Sabbath Schools


Order of Contents

Reformation History
Bible Verses Against Hyper-Patriarchalism



Reformation History:  Catechism Classes for Children by the Minister

Primary Sources

ed. Fills, Robert – The Laws and Statutes of Geneva as well Concerning Ecclesiastical Discipline, as Civil Regiment…  1562

‘The Order Which Ought to be Kept for Little Children’, pp. 13-15

p. 69 of Published in Geneva by the Sound of Trumpet after the Accustomed Manner, Decreed in the Counsel, Hoping for better, God Willing

p. 79  of Other Proclamations Published by the Sound of a Trumpet, the 28th Day of February, and the 25th Day of March, the year of our Lord God, 1560

ed. Peterkin, Alexander – Records of the Kirk of Scotland, pp. 208-209  being an Act of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1639 during the 2nd Reformation


Secondary Sources

Leishman, Thomas – middle of p. 335  in Ritual of the Scottish Church  On the minister catechizing children on Sabbath afternoon

Stuart of Pardovan, William – p. 87, section 15  in Collections and Observations, Bk. 2, Title 1  The 1639 & 1649 Church of Scotland laws that ministers must catechize a portion of their parish every week

McMillan, William – top of p. 80  in The Public Worship of Presbyterian Scotland Historically Treated  About Frankfort Germany in the 1550’s, where John Knox was, which was a hub of reformation

Ainslie, J.L. – pp. 56-57  of The Doctrines of Ministerial Order in the Reformed Churches of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries  1940

“The Reformed minister had other work and duties besides that of preaching…  He had also the catechizing of the children, to be done regularly every Sunday (Heyer, [The Ordinances of Geneva,] p. 265; Peterkin, [Records of the Kirk of Scotland,] pp. 208-209) — a most important duty, regarded as such in those days, and which we may think of as taking the place of the modern Sunday school.  There was catechizing of adults as well as children.”




Alexander, Archibald – Suggestions in Vindication of Sunday-Schools  1829  46 pp.



That the Elders (and others) are not Constrained to Always Interact & Relate to the Subordinates of the Family through the Father

Teachers of the Church instructing young people directly, not through their parents:

Ps. 34:11  “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.”

Lk. 2:42-49  “And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.  And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.  But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought Him…  And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.  And it came to pass, that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions…  And when they saw Him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, ‘Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.’  And He said unto them, ‘How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?'”


The Apostle Paul

Directing Timothy, a minister, to entreat ladies directly:

1 Tim. 5:1-2  “Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father…  the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.”

Acts 16:13-14  “And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.  And a certain woman named Lydia…  which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.”


The Apostles Addressing Children Directly in Letters:

Eph. 6:1-3  “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;  That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”

1 Jn. 2:13  “I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.”

1 Jn. 5:21  “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”


David Speaking to Abagail apart from her Husband:

1 Sam. 25:32-34  “And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me:  And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.  For in very deed, as the Lord God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.”




The teacher of God says:  “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.”

Ps. 34:11