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    CHAPTER I. CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

    WHATSOEVER is not Christian, is not becoming to Christians. A Christian education is the only education that can possibly be becoming to Christians. In Christian education the Book of Christianity must be preeminent. The Bible is the Book of Christianity.PBE 5.1

    The purpose of Christian education is to build up Christians. Nothing that is not Christian can ever properly be brought into the education of a Christian, any more than can anything that is not Christian be properly brought into any other phase of the life of the Christian. Therefore, the Book of Christianity,—the Bible,—must be the standard of Christian education; it must be the test of everything that enters into the education of a Christian; and it must supply all that is needed in the education of the Christian. And this contemplates education in the highest, broadest, and best sense—the all-round, practical development of the individual, mentally, physically, and morally.PBE 5.2

    It has been, and it is, too much supposed that Christianity has to do only with a sort of spiritualized existence, apart from the real occupations and practical things of life. This will never do. Christianity belongs in the deepest sense as a vital working force, in all that ever rightly can go to make up the sum of human life upon the earth. And Christian education is true to its name and profession only when it demonstrates this all-pervading power of Christianity as a vital element in all that can properly enter into the course of human life.PBE 5.3

    It can not be denied that the life of Christ is the demonstration of Christianity. He is the model Man: the Pattern of what every man must be to be a perfect Christian. And it is certain that Christ in human flesh demonstrating the Christian life on earth, put Himself in vital connection with every true relationship of human life upon this earth. He came into the world an infant; He grew up from infancy to manhood, as people in this world do; He met all that human beings in this world meet as they grow up; He met all the vicissitudes and experiences of human life, precisely, as to the fact, as all people meet them; for “in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren.” He was “in all points tempted like as we are;” and He worked as a carpenter with Joseph, until the day of His showing unto Israel in the active work of His preaching, healing, ministry. And He was just as much the Saviour of the world when He was sawing boards and making benches and tables, as He was when He was preaching the sermon on the mount. And this demonstrates that Christianity just as truly and as vitally enters into the mechanical or other affairs of every-day life as it does into the preaching of the divinest sermon that was ever delivered.PBE 6.1

    And yet, in all this Jesus was only the Word made flesh. The Word of God, in written form, was in the world before Jesus came in the flesh; but through the blindness and hardness of heart of men, that Word was not allowed to manifest itself truly in the flesh. He came that this might be allowed. In Him, the Word that was here before He came, was made flesh, and dwelt among men, as the model Man. Since, then, Jesus was the Word made flesh, nothing appeared in His life on earth, that was not already in the Word. And since that which He was in the flesh was only what the Word was that was here before He came, it is certain that it was by the Word of God, through the Spirit of God, that He was made to be what He was, in the flesh. And this demonstrates that the Word of God, the Bible, the Book of Christianity, contains that which will completely educate mankind in an allround, symmetrical life; and that no education is Christian that does not enter vitally into all the occupations and affairs of human life upon the earth.PBE 6.2

    The life of Christ, therefore, as it appeared upon the earth—that life being only the expression of the Word of God—causes to stand forth clearly and distinctly the great truth that the Bible, the Book of Christianity, is the greatest educational element, the greatest educational agency, the greatest educational Book, in the world. It is therefore true, that in the Word of God, the Bible, are “hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” as truly as in Him, who in the flesh was but the expression of that Word. Accordingly, the Word of God is given, in order “that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”PBE 7.1

    This is the position which the Word of God occupied as an educational factor in the view of Christianity in ancient time, and this estimate is grandly echoed by that eminent Christian, the morning star of Christianity in modern times, John Wycliffe: “There is no subtlety, in grammar, neither in logic, nor in any other science that can be named, but that it is found in a more excellent degree in the Scriptures.”PBE 8.1

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