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OF THE BIBLE
OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
GEORGE B. CHEEVER, D.D.
ROBERT CARTER & BROTHERS,
No. 285 BROADWAY.
LC 111 .C5 1854
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1853, by
In the Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New York.
THOMAS B. SMITH,
216 William St., N. Y.
THE argument in these pages was constructed with special reference to some labored and plausible endeavors to commend to the Christian community the banishment of the Bible and religious instruction from our Common Schools. These endeavors are made with reference to the demands of a portion of the leaders of a particular sect, and for a temporary purpose; it is the priests of Romanism, and not the common people, nor their children, who would break up our common school system for sectarian purposes, and shut out the light and influence of the Word of God.
It ought never to be forgotten that we are laying the foundations of many generations. Our schoolsystem, and the principles on which we ground it, or by which we alter it, must not be contemplated through the eye-glasses of a present short-sighted
sect, or political party, or temporary prejudice, but through the vista of a hundred generations, and a thousand years. To-day indeed we legislate for only twenty-five millions; to-morrow for a hundred millions. Yet the project is up for legislating the Bible and religion out of our schools, and thus providing for the training of the hundreds of millions of the future generations of this country.
The question is not for ourselves, but for our children, and our children's children. The question is not local, but a question for the whole country. It is argued on principles of exclusion on the one · side, that apply everywhere; and on principles of religion and of right for the human race, on the other hand, that apply everywhere. If we, in this generation, get the Bible and religion effectually out of our schools, ignoring it, or legalizing its exclusion, and putting the ban of sectarian ignominy upon it, another generation will not be likely to re store it to its rightful place, or to redeem themselves from the fetters of this dreadful mistake. There are those who would establish in our schoolsystem the thunder of the Vatican, with an Index Expurgatorius for our whole school literature; and even good men are fearfully influenced by their sophistry.