Ellen G. White Writings

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Fundamentals of Christian Education, Page 442

Chapter 57—A Divine Example

From the earliest times the faithful in Israel had given much attention to the matter of education. The Lord had directed that the children, even from babyhood, should be taught of His goodness and His greatness, especially as revealed in His law, and shown in the history of Israel. Through song and prayer, and lessons from the Scriptures, adapted to the opening mind, fathers and mothers were to instruct their children that the law of God is an expression of His character, and that as they received the principles of the law into the heart, the image of God was traced on mind and soul. In both the school and the home, much of the teaching was oral, but the youth also learned to read the Hebrew writings; and the parchment rolls of the Old Testament Scriptures were open to their study.

In the days of Christ, the religious instruction of the young was thought to be so important that the town or city which did not provide schools for this purpose, was regarded as under the curse of God. Yet in both the school and the home, the teaching had become mechanical and formal. Since “in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren” (Hebrews 2:17), and Jesus gained knowledge as we may do, the intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures, which He evinced in His ministry, testifies to the diligence with which, in those early years, He gave Himself to the study of the sacred word.

And day by day He gained knowledge from the great library of animate and inanimate nature. He who had created all things, was now a child of humanity, and He studied the lessons which His own hand had written in earth and sea and sky. The parables by which, during His ministry, He loved to teach His lessons of truth, show how open His spirit was to the influences of nature, and how, in His youth, He had delighted to gather the spiritual teaching from the surroundings of His

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