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Webster says, "the word secular has reference to something pertaining to this present world, not to things spiritual or holy; not to things relating to the soul, but to the body." ...Then things secular relate to this world and are carnal; but things relating to Christianity have reference to the world to come and are spiritual. Then, is it not manifest that Christian and secular schools are antagonistic; and if the first is right, the second is wrong—the one is for, the other against Christ—antichrist.
Then is it not manifestly wrong for a nation or state in their public schools, to give a secular and to withhold a Christian education? Has a state a right to command the former and withhold the latter? Or has a nation a right to say that her children shall be heathen and not Christian? infidels and not believers? Can kings thus become nursing fathers and their queens nursing mothers? Isaiah 49:23. Or can their officers thus become peace, and their exactors righteousness? Isaiah 60:17. If nations would have their children to be Christians, they must give them a Christian education and not one that is secular only. And if we would give our children a Christian education, we must do so while they are young; "train up a child in the way he should go." Prov. 22:6. "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness." Matt. 6:33.
A secular education never yet made any one a Christian, and never will, never yet made any one better, but worse. All who either give or receive a secular or heathen education, are committing sin, not performing duty: because "without faith it is impossible to please God." Heb. 11:6; And "whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Romans 14:23. Whatsoever we do without knowing that we are performing duty—without knowing that we are doing what God has commanded in his word, is sin, not duty.
The teacher in teaching and the scholar in learning heathen literature cannot know that they are right, but that they are wrong. And so, the legislature in setting aside Christian, and in establishing secular education in its stead, cannot know that they are right; for this is all done in open violation of the divine law; it is done in unbelief and disobedience, with a hardened and blinded conscience. It is a virtual legislating against the Scriptures of truth, against Christianity and its author. When God says, "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths," Prov. 3:6, he means nations as well as individuals. Psalm 72:11; Psalm 9:17. And in acknowledging him, our faith "must stand not in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect, yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought." 1 Cor. 2:5,6.
None have ever profited by a secular education, until they first become Christians. All are the children of wrath [Eph. 2:3.] until they become Christians, but when they become Christians they are heirs of all things—they being the children of the free woman...
Then to seek first for a secular education for our children is to seek first for that which will lead them to dishonor God and destroy themselves. Those who seek first a secular education, are reversing the divine order, which is to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, by way of seeking first a Christian education. Without this how can we call on him in whom we have not believed? and how can we believe in him of whom we have not heard? and how can we hear without a preacher, or teacher? and how can they preach except they be sent? Romans 10:14,15. (2.)
If nations would have a Christian education for their children, they must have Christian teachers to teach them; and Christian teachers only. God’s plan of teaching children is not first to train them by secular unbelieving teachers to be sons of Belial, and then by religious teachers to be sons of God. It is not His plan first to provide secular and then Christian teachers, but to provide Christian teachers only. "But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself." Psalm 4:3. And it is only the godly that the Lord sets apart for himself, "in every station in life, but especially to train his elect to be children of the kingdom."
Then before the nations can have a Christian education for their children, they must choose such teachers as Christ himself has chosen, and such only—Christian and not secular. A secular education never yet qualified any person for teaching or receiving the true Christian faith or practice, and never can; because things secular pertain to this world, not to that which is to come; to things carnal, not to things spiritual or holy. Those who would have the Christian faith and practice must be taught by Christ, by those sent by him for that purpose. Isa. 54:13.
Again, it does not belong to nations to educate either the old or young, themselves or others. Christ himself appointed all the teachers both of the present and past dispensations. He said to his apostles, "Go teach all nations." Matt. 28:19. None need to be taught more than the nations: "for all the gods are idols dumb, which blinded nations fear." Psalm 96:5. "That ye walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having their understanding darkened." Eph. 4:17...
And the Christian magistrate knows that these great attainments never can be made in either church or state without a faithful ministry and faithful church courts. It is thus that the faithful teachers may be trained and set apart for the work of teaching. When Christ gave some pastors and teachers, He gave them authority and power to train, set apart, and ordain other pastors and teachers; and thus these church officers are to be perpetuated in the church, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, etc.Eph. 4:11. But Christ never gave any such power or authority to an ungodly and unbelieving state, or to any of their unbelieving secular teachers; but all the attainments that ever can be made by unbelieving states, and their unbelieving secular teachers is to make attainments in doing evil. "Evil men and seducers wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." 2 Tim. 3:13.
Faithful pastors and teachers of Christ’s appointment, are "as the path of the just that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." Prov. 4:18. "They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and forever." Dan. 12:3. All such are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. But these carnal, worldly minded teachers, that have nothing to recommend them but their so-called morality—no fear of God or regard for man—no faith, repentance, love, or new obedience, are not the salt of the earth, nor the light of the world. Such have no advantage over so-called civilized heathens; for, in spite of all their so-called morality, they are still "walking as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart." Eph. 4:17.