With this line, Thomas Jefferson began the Virginia Statute For Religious Freedom in 1786. His intention was to convince the people that churches shouldn't be supported by government taxes. He had some heavy-hitting contenders: the churches of the era and the man who stated possibly the most enduring phrase of the Revolutionary War: Patrick Henry, "Give me liberty or give me death."
Imagine Patrick Henry as a friend. As a dinner companion, or mentor, or teacher, he would have been supreme, but as an opponent of ideals, he'd put the squeeze on one's convictions.
Jefferson stood strong. His faith was greater in truth and its ability to stand on its own.
Jefferson valued that all human beings were blessed by their creator with a free mind or the ability to choose, and because ultimately all decisions, whether heavily influenced or persuaded, are made by the free will of man, we must ensure he has the tools to make the best decisions.
Hence, the purpose of education: to teach a child, a teenager, an adult to think for oneself, in order to take full advantage of the great Godly gift. In order to think, to know how to think, one has to be subjected to texts, ideas, and philosophies, that one may be weighed against the other. A child's mind must be given math problems, concepts, difficult words to discern in context, philosophies to ponder, arguments with holes, sermons with truth. A person must learn the deeds of the mighty and the treachery of the small-minded that the consequences of both may be unwrapped, unfolded and exposed for righteousness or evil.
Education with the purpose of learning to think, is paramount to keeping synapses strong that enlarge the capacity to think, solve, and resolve.
The uneducated will follow. Will fear. Will choose ease.
The educated will lead, will believe, will choose difficulty when needed.
"Wheras almighty God has created the mind free..."
The purpose for education.