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BIBLE IN SCHOOLS PLANS OF MANY LANDS
This matter is bound up with "Bible Stories for particulars of "The Australian Plan.” and Poems” in the "Superintendents' Edition,” The Colorado Sunday School Association and but the Union Bible Selections Committee, the pastors of Gary, Indiana, are also put to which has endorsed “Bible Stories and great labor and expense to answer the multiPoems" as psychologically suitable to be read tudinous inquiries that come to them about to and by young people, is not in any way "The Colorado Plan” and the "Gary Plan," responsible for other “Bible Selections” in this respectively. No doubt the Educational Defirst part, nor for any opinions expressed in partment of Pennsylvania has similar eviit. This part is mostly occupied with exhibits dence of public interest in its new law making of plans of moral education now in harmoni- Bible reading compulsory in all its public ous and successful use in various Common- schools. To those who wish to study all these wealths.
and other plans it is also a burden that a Whenever a report appears in the press of dozen letters must be written to get informaa successful movement to make the Bible bet- tion which should be available in some one ter known by the pupils of public schools or up-to-date pamphlet or book. This record students of universities, the world-wide in- of “Plans” aims to meet that need, and will terest in this serious problem is quickly shown so lighten the demand upon the leaders of by many applications for documents giving these movements for the main facts that the full particulars. The North Dakota Sunday giving of further information to the few who School Association received, up to June, 1914, will need more detail will not be a burden, inquiries about “The North Dakota Plan” especially if each inquirer remembers to enfrom 435 cities in 35 States and Provinces, close a stamp or addressed envelope for the and a dozen from foreign lands, until the reply. The editor himself expects to give printing and postage cost became such a bur- supplemental information regularly in the den that a small charge for documents had to "20th Century Quarterly" (Washington, D. C., be made. A “Bible in States Schools League,” 50 cents a year) whenever new plans are sucin Wellington, New Zealand, exhausted its cessfully undertaken or old plans are maprinting supply and missionary funds in an- terially improved. swering calls, mostly from the United States,
Let us never rest until the Book of books is the first book opened each day in every school and college and university of the world.
Nathan C. Schaeffer, Pennsylvania State Superintendent of Instruction: "In preparing the pupil for citizenship the school should not ignore the fact that the civil oath has become a part of the civil code. It involves a solemn appeal to God as the author of truth and right. It presupposes belief in God and a knowledge of man's relations to his Maker.''
Bible Used in U. S. Supreme Court Since 1800. It is strange indeed that some lesser courts have decided that a book used in all courts cannot be used in public schools.
Unanimous Opinion of U. S. Supreme Court, February 29, 1892:
“The form of oath universally prevailing, concluding with an appeal to the Almighty; the custom of opening sessions of all deliberate bodies and most conventions with prayer; the prefatory words of all wills: 'In the name of God, Amen’; the laws respecting the observance of the Sabbath, with the general cessation of all secular business, and the closing of courts, legislatures, and other similar organizations which abound in every city, town, and hamlet ; the multitude of charitable organizations existing everywhere under Christian auspices ; the gigantic missionary associations with general support and aiming to establish Christian missions in every quarter of the globe-these and many other matters which might be noticed add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that THIS IS A CHRISTIAN NATION."
BIBLE IN SCHOOLS PLANS
OF MANY LANDS
Documents Gathered and Compiled for
John BURROUGHS: In this age of science we have heaped up great intellectual riches of the purely scientific kind. Our mental coffers are fairly bursting with our stores of the knowledge of material things. But what will it profit us if we gain the whole world and lose our own souls ? Must our finer spiritual faculties, whence come our love, our reverence, our humility, and our appreciation of the beauty of the world, atrophy? “Where there is no vision the people perish” -perish for want of a clear perception of the higher values of life. Where there is no vision, no intuitive perception of the great fundamental truths of the spiritual world, science will not save us. In such a case our civilization is like an engine running without a headlight.
Sir William Jones, familiar with the languages of twenty-eight nations, wrote: “I have carefully and regularly perused the Scriptures, and am of the opinion that the Bible, independent of its origin as divine, contains more important history and finer strains of eloquence than can be collected from all other books in whatsoever language they may be written.”
ILLUSTRATED BIBLE SELECTIONS COMMISSION
Copyright, 1914, Wilbur F. Crafts.
(These “ Plans" will be published separate from “ Bible Stories and Poems" at nominal price of 25 cents in cloth and 15 cents in paper—any profit going to free circulation—if $5,000 is contributed for this purpose.)
ACTION OF COUNCIL OF CHURCH BOARDS OF
EDUCATION Facsmile page from mimutes of meeting, January, 1914, The first paragraph is from a speech of Hon. P. P. Claxton, National Commissioner of Education
"The day will come when the Bible will be read in the public schools just as any other book. There is no good reason why the Bible should not have its rightful place in our school cur. riculum.”
The Rev. Wilbur F. Crafts, Ph. D., Superintendent of the International:Reform Bureau, špoke on: thie Australian : Plan of Bible reading in schools, limited to. selections: préviously agreed upon, and presented a modification of this plan in chapel readings for each week on one topic, and all from the Old Testament, but bearing on the New Testament international lesson used in the majority of Sunday schools. He expressed hope that as the Catholics and Jews were both issuing a new English translation of their Bibles, the printing of these selections in parallel columns from these two new translations, and the American standard revised, might create fresh interest in Bible studies among high school pupils and college students, and might help to put the uni. fying of these three groups of people in some plan of Bible reading.
The following resolution was adopted :
RESOLVED, That'a special committee be appointed on the reading and study of the Bible in schools and colleges for the purpose of sur. veying the entire field of the relation of Bible instruction to public education, with view to the presenting of a constructive report to this Council on available compilations of scripture for school readings and also on voluntary Bible courses such as those of the student departments of the Christian Associations.
RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Rev. Wilbur F. Crafts, Ph. D., be requested to co-operate in this work.
The President appointed the following committee :-Drs. J. W. Cochran, F. G. Gotwald, Thomas Nicholson, William E. Gardner, and Elias Thompson.
[Iu response to this request for co operation these exhibits of “Bible in Schools Plans in Many Lands'' have been gathered without cost to the Council.-Wilbur F. Crafts.)
Report of Rev. Wilbur F. Crafts, Ph. D. to.a Special Committee of the Council
of Church Boards of Education.
Educators are agreed that of all ancient peoples, the Hebrew, the Greek and the Roman contributed most influentially to human progress. Through the Hebrew, God gave us religion and altruism; through the Greek, art and intellectual culture; through the Roman, law and order. Accordingly a large place is conceded in modern courses of liberal education to the history and literature of Greece and Rome.
Why is so much less recognition given in public schools and universities to Hebrew history and literature, which has had a much larger influence upon modern life? Strange to say, that larger influence is the very reason. We exclude the Bible from many of our schools because the Hebrew literature has gripped us so influentially that we have divided denominationally on our interpretations of it. We do not divide into sects on interpretations of Socrates or Seneca. Undoubtedly the chief reason why New Zealand and Victoria, in Australasia, and ten American commonwealths have officially discountenanced Bible reading in public schools is that a large number of the friends of the Bible have assumed that because there has been sectarian controversy out of school over interpretations of a few Bible passages, its introduction in the schools must necessarily promote denominational strife among pupils and teachers. Another group of the Bible's friends—a very intellectual one-who have noted how the union of church and state has worked in other lands, argue that if the Bible is introduced in public schools, the same abuses and persecutions must inevitably follow here. Still another group of the Bible's friends—a very spiritual one-argue
that no good.cap, come from having unspiritual teachers required to read the Bible. A fourth division of the religious opposers of Ditle reading in public schools is composed of those who handle the Bible themselves in such an intensely sectarian spirit that they cannot conceive of any one else using it in an unsectarian way—not even as sublime literature or practical ethics.
It is these friends of the Bible that must bear the responsibility for whatever Bible exclusion exists, and for its scanty and hesitant recognition in schools and colleges where it is tolerated. Christians and Hebrews outnumber secularists a hundred to one. And yet it is this smallest and most bigoted sect whose views are adopted in our public schools and State universities because the friends of the Bible are unnerved by uncertainty as to what is the right thing to do.
The cure is a showing of the actual results of Bible reading in public schools.
The numerous records of harmonious work by Catholics and non-Catholics, including Jews, in Bible reading and Bible study in connection with public schools are more eloquent than any generalities.
On the old battlefield of parochial and public schools we are slowly building a worldwide temple of peace, whose foundation stones are being laid by independent builders in North Dakota, Colorado and Pennsylvania; in Gary, New York City, Pittsburgh and Morganza; in Australasia and Canada.
Facts which have been gathered from the ends of the earth, showing that men of all faiths have found ways to coöperate satisfactorily in moral