True Education


Chapter 2—The Eden School

The system of education instituted at the beginning of the world was to be a model for human beings throughout all time. As an illustration of its principles a model school was established in Eden. The Garden was the schoolroom, nature was the lesson book, the Creator Himself was the instructor, and the parents of the human family were the students. TEd 14.1

Created to be “the image and glory of God” (1 Corinthians 11:7), Adam and Eve had received endowments worthy of their high destiny. Graceful and symmetrical in form, their countenances glowing with the tint of health and the light of joy and hope, they bore in outward resemblance the likeness of their Maker. Nor was this likeness manifest in the physical nature only. Every faculty of mind and soul reflected the Creator’s glory. Adam and Eve were made but “little lower than the angels” (Hebrews 2:7) that they might not only discern the wonders of the visible universe but comprehend moral responsibilities and obligations. In the midst of the beautiful scenes of nature untouched by sin, our first parents were to receive their education. TEd 14.2

Our heavenly Father personally directed their education. Often they were visited by His messengers, the holy angels, and received counsel and instruction from them. Often as they walked in the garden in the cool of the day they heard the voice of God, and held communion with Him face to face. His thoughts toward them were “thoughts of peace, and not of evil.” Jeremiah 29:11. His every purpose was their highest good. TEd 14.3

To Adam and Eve was committed the care of the garden, “to dress it and to keep it.” Genesis 2:15. Useful occupation was appointed them as a blessing, to strengthen the body, expand the mind, and develop the character. TEd 15.1

The book of nature afforded an exhaustless source of instruction and delight. On every leaf of the forest and stone of the mountains, in every shining star, in earth and sea and sky, God’s name was written. With leaf and flower and tree, and with every living creature, the dwellers in Eden held converse, gathering from each the secrets of its life. God’s glory in the heavens, the innumerable worlds in their orderly revolutions, “the balancings of the clouds” (Job 37:16), the mysteries of light and sound, of day and night—all were objects of study by the students of earth’s first school. TEd 15.2

The laws and operations of nature, and the great principles of truth that govern the spiritual universe, were opened to their minds by the infinite Author of all. In “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 4:6), their mental and spiritual powers developed, and they realized the highest pleasures of their holy existence. TEd 15.3

As it came from the Creator’s hand, not only the Garden of Eden but the whole earth was exceedingly beautiful. No taint of sin or shadow of death marred the fair creation. God’s glory “covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise.” “The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” Habakkuk 3:3; Job 38:7. The earth was a fit emblem of Him who is “abundant in goodness and truth” Exodus 34:6. It was a fit study for those who were made in His image. TEd 15.4

The Garden of Eden was a representation of what God planned that the whole earth would become. It was His purpose that, as the human family increased in numbers, they would establish other homes and schools like the one He had given. Thus in time the whole earth would be occupied with homes and schools where the words and works of God would be studied, and where the students would be fitted more and more fully to reflect, throughout endless ages, the light of the knowledge of His glory. TEd 15.5