We concluded our previous editorial with the ob­servation that only our children can be disciplined. Only they can be corrected because only in them is something which can be corrected and disciplined. If a farmer knew that a particular acre would produce only weeds, he would not spend any time on it. This is also spiritually true. To be sure, all is not Israel that is called Israel, and also with respect to carnal Israel do we have a calling. The fact remains, how­ever, that the church is not a mixed group, consisting of converted and unconverted, but the Church of the living God, with her elect children, and all things, also the carnal Israel, serve that Church of the living God. Hence, all instruction concerns primarily the elect, e­ven as all the labor of a farmer concerns primarily the crop.

This is a truth of tremendously practical signifi­cance. First, this explains why we do and can build Christian schools. Now we know that our labour shall not be in vain as in the Lord. Now we know that our Christian instruction is not based on what the child may become in the future, but on what he is as according to election, as bought and redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb of God, and as sanctified in Christ through the Spirit of the risen Lord. This means that our instruction does not rest on a pos­sibility or a probability, but on an accomplished fact.

Secondly, this truth is practically of the greatest significance because it determines our approach to the children. In our opening and closing prayers we can call upon the Name of the Lord as upon our Father who is also the Father of “these children,” Who has not only redeemed us and forgiven us our sins, but Who has also redeemed “these children” and forgiven them their sins. Now we can and must speak to them of the eternal love of God wherewith He has loved us in Christ Jesus and revealed particularly in the cross of Calvary, of the work of divine grace in our hearts and of our subsequent calling to walk as children of light in the midst of a world that lieth in darkness and knoweth not the living God. To be sure, this will evoke from carnal Israel an answer which reveals that they are not of the party of the living God and they must surely be admonished and warned according to the Word of God. But, this does not alter the fact that all our labours are primarily concerned with the chosen Israel of God.

Thirdly, this truth is tremendously important be­cause it must also determine the content of our in­struction. Then we will understand that our school is not a mission field but an institution in which the “man of God” must be perfected in order that he may be thoroughly furnished unto the performance of e­very good work. We, of course, do not make people of God. Neither do we speculate on the question whe­ther we have children of the Lord among us. But, we proceed from the certainty that we have God’s chil­dren in our midst and that they must be prepared to assume their divinely ordained and assigned place (in the midst of the world) when they shall have arrived to years of discretion.

A fifth and concluding observation which we would pass on to our readers (to these impressions others could undoubtedly be added) revolves about the question which we have repeatedly asked ourselves in connec­tion with our ninth graders when they shall have com­pleted their prescribed course of study: “What next?” Permit me at this time to remind our readers of this pertinent and undeniable fact. It is exactly the theory of Common Grace and our fight against worldly-mindedness which constitutes the origin and begin­ning of our Protestant Reformed Churches. To be sure, the error of Arminianism was also involved, revolving about the question whether the promise is for all or only for the elect, and far be it from us to minimize this heresy of Arminianism. Nevertheless, from a practical point of view, it was the issue of worldly-mindedness which lay at the root and the heart of our conflict. Years before 1924 this spirit of broad­mindedness was already present and working in the church. And, it is because we held to the view that God’s people are a distinctive people, with a distinc­tive calling, that we also today stand alone. It is this truth, together, of course, with the truth that the grace of God is sovereignly particular, which con­stitutes and must continue to constitute the very heart and fibre of our churches. It alone is our only right of existence; it alone is our sole hope and as­surance of continued existence.

Our denial of the theory of Common Grace and the need of our own Christian school should be a self-evident fact. We need not dwell at length upon this conception of Common Grace. Briefly, it is that con­ception which would have us believe that concord, a­greement, followship between the Church and the world is possible in all things earthly and civil. Speak­ing of a restraining operation of the grace of God and also of a positive operation of the Spirit of God upon the hearts of men, without renewing them, it would explain the good in the world of today, refers to God’s fellowship with the world as rooted in God’s covenant with the world as established with Noah and his family, and therefore advocates our fellowship with that wicked world. Common Grace lauds Athens, declares of the children of darkness that they often put the children of God to shame, wipes out the lines of distinction and demarcation between the Church and the world, nullifies the antithesis, destroys our dis­tinctiveness, defends and nurtures a worldly-minded­ness which is indeed the death of the Church of God in the midst of the world.

Moreover, that this issue of Common Grace is in­separably connected with the origin and beginning of our churches is beyond dispute. One can never divorce the origin and continued existence of our churches from the denial of this theory of Common Grace.

How, then, is it possible to deny the necessity of our school system?! The school, we understand, pre­pares our children exactly for their place in the midst of the world. Instruction within the church prepares the child to assume his place in the midst of the church, to partake of the means of grace: the preaching of the Word and the sacraments. But the school prepares that child for his place in the midst of the world. The school, therefore, prepares the child exactly for that sphere which is vitally connected with the conception of Common Grace. As Protestant Reformed Churches we firmly believe in the antithesis, our calling to walk everywhere as children of the light and from the prin­ciple of regeneration. And we certainly are of the conviction, are we not, that we must train and prepare our children exactly with a view to that antithetical calling. Must we, then, not have a school system of our own? Must we entrust our children, whom we must train to walk antithetically in the midst of the world, to those who would instruct them in the theory of Common Grace, in the conception that there is con­cord and agreement between light and darkness, the Church and the world, the heirs of the Kingdom and the citizens of this world?

Why do I write this? Because I am writing of my impressions. And this present school season has im­pressed me as never before with the necessity of our own Christian schools. O, do not say that we have a calling over against the present Christian school so­cieties and schools. Then I would ask of you the question: if we have such a calling over against these Christian school societies, to gain them, if possible, for our conception, are we fulfilling that calling? In the meantime, what is becoming of our children? Time marches on, and “opportunity knocks only once.” This is true particularly of our children in the sense that we have them only once. We cannot mend these things, cannot do what has been left undone. Children cross our path only once, and each succeeding period in the life of a child is as a rapidly passing shadow. We go back; the past cannot be recalled. Indeed, how this truth has been impressed upon us in this school sea­son! One can almost see the children grow and ad­vance! Soon another school year will have been written into the records. Failing to teach them the things that should be taught them, we are guilty of a double error: we have taught them things that should have been withheld from them, and we have neglected to in­struct them in the things which have been enjoined upon us.

Besides, what a wonderful opportunity we have in the school to instruct our children in the truths we hold dear! Do not misunderstand the undersigned. I am not a teacher. I realize this only too well. Never­theless, the school is a wonderful opportunity to in­culcate into our children our Protestant Reformed principles which are according to the Word of God.

O, I do not refer primarily to the Bible instruction which the covenant child receives at a Christian school. Without in any sense minimizing it, Bible instruction does not constitute an essential part in Christian school instruction. This they also receive in the home and in the church. That which constitutes the essence of the instruction received at a Christian school is that which the child receives there in distinction from the home and the church. History is the record of the work of the Lord throughout the ages, and dates give us God’s calendar in order that we may see His events in rela­tion to each other. And in that work of the Lord the Church of the living God occupies the central place. All things revolve about that Church. Babylonia, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Macedonia, Greece, Rome must all serve, in their own way, the coming of of the Son of God and of Man into the flesh, and, in Him, the Church whom God has loved from before the foundation of the world. Mighty kingdoms of the world come and go, appear upon the stage of this world but a little while, and the Israel of God continues through the ages. All the above named powers of the world come into contact with the Church of the living God and the result is that they all perish and disap­pear from the stage of this world, but the people called by the Name of the living God cannot be destroyed. God gathers His Church and all things must serve that amazing and very wonderful work of the Lord. Christ came in the fulness of time, did He not? And this means that He, and the Church of God in Him, stands in the very center of history. Indeed, our children must receive such a training that they may be able to assume their proper place in the midst of the world. And their calling is not to unite with the world and establish affinity with those who are not of the party of the living God, but to walk as the antithetic people of the Lord Who loved them and saved them. This, of course, applies to the entire course of study. Indeed, we repeat what we stated at the beginning of this paragraph. One thing, how­ever, is plain: a school system of our own is impera­tive. The Rev. Heys has written very pertinently on this matter in the not too distant past.

This also explains the impression which this school season has left upon me. We now have two schools of our own in this vicinity. Presently another group of children will graduate from our school. We have instructed them to the best of our ability. But, then they will leave us. And the question asserts itself and forces itself upon us: What next? May we also in this respect not be found wanting?

I had intended the preceding paragraph to be my concluding observation. However, I wish to add a few words at this time to the idea of Christian dis­cipline. Logically, these remarks should have been made when I discussed the subject of discipline. Dis­cipline, permit me to remark, is something which de­mands the fullest cooperation of the parents. This, too, has impressed me. One is amazed at times at the lack of respect for authority on the part of the children. At times they appear astonished because talking and whispering are forbidden in the class­room. They are quick to question the policy and pro­cedure as prescribed by the teacher and to come with suggestions of their own. They resent being admon­ished and, of course, are seldom in the wrong. To be sure, these phenomena are not exactly new. Never­theless, I do not hesitate to say that respect for authority hardly characterizes the young generation of today. I am sure that the teacher must cope with this problem as never before. And therefore it is true that the fullest cooperation of the parents is im­perative and absolutely necessary today as never be­fore. That this lack of respect for authority should be so prevalent today need not surprise us. It is cer­tainly the spirit of our age. It cannot be said that the world in which we today have a name and place fosters and encourages respect for authority. How­ever, this is all the more reason why we as parents should be constantly on the alert. Let us not ignore the danger by adopting the attitude that children will be children and that things are different than a gene­ration ago. Times may change, but Scripture’s em­phasis upon respect for those who are in authority remains the same. To ignore this implies that we court disaster,

These are but a few of the impressions which this school year have made upon me. Speaking now not in behalf of myself I would conclude with the plea that we constantly remember our teachers before the throne of God’s grace. Their task is not easy. We, as parents, sometimes have our hands full with our own children. How strenuous, then, is the position of the teacher who must busy him- or herself with many children, every day, and children which are not his or her own! They need our prayers and our fullest cooperation. May God bless our schools!

H. Veldman