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Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students

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    The Classics

    In the colleges and universities, thousands of youth devote a large part of the best years of life to the study of Greek and Latin. And while they are engaged in these studies, mind and character are molded by the evil sentiments of pagan literature, the reading of which is generally regarded as an essential part of the study of these languages.CT 381.3

    Those who are conversant with the classics declare that “the Greek tragedies are full of incest, murder, and human sacrifices to lustful and revengeful gods.” Far better would it be for the world were the education gained from such sources to be dispensed with. “Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?” Proverbs 6:28. “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.” Job 14:4. Can we, then, expect the youth to develop Christian character while their education is molded by the teaching of those who set at defiance the principles of the law of God?CT 381.4

    In casting off restraint, and plunging into reckless amusement, dissipation, and vice, students are but imitating that which is kept before their minds by these studies. There are callings in which a knowledge of Greek and Latin is needed. Some must study these languages. But the knowledge of them essential for practical uses might be gained without a study of literature that is corrupt and corrupting.CT 382.1

    And a knowledge of Greek and Latin is not needed by many. The study of dead languages should be made secondary to a study of those subjects that teach the right use of all the powers of body and mind. It is folly for students to devote their time to the acquirement of dead languages, or of book knowledge in any line, to the neglect of a training for life's practical duties.CT 382.2

    What do students carry with them when they leave school? Where are they going? What are they to do? Have they the knowledge that will enable them to teach others? Have they been educated to be true fathers and mothers? Can they stand at the head of a family as wise instructors? The only education worthy of the name is that which leads young men and women to be Christlike, which fits them to bear life's responsibilities, fits them to stand at the head of their families. Such an education is not to be acquired by a study of heathen classics....CT 382.3

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