Samuel Cooper in his 1780 Sermon “On the Day of the Commencement of the Constitution” aptly ties faith and education together and reminds us what is at stake in the schools of our nation. When faith is removed from schools our very freedom is imperiled. Reflect:
Neither piety, virtue, or liberty can long flourish in a community, where the education of youth is neglected. How much do we owe to the care of our venerable ancestors upon this important object? Had not they laid such foundations for training up their children in knowledge and religion, in science, and arts, should we have been so respectable a community as we this day appear? Should we have understood our rights so clearly? or valued them so highly? or defended them with such advantage? Or should we have been prepared to lay that basis of liberty, that happy constitution, on which we raise such large hopes, and from which we derive such uncommon joy? We may therefore be confident that the schools, and particularly the university, founded and cherished by our wise and pious fathers, will be patronized and nursed by a government which is so much indebted to them for its honour and efficacy, and the very principles of its existence. The present circumstances of those institutions call for the kindest attention of our rulers; and their close connection with every public interest, civil and religious, strongly enforces the call.
To read the full sermon, click here.