Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cotton Mather and teaching children

I don't think that Cotton Mather, a puritan preacher from the very late 1600s, had 21st century Sunday School teachers in mind when he wrote a brief article entitled "The Education of Children."  But I couldn't help thinking on the dozens upon dozens of people who have helped shape my spirituality and understanding of the Bible.  So bravo Sunday School teachers of children!  May God use you greatly tomorrow as you pour a piece of your life into children.

Here's in the ending of Mather's article.

But the Freedom with which this Address is made unto you, is not so great as the Fervour that has animated it. My Fathers and Brethren, If you have any Love to God and Christ and Posterity; let [Godly] Schools be more Encouraged.
If you would not betray your Posterity into the very Circumstances of Savages, let Schools have more Encouragement. But in the Anguish, the Despair of Success to be otherwise found by this Address, I will Turn it from you unto the Almighty Hearer of Prayer.
And, O thou Saviour, and Shepherd of Thy New-English Israel: Be Entreated Mercifully to look down upon they Flocks in the Wilderness. Oh, give us not up to the Blindness and Madness of neglecting the Lambs in the Flocks. Inspire thy People, and all Orders of men among thy People with a just care for the Education of Posterity. Let Well-Ordered and well-instructed and well-maintained Schools, be the Honour and the Defence of our Land. Let Learning, and all the Helps and Means of it, be precious in our Esteem and by Learning, let the Interests of thy Gospel so prevail, that we may be made wise unto Salvation. Save us, O our Lord JESUS CHRIST. Save us from the Mischiefs and Scandals of an Uncultivated Offspring; Let this be a Land of Light, unto Thou, O Sun of Righteousness, do Thyself arise unto the World with Healing in thy Wings. Amen.

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