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Reverend and Worthy Promoters of the feveral
Charity-Schools in Great Britain and Ireland.


HE tender Regard, which You have always fhew'd, and ftill continue, for the Salvation of Souls, is eminently discovered in Your Care for the Education of Children.

To You it is, that the poorer Sort of People. owe their Obedience, and indeed these Kingdoms their Thankfulness, for Your endeavouring to rescue many poor Creatures from the Slavery of Sin and Satan.


Thus, GENTLEMEN, it is Your Happiness, that You are at the fame time promoting the Glory of GOD, by Your careful Undertaking to fave thefe little Ones from utter Deftruction.

Your Preference of the Proteftant Religion is herein gloriously discovered by thofe Principles of that best constituted Church, as profeffed in the Church of England, which You caufe to be taught, and ingrafted in the tender Age of Your Pupils. Therefore,


Go on, WORTHY SIRS, with Your wonted Zeal for the Glory of GOD, and the Public Good of thefe Nations, united, in the true Faith of CHRIST and that Your pious Endeavours may always obtain their defired Succefs, and 2ou that Reward which is promifed to thofe that convert a Sinner from the Evil of his Way, is the earnest and dearty Prayer of,


June 14. 1740.


Your most obedient, and humble Servant,




T has been a general and true Obfervation, that with the Reformation of thefe Realms, Ignorance has gradually vanished at the increase of Learning amongst us, who take the Word of God for a Lantern to our Feet, and a Light to our Paths. Thus,

They who grop'd their Way to Virtue and Knowledge in the Days of Darkness and implicit Zeal, were taught little more than to mumble over a few Prayers by Heart, and never called upon to read, much less permitted to enquire into the Truth of what they profeffed. But

Since the Sunfixe of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has rifen amongst us fince we are loofed from the Bands of Ignorance and Superftition'; fince every Proteftant believes it to be his: Duty to promote Chriftian Knowledge; certainly it will be confeffed, that all Improvements in Learning ought to be incouraged; and confequently that they deferve our particular Regard, who study to make the first Steps thereof firm and eafy. For bu man Prudence teacheth, That a good Beginning is the most reafonable Profpect of a good Ending. Therefore,

As we boast of greater Advantages than our Forefathers, let us take care, left we frustrate that great Work begun amongst us, by a negligent Profecution of our Duty: For I would have you well affured, that it is as bad to learn the first Rudiments of Literature under wrong and depraved Habits, as not to learn them at all. For, the Man feldom clears himself of thofe ill Faculties, which he contracted in his tender Age: So, fays Solomon, Train up a Child in the Way he fhould go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. And,

As all Learning gradually afcends from the first Knowledge and use of Letters, Syllables and Words, what better Work: can the Inftructor of Youth undertake, than endeavour to pro-.


pagate the Knowledge, prevent and rectify the Miftakes, and root out the ill Habits contracted by many in a wrong Method, or thro' the Ignorance or neglect of the Teacher. Therefore,

As to Letters, we are to obferve that they are the Foundation of all Learning, as being thofe Parts of which all Syllables, Words, Sentences and Speeches are compofed. As to their Shape or Form, thofe commonly used in the English, Latin, German, French, Spanish, Portugueze and Italian Languages, are defcribed in the firft Page of this Book. As to their Number, in English they are Twenty-fix. As to their Divifion, they are naturally divided into Vowels and Confonants and again into fingle and double Letters.

As to Syllables: A Syllable is the uniting one or more Confonants with a Vowel, by which each Letter receives its perfect Sound in Pronunciation; as you may find in the Examples of the fecond and third Pages.

As to Words; they confift of one or more Syllables, and are given us by the alwife God, as a Means by which not only one Man may make his own Thoughts known to another, but that we thereby may also arrive to the Knowledge of the Will of Him our Creator, revealed in the facred Oracles of his Divine Word. Wherefore,

Seeing that the Ufe of Letters, Syllables and Words, is of fo great Confequence to human Creatures, what Care fhould be taken to fhew that we have acquir'd a true Knowledge thereof, by giving each Letter its proper Place, each Syllable its right Divifion and true Accent, and each Word its natural Sound; which will certainly guide every one to a juft Cadence of their Sentences; without which no one can pretend to write or read intelligibly to others. And

Yet by daily Experience it is found that even many, who have attained to the Art of writing a good Hand, are fo un• fortunate in Spelling, that neither themselves, nor the more knowing, can guess at the Meaning, couched under fush a prepofterous jumble of Letters fet for Words. Becaufe, having never been taught the general Force or Power and Sound of the English Letters, nor the customary and various Use of Diphthongs; not to mention their total Ignorance of the Derivation of Words, they neither spell according to Cuftom, Sound, nor Derivation. Wherefore, for the fake of fuch unhappy Scholars, and as much as in me lies, to prevent the Growth of fuch an Evil,

bave in the following Sheets, collected as many different Forms of Spelling, as the English Tongue affords in common

A 3


Practice. And as Monofyllables not only make the greatest part of our Tongue, but are the fubftantial Parts of all Words of more than one Syllable, I have been the more particularly careful to reduce them into fuch an Order, as at the fame time to take of much Trouble from the Teacher, and to be of more general Advantage to the young Beginner. For tho' it be true that other Performances of this Nature have pretended to proceed Step by Step; yet it is true alfo that none of them have provided thofe gradual Paces for their Scholars to afcend by, till they arrive at the Perfection of Spelling. For,

In the feveral Praxes or Leftons of Monofyllables hitherto published in our Mother Tongue, instead of rifing Step by Step, Children are taught to jump before they can go; and if they prove uncapable to take fuch long Strides, as reach fometimes from Monofyllables of two, to others of feven or eight Letters, before they are informed of thofe that come between, they must be thump'd and lugg'd forward, without being once instructed in the right Knowledge of the most common and useful Parts of our Tongue. Certainly this is as barbarous in Literature, as it would be cruel in Behaviour, to bid a Child take care how it comes up Stairs, and then to beat it because it cannot fride up feven or eight Steps at once.

Again: If it be reasonable, in the order of Words, to begin with thofe of one Syllable, as all Spelling Authors agree: it must be alfo granted as reasonable, that Monofyllables, which confift of various Quantities of Letters, fhould be taught in the fame order, proceeding gradually from Words of two Letters, to Words of three, four, five, &c. Letters, as exemplified in the following Tables. Befides, Experience, which must be allowed to be the best Mafter, will foon declare in Favour of this Method. Therefore,

I bave first collected only Words of two Letters; then Words of three Letters; after that Words of four Letters, &c. with short eafy Leffons between each Table of Words, adapted in fuch a Manner, that no Leffon contains any one Word which does not belong to a preceding Table. And tho' I am apprehenfive that Jome may object against the Shortnefs of thefe Leffons, it is without Judgment for any one that inftructs Children, will readily grant that it is better for the Learner to read a fhort Leffon twice or thrice over at one Reading, than a long Leffon but once.


By way of Apology, it is hoped the skilful Teacher will pardon the Change of fome Words in these Leffons taken from Scripture, when I declare, it was with this View alone, for



the Eafe of the Scholar, that I have fubftituted an eafy Word in the place of one of more difficult Pronunciation; where nevertheless, I have always kept up the true Senfe, tho' I have taken the Liberty to alter the Expreffion.

Again: It must be acknowledged that the firft Six Leffon's do but just make English: yet, I hope, whoever confiders the Difficulty of compofing Sentences to be read in Leffons, wherein each Word is confined to three Letters, will readily overLook the bafenefs of the Language, it not being our Province to teach the Politeness of Stile, but only to provide proper Mate· rials, of which all Diction is compofed. Yet great Care is taken to avoid all fuch Words in every Part of this Book, which might tend to excite loofe and diforderly Thoughts, er put Youth or Modefty to the Blush and all my Tables are filled with the eafieft Words in our Language; even fuch as a Child may have fome Idea of at the first Pronunciation. Moreover, as we have many Words in English which agree with Orthography, but differ in Sound, I have admonished the Learner thereof, by inclofing fuch Words within a Parenthefis, thut, (done) (gone) (none) as at the bottom of Page 10.

Having thus with much Pains collected Monofyllables, which are the most useful part of our Language, and reduced them into fuch order, as feem'd to me, to ferve the Purposes of an easy Instruction, much better than any of thofe Collections published before this Time; I muft afure you, that my Care has been equally as much concerned how to facilitate the compounding and dividing fuch Words as confift of more Syllables than one. For this purpose, I have confulted the Method of Spelling or dividing Syllables in long Words, both according to their Sound, and to the Rules of Grammar: And therefore in the peruful of this Effay towards Spelling, you will find that whenever a Word occurs that may be divided one way by Sound, and another by Grammar, the Scholar is directed how to understand the doubtful Divifion by this Mark (") over the right fide of the Vowel, which according to the Sound, ought to be joined with the following Confonant, which is neverthelejs contrary to the Rules of Grammar; and therefore divided \in fuch a manner as you find them printed.



And as to the Leffons proper to each Table of Words of many Syllables, the fame Care has been continued, not to admit any Word to be read in the fame, but fuch only as fball belong to fome of the foregoing Tables. And I hope it will be efteemed a Perfection, that I have omitted all superfluous Hebrew and obfolete Names, and not detained the

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