The New England Primer helped produce a high level of literate, self-taught citizens who valued righteousness and liberty. For over a hundred years the founding fathers and others learned to read using the Bible and this book which was first introduced in 1690. Even McGuffy used this text in his early days of teaching. Every page in this first major textbook of the land is based on Scripture.
The primer includes prayers, a rhyming alphabet, a Bible alphabet, several catechisms, Bible questions, a dialogue between Christ, youth, and the devil, and the advice John Rogers gave his nine children before he was martyred for Christ. It includes the Lord’s Prayer, a study of the Ten Commandments, and instruction in right living summarized in simple sentences like: Fear God. Tell no lies. Speak the truth.
Expanded by Wanda Sanseri, the text now includes the best in phonics instruction as well as nine simple-to-read stories made up of the 99 most frequently used words in English. Gary Sanseri has also included his summary of the gospel entitled, “A Clear Path to God.”