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Many see McGuffey expounding the praises of diligence, industry, thrift, compassion for the poor and the providence of God and immediately equate them with the Calvinistic doctrine presented in earlier New England and Puritan readers. It may be that his Readers reflect earlier texts, but the heart of McGuffeyâs theology in the Readers departs from Calvinâs, particularly in his belief that âmoral education was the real agent of changeâ in the hearts of children.
Consider Calvinâs view, speaking of the great âmoral virtuesâ of Christianity, the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5: â[Paul] condemned the whole nature of man as producing nothing but evil and worthless fruits. âŠ All virtues, all proper and well regulated affections, proceed from the Spirit, that is, from the grace of God, and the renewed nature we derive from Christ. âŠ There have often appeared in unrenewed men remarkable instances...
Even the McGuffy company had to realize that they had a varied group of people using their readers. So, if they didn't fit everyone's view of perfect Christianity --tough!-- This was the job for the Church and the children's parents.
McGuffey Fifth Reader, designed for the ten-year-olds of our American frontier wrote: Erase all thought and fear of God from a community, and selfishness and sensuality would absorb the whole man. Appetite, knowing no restraint, and suffering, having no solace or hope, would trample in scorn on the restraints of human laws. Virtue, duty, principle, would be mocked as unmeaning sounds. A sordid self-interest would supplant every feeling; and man would become, in fact, what the theory of atheism declares him to be--a companion for brutes.
I read the article, it's quite good, McGuffy was right on when it came to secular schools. Sounds like the Readers were better instruments of education then what is in secular schools today
If you want doctrine part of education teach the kids at home or in a religious school that reflects your views.