Lessons from John Knox and John Calvin on Christian School Education
By John Knox

Seeing that God hath determined that His Church here on earth shall be taught not by angels but by men; and seeing that men are born ignorant of all godliness; and seeing, also, how God ceaseth to illuminate men miraculously, suddenly changing them, as He changed His Apostles and others in the primitive Church: it is necessary that your honors be most careful for the virtuous education and godly upbringing of the youth of this realm, if ye now thirst unfeignedly for the advancement of Christ’s glory, or desire the continuance of His benefits to the generation following.

As the youth must succeed to us, so ought we to be careful that they have knowledge and erudition, for the profit and comfort of that which ought to be most dear to us, to wit, the Church and Spouse of the Lord Jesus.

Therefore, we judge it necessary that every... church have a schoolmaster appointed....’

By John Calvin

Those to whom God has given the honor of having children, let them know that they are all the more obligated to take pains that their children are duly instructed. Thus if they wish to have good instruction, it is always necessary to begin with faith. For children could give the appearance of having all the virtue in the world, but that would he worth nothing, unless God be feared and honored by them.

How frequently we see those who take great pains that their children be indoctrinated in the business of the world! It is true that they provide excellent teachers for their children, but for the purpose of making a grand show. so that they might know some three words of Latin and be able to display at the dinner table that they converse easily and can put up a good front according to the world. Yet it is never a question of knowing God! It is the wrong way to procced! It is putting the cart before the horse!

John Knox, The History of the Reformation of tlie Religirw of Scotland (included in Knox’s Confession and The Book of Discipline) p. 382: -’John Calvin, Letters of John Calvin, Vol. II, pp. l9l- 192.