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    Chapter 56—Academy and College Training

    Many Losing the Way in Worldly Institutions—It is a terrible fact, and one that should make the hearts of parents tremble, that in so many schools and colleges to which the youth are sent for mental culture and discipline, influences prevail which misshape the character, divert the mind from life's true aims, and debase the morals. Through contact with the irreligious, the pleasure loving, and the corrupt, many, many youth lose the simplicity and purity, the faith in God, and the spirit of self-sacrifice that Christian fathers and mothers have cherished and guarded by careful instruction and earnest prayer.CG 328.1

    Many who enter school with the purpose of fitting themselves for some line of unselfish ministry become absorbed in secular studies. An ambition is aroused to win distinction in scholarship and to gain position and honor in the world. The purpose for which they entered school is lost sight of, and the life is given up to selfish and worldly pursuits. And often habits are formed that ruin the life both for this world and for the world to come.1The Ministry of Healing, 403.CG 328.2

    Religious Home Influences Are Effaced—You pray, “Lead us not into temptation.” Then do not consent for your children to be placed where they will meet unnecessary temptation. Do not send them away to schools where they will be associated with influences that will be as tares sown in the field of their heart.CG 328.3

    In the home school, during their early years, train and discipline your children in the fear of God. And then be careful lest you place them where the religious impressions they have received will be effaced, and the love of God taken out of their hearts. Let no inducement of high wages or of apparently great educational advantages lead you to send your children away from your influence, to places where they will be exposed to great temptations. “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:36, 37.2Manuscript 30, 1904.CG 328.4

    Our Colleges Are Ordained of God—When I was shown by the angel of God that an institution should be established for the education of our youth, I saw that it would be one of the greatest means ordained of God for the salvation of souls.... If the influence in our college is what it should be, the youth who are educated there will be enabled to discern God and glorify Him in all His works; and while engaged in cultivating the faculties which God has given them, they will be preparing to render Him more efficient service.3Testimonies For The Church 4:419-422.CG 329.1

    The youth are to be encouraged to attend our schools, which should become more and more like the schools of the prophets. Our schools have been established by the Lord.4Fundamentals of Christian Education, 489.CG 329.2

    Advantages of Experience in School Home—To a great extent children who are to receive an education in our schools will make far more permanent advancement if separated from the family circle where they have received an erroneous education. It may be necessary for some families to locate where they can board their children and save expense, but in many cases it would prove a hindrance rather than a blessing to their children.5Fundamentals of Christian Education, 313.CG 329.3

    School Home for Wayward Daughter—The enemy has had his way with your daughter until his toils have bound her about like bands of steel, and it will require a strong, persevering effort to save her soul. If you have success in this case, there must be no halfway work. The habits of years cannot easily be broken. She should be placed where a steady, firm, abiding influence is constantly exercised. I would advise you to put her in the college at -----; let her have the discipline of the boardinghouse. It is where she ought to have been years ago.CG 330.1

    The boardinghouse is conducted upon a plan that makes it a good home. This home may not suit the inclinations of some, but it is because they have been educated to false theories, to self-indulgence and self-gratification; and all their habits and customs have been in a wrong channel. But, my dear sister, we are nearing the end of time; and we want now, not to meet the world's tastes and practices, but to meet the mind of God, to see what saith the Scriptures, and then to walk according to the light which God has given us. Our inclinations, our customs and practices, are not to have the preference. God's Word is our standard.6Testimonies For The Church 5:506.CG 330.2

    Resident Students—It seems that some teachers think that none of the children and young people whose parents live in the vicinity of a school should have school privileges unless they live with their teachers in the school home. This is to me a new and strange idea.CG 330.3

    There are young people whose home influences have been such that it would be greatly to their advantage to live for a time in a well-regulated school home. And for those who live where they must of necessity leave their own homes in order to enjoy school privileges, the school homes are a great blessing. But the parental home where God is feared and obeyed is, and ever should be, the best place for young children, where under the proper training of their parents they may enjoy the care and discipline of a religious family, administered by their own parents....CG 330.4

    Regarding the youth that are of suitable age to attend a boarding school, let us avoid making unnecessary and arbitrary rules that would separate from their parents those who live in the vicinity of our schools....CG 331.1

    Unless the parents are convinced that it would be for the best interests of their children to place them under the school home discipline, they should be permitted to keep them under their own control as far as possible. In some places parents living near the school may see that their children would be benefited by living at the school home, where they can receive certain lines of instruction that they could not receive so well in their own homes. But let it not be urged that children must in all cases be separated from their parents in order to get the advantages of any one of our schools....CG 331.2

    Parents are the natural guardians of their children, and they have a solemn responsibility to oversee their education and training.CG 331.3

    Can we not understand that the parents, who have watched for years the development of their children, should know best the kind of training and management they should have in order to bring out and cultivate the best traits of character in them? I should advise that children from homes within two or three miles of a school should be allowed to attend the school while living at home and having the benefits of parental influence. Wherever possible, let the family be held together.7Letter 60, 1910.CG 331.4

    All Children to Have Educational Privileges—The church is asleep and does not realize the magnitude of this matter of educating the children and youth. “Why,” says one, “what is the need of being so particular to educate our youth thoroughly? It seems to me that if you take a few who have decided to follow a literary calling or some other calling that requires a certain discipline, and give due attention to them, that is all that is necessary. It is not required that the whole mass of our youth be so well trained. Will not this answer every essential requirement?” I answer, No, most decidedly not.... All our youth should be permitted to have the blessings and privileges of an education at our schools, that they may be inspired to become laborers together with God. They all need an education, that they may be fitted for usefulness, qualified for places of responsibility in both private and public life.8The Review and Herald, February 13, 1913.CG 332.1

    A Balanced School Program—The faculties of the mind need cultivation, that they may be exercised to the glory of God. Careful attention should be given to the culture of the intellect, that the various organs of the mind may have equal strength, by being brought into exercise, each in its distinctive office. If parents allow their children to follow the bent of their own minds, their own inclination and pleasure, to the neglect of duty, their characters will be formed after this pattern, and they will not be competent for any responsible position in life. The desires and inclinations of the young should be restrained, their weak points of character strengthened, and their overstrong tendencies repressed.CG 332.2

    If one faculty is suffered to remain dormant, or is turned out of its proper course, the purpose of God is not carried out. All the faculties should be well developed. Care should be given to each, for each has a bearing upon the others, and all must be exercised in order that the mind may be properly balanced. If one or two organs are cultivated and kept in continual use because it is the choice of your children to put the strength of the mind in one direction to the neglect of other mental powers, they will come to maturity with unbalanced minds and inharmonious characters. They will be apt and strong in one direction, but greatly deficient in other directions just as important. They will not be competent men and women. Their deficiencies will be marked and will mar the entire character.9Testimonies For The Church 3:26.CG 332.3

    Evils of Constant, Year-round Study—Many parents keep their children at school nearly the year round. These children go through the routine of study mechanically, but do not retain that which they learn. Many of these constant students seem almost destitute of intellectual life. The monotony of continual study wearies the mind, and they take but little interest in their lessons; and to many the application to books becomes painful. They have not an inward love of thought and an ambition to acquire knowledge. They do not encourage in themselves habits of reflection and investigation....CG 333.1

    Close reasoners and logical thinkers are few, for the reason that false influences have checked the development of the intellect. The supposition of parents and teachers that continued study would strengthen the intellect has proved erroneous, for in many cases it has had the opposite effect.10Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 84, 85.CG 333.2

    Censure Often Justly Belongs to Parents—The teacher should not be expected to do the parents’ work. There has been, with many parents, a fearful neglect of duty. Like Eli, they fail to exercise proper restraint; and then they send their undisciplined children to college, to receive the training which the parents should have given them at home.CG 333.3

    The teachers have a task which few appreciate. If they succeed in reforming these wayward youth, they receive but little credit. If the youth choose the society of the evil-disposed and go on from bad to worse, then the teachers are censured and the school is denounced. In many cases the censure justly belongs to the parents. They had the first and most favorable opportunity to control and train their children, when the spirit was teachable, and the mind and heart were easily impressed. But through the slothfulness of the parents, the children are permitted to follow their own will, until they become hardened in an evil course.11Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 91.CG 334.1

    Parents to Sustain Teacher's Authority—One of the greatest difficulties with which teachers have had to contend is the failure on the part of parents to co-operate in administering the discipline of the college. If the parents would stand pledged to sustain the authority of the teacher, much insubordination, vice, and profligacy would be prevented. Parents should require their children to respect and obey rightful authority. They should labor with unremitting care and diligence to instruct, guide, and restrain their children, until right habits are firmly established. With such training the youth would be in subjection to the institutions of society and the general restraints of moral obligation.12Testimonies For The Church 5:89.CG 334.2

    It is not to be left to children to judge whether the discipline of the college is reasonable or unreasonable. If the parents have confidence enough in the teachers and in the system of education adopted by the school to send their children to it, let them show good sense and moral stamina and support the teacher in enforcing discipline....CG 334.3

    Parents who are wise will feel very grateful that there are schools where lawlessness of any kind will not be tolerated, and where children will be trained to obedience rather than indulgence, and where good influences will be brought to bear upon them.CG 335.1

    There are some parents who purpose sending their demoralized children to school because they are incorrigible at home. Will these parents support the teachers in their work of discipline, or will they stand ready to believe every false report?13Manuscript 119, 1899.CG 335.2

    They Should Support School Discipline—Some parents who have sent their children to ----- have told them that if anything unreasonable were required of them not to submit, whoever might require it. What a lesson is this to give to children! In their inexperience how can they judge between what is reasonable and unreasonable?CG 335.3

    They may wish to be away at night, no one knows where, and if required by teachers or guardians to give an account of themselves, will call this unreasonable and an infringement on their rights. Their independence must not be interfered with. What power can rules or authority have upon these youth, while they consider any discipline an unreasonable restriction of their liberty?CG 335.4

    In many cases these youth have remained in school but a short period, returning home with an unfinished education, that they may have liberty to follow the bent of their untrained, undisciplined wills which they could not have at school. The lessons of indulgence taught them by an unwise father or mother have done their work for time and for eternity, and the loss of these souls will be set to their account.14Manuscript 119, 1899.CG 335.5

    An Education Outside the College Curriculum—Children and youth should cultivate habits of thoroughness in the matter of education. The college course does not embrace all the education which they are to receive. They may be constantly learning lessons from the things they see and hear. They may study from cause to effect, from the surroundings and the circumstances of life. They may learn every day something they must avoid, and something they may practice that will elevate and ennoble them, giving solidity to the character and strengthening in them those principles which are the foundation of noble manhood and womanhood.CG 336.1

    If they enter upon their education with careless purposes, well content to pass along without any particular effort on their part, then they will not reach the standard God would have them attain.15The Youth's Instructor, April 21, 1886.CG 336.2

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