The New England PRIMER
LINKS TO OTHER PAGES:
School Prayer in America return to the first page. A Short Review Prayer and Bible reading in Americas school from the time the Pilgrims landed until now.
Jefferson and the Separation of Church and State. A review of how the First Amendment was changed.
During Colonial times in early America, the Founding Fathers realized that for the Republic to succeed, the society must follow the moral laws of the Bible. As John Adams pointed out. . .
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
The founders also realized that a moral society comes from children who learned the Bible. Early on the Bible was used as a text book for learning to read as well as learning morals. A new school text book, was published in 1690 and became the standard text book for the next 200+ years. This text book was the New England Primer. It taught the children to read, at the same time teaching them stories from the Bible.
The ABC's are learned by stories from the Bible. Such as for A: In Adams fall, we sinned all." thus teaching about Adam & Eve eating from the tree of knowledge, breaking Gods rule, and humans becoming sinful. The letter B: "Heaven to find, the Bible mind." The Bible is the book which teaches you how to behave in order to get to heaven and find God. for "Christ crucify'd." D: "The Deluge drown'd the Earth around. Teaches about the great flood. E: "Elijah hid fly Ravens fed." Teaches the story of Elijah.
There is a verse for each letter of the alphabet, and the teacher would explain the verse by telling the story or reading it from the Bible. Thus by the time the children learned their A, B, Cs they were also well acquainted with the Bible stories as well, and concepts of right and wrong.
Many of the early citizens of this country considered education's primary job was to make moral citizens for a better society. A Christian moral education was more important in their eye's then learning Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. Good character made good citizens, good neighbors, and a moral government.
As the 20th century began the New England Primer, along with the McGuffey Reader where still widely in use, but starting to be phased out. By the middle of the 20th century, schools switched to readers like "Dick and Jane" which no longer taught the Bible stories. Test scores began to drop, along with a moral decline of our youth and a rising crime rate.
One of the main reasons to abandon the New England Primer, was a growing number of non Christian families who did not want their children exposed to the Bible. Secular educators pushed to remove Christian education from the public schools. The ACLU, an organization closely tied to the Communist Party, brought numerous lawsuits against Christianity being taught in the public schools. The Supreme Court ruled that public schools can not teach religion, because it violated the Separation of Church and State.
Today God is banned from our public schools, and the education tends to undermine the Christian principles taught for one hour on Sunday mornings. The rest of the week children learn the pagan secular ways. It is little wonder that the Church in America continues to shrink, and it is also little wonder that our government is becoming more and more corrupt.
The New England PRIMER was first published in 1690. Above is the cover of a reproduction copy from the 1777 edition.
These copies are available from WallBuilders.
Children would learn a rhyme for each letter of the alphabet, which would be tied to Scripture.
Last Update Feb. 2018