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by Carlton Pruitt 
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Francis Bacon English author and philosopher (1561-1626) once said, "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention."

How many books have you tasted or swallowed in your lifetime? How about chewed and digested? To say I value books would be an understatement. I highly value books if they are good and full or moral content. I value the Bible the most because it is infallibly inspired and authoritative so that it alone and in its entirety is the word of God.

I first came upon the above Francis Bacon quote when I was perhaps in my late teens beginning junior college or perhaps around my senior year in high school and I remember thinking to myself the Bible is certainly a book to be chewed and digested isn't it? The Bible is the written word of God inspired by the Spirit of the living God. The Bible was a book I came to love and memorize. Using study helps I came to learn that it was written by over forty different people over a period of about 1500 years. It reveals the mind of God therefore we are to know it. It also reveals the heart of God therefore we are to love it and it reveals the will of God therefore we are to obey it. This is something the saints of God delight in doing. They study to show themselves approved unto God rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15) If there is one book you should memorize from it is from the Bible. Psalm 119:11 "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I
might not sin against thee." Is that motivation enough for memorizing Holy Scripture?

If we were born in a household without the privilege of a Christian upbringing then we may not have been taught to read the Bible. Instead of reading this great book we may have read some "junk books". A Junk book, like junk food, isn't likely to leave us in a healthy state of mind for very long even it the book makes us feel good or titillates our imagination. Such books seldom teach morals from a Biblical perspective.

My upbringing was in a somewhat religious setting but I was never exposed to what one may call the classics or good biographies while living with my great grandmother. Some of the books I recall as a young boy were an old Mother Goose book. I did enjoy looking through this as it was full of nursery rhymes such as "Humpty Dumpty" I recall practically nothing from my secular textbooks except a quaint phrase as in "see Flip run". This was perhaps from first or second grade. Then I remember a big children's story book Bible full of pictures of such heroes as David who fought the giant Goliath. My mother bought this for me and I will always love her for it. Her upbringing, like mine, certainly wasn't ideal for knowing God but she had enough God in her soul to pass on to me what religious affections she possessed.

Books are wonderful carriers of ideas and good books carry good ideas that center around God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, salvation from sin and other related themes.

How much better it would have been growing up to have read something like the McGuffey Readers or the New England Primer. Have you heard of these before? If not you've missed out just like I did.

The New England Primer was the first reading primer designed for the American Colonies and was published between 1687 and 1690 by English printer Benjamin Harris, who had come to Boston Massachusetts in 1686 to escape the brief Catholic ascendancy under James II. It taught the alphabet using Biblical principles such as In Adam's fall We sinned all. Thus children learned that the first letter of the alphabet was "A." To learn the next letter of the alphabet "B" children would memorize Thy life to mend, This Book attend referring to the Bible. "C" The Cat doth play, And after slay "D" A Dog will bite a thief at night.

Compare this to some of the Ginn Basic Readers which I was taught from. In front of me is an orange copy of ON CHERRY STREET THE GINN BASIC READERS [REVISED]. Thumbing through the inside of this school book I do not find one mention of God or the Bible.

Is it any wonder why public school children are basically ignorant of God, the Bible, the Ten Commandments, the gospels, Jesus Christ etc? They've been totally secularized by humanist educational curriculum that leaves no place for God in the classroom.

In addition to the New England Primer the United States produced the McGuffey Readers in the 1800's. Of the two, McGuffey's was the most popular and widely used.

William McGuffey was an educator and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Is it any wonder that the first 150 years saw such progress in our country? Education centered around the God of the Bible which is Theism. It was only after men like Horace Mann, John Dewey and others of such ilk began to secularize education and remove God from the curriculum that society began to fall apart. This is part of what I believe could be the final apostasy and why the American empire is quickly crumbling in all areas of life. The moral fabric is coming undone and today's children are being robbed of the heritage their wise forefathers would have wanted them to have. Thankfully there has arisen a home school movement where Christian parents see their call to duty to educate and teach their children the ways of God and this begins in the home and it begins with the best of books the Bible and other educational treasures such as the New England Primer and the McGuffey Readers.

NOTE: According to Wikipedia it is estimated that at least 120 million copies of McGuffey's Readers were sold between 1836 and 1960, placing its sales in a category with the Bible and Webster's Dictionary. Since 1961 they have continued to sell at a rate of some 30,000 copies a year. No other textbook bearing a single person's name has come close to that mark. McGuffey's Readers are still in use today in some school systems, and by parents for home schooling purposes.

Carlton Pruitt ministers the gospel to the Los Angeles area. Formerly a Hollywood actor (SAG member)and junk removal expert he now spends most of his time studying the scriptures, writing articles, hymns and poems and doing street preaching.

See his videos on http://www.youtube.com Type LAStreetPreacher in the search bar. CONTACT at Carlton2061@gmail.

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