The New England Primer
The New England Primer became a textbook for children among colonists and early Americans in the 18th century. It was created by the Puritans who made settlement in Boston, Massachusetts. You may view or download a full version of the New England Primer (1777 edition) over here.
I created a printable called The Bible Primer ABCs, which is an updated version of the New England Primer. The contents of this printable is primarily taken from the 1777 and 1805 revised editions of the New England Primer. The first known versions of the Primer only contained 24 letters of the alphabet, which did not include the letters I and U. This is said to be a great influence of the Latin language, which made no difference between the letters I/J and U/V.
I included the contents for the letter V from the later version of the Primer. I also added new content for the letter I as it was missing in both editions. Then I took the liberty of modernizing some of the texts while sticking to content of earlier editions that provided a more Biblical and theological emphasis.
The Bible Primer ABCs
It is my hope that children will learn their Bible and theology along with their ABCs, as it was in times past. Just as Charles Spurgeon once exhorted,
Let us from the beginning mingle the name of Jesus with their A B C. Let them read their first lessons from the Bible. It is a remarkable thing that there is no book from which children learn to read so quickly as from the New Testament: there is a charm about that book which draws forth the infant mind. But let us never be guilty, as parents, of forgetting the religious training of our children; for if we do we may be guilty of the blood of their souls.
Young children then learned their life is brief, and so cling they must cling to Jesus by faith for life everlasting. Hard truths or difficult doctrines are not concealed. Thus, the Shorter Catechism was also included in the New England Primer. How much more do we need to address these things to our children today!
It is my prayer that we as parents will teach these truths to our children, and see them grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
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