Heritage of the Founding Fathers
Heritage of the Founding Fathers
The New England Primer
And the affect it had on a nation
bad ethics, and sad morals. When this generation of kids grows up to lead tomorrow, their decisions will be based on what they have been taught. If they have been taught through incorrect textbooks, the decisions they make as leaders will produce many unlikable consequences.
Textbooks were not always this way, though. For nearly two centuries, many grade students learned their school as well as moral lessons from the book, The New England Primer. Meant to teach students to read, this book was used by many prominent men, some of whom were America’s Founding Fathers. This book had a great impact on generations of students and leaders. Look at how letters were taught to elementary students: As can be seen from this example, the alphabet alone was not the only lesson school kids received from this book. The New England Primer also taught good morals through Bible lessons. The book also contained many questions such as: Who was the first man? Adam Who was the oldest man?Methuselah Who is Jesus Christ? The son of God. The questions did not stop there. Consider the difficulty for elementary students to answer these questions: What is the chief end of man?Man’s chief end is to glorify God and What do the Scriptures principally teach?The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requireth of man. What is God?God is a spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. These questions would be asked of a typical schoolchild beginning to read. The New England Primer also contained the Lord’s Prayer along with other prayers for students. When reading through this textbook one sees the impact the Bible had on it. If one looks at the Founding Fathers’ writings, speeches, and the documents written by them, one sees that the lessons of The New England Primer had their affect and helped shape, in the Founding Fathers’ case, a nation. Consider the statements of these prominent John Adams wrote: “Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love and reverence toward Almighty God… What a Utopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”3 “Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man toward God.” Gouverneur Morris3 “My only hope of salvation is in the infinite, transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the cross. Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins. I rely exclusively upon it. Come, Lord Jesus! Come quickly!” Benjamin Rush3 “But by the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!” George Washington 3 Students need to be taught in a Godly way that will bring about a generation with Godly
morals. America needs to go back to the one source that made her great – God and the Bible. Textbooks need to be rid of the wrong ethics and replaced with Godly teachings. By influencing today’s school kids, we are shaping the world of tomorrow.
1. Mansfield, Stephen. More Than Dates & Dead People. Cumberland House, Nashville, TN. © 2000.
2. The New England Primer. Wallbuilder Press, Aledo, TX. © 2003.
3. Federer, William. America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations. AmeriSearch
“The future is always built out of the materials of the past.”1 This quote, by Booker T. Washington, speaks truth to many areas of life including schooling. What students are taught in the classroom will be the building blocks of the next government and society. In American education it is essential that the values, morals, and lessons that are taught be good materials that promote a lifetime of wholesome, Godly, principles. Without this, one can be assured the next generation will not see its greatest potential and will become corrupt and bad. Unfortunately, in public schools of today, the textbooks are filled with teachings that instill in school kids wrong principals,