World. Cotton Mather, in presenting the considerations for the plantation of the colonies, says :— “The schools of learning and religion are so corrupted as (besides the unsupportable charge of education) most children, even the best and wittiest, and of the fairest hopes, are perverted, corrupted, and utterly overthrown by the multitude of evil examples and licentious behavior in these seminaries.”

“ The ends,” says Cotton Mather, “for which our fathers chiefly erected a college were that scholars might there be educated for the service of Christ and his churches, in the work of the ministry, and that the youth might be seasoned in their tender years with such principles as brought their blessed progenitors into this wilderness. There is no one thing of greater concernment to these churches, in present and after times, then the prosperity of that society. We cannot subsist without a college.”

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