Family Lessons 77: No Grammar School


It was with some minor pleasure that, a few weeks after I terminated my teaching post at the grammar school at Skipton, that I found the names of some ancestors who lived in that town in the eighteenth century. There is no evidence that they attended the school, though it was the only establishment in the town during  that time, and any desiring an education would have sought a place there. If I could prove that my 8x great-grandfather, Thomas Capstack, sent there his two sons, Thomas and John, no-one would be happier. With more certainty it can be stated that his daughter and my 7x great-grandmother, Martha (born 1718), did not. A grammar school education was not then available to girls, for whom it was thought that cookery and needlework were the only curricula worth knowing. Although our own society despoils motherhood by informally expecting all women to work rather than raise little ones, education is now rightly available to all. How much talent and opportunity the world wasted by only educating the wealthy, or the males, or the free, or the whites, we cannot calculate. For all poor Martha’s and her sisters’ ignorance of geometry, literature, grammar and Latin, however, they might have known more gospel truth than many educated folk today. I pity the most educated persons in the world, who have degrees, diplomas and certificates, yet remain ignorant of the God who made them, and His incredible, saving gospel. Your knowledge of Christ and acceptance of His gospel are of far greater import than the GCSE grades you were awarded.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

Romans 1:20-23, New King James Version

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