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This is quite an indirect question. Having re-read the text, I think the one reference that could answer this would be the conversation that Kit has with John Holbrook in Chapter Two when John expresses his surprise about her ability to read. The surprise of John Holbrook is compounded and turned into shock when Kit tells him that she used to read history, poetry and plays. In response to this outrage, John Holbrook responds with his idea of what reading is for:
"There are no such books in Saybrook. In Boston, perhaps. But the proper use of reading is to improve our sinful nature, and to fill our minds with God's holy word."
The value of education, therefore, to the mind of John Holbrook and others like him, is only so that we can read and study the word of God and by so doing, "improve our sinful nature."
In the non-fictional setting, I believe that the Rev. Gersholm Bulkeley held this belief. In the story, he was John Holbrook's teacher which makes the previous answer make alot of sense as well.
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