[Papercut Press Publishing] 1999-01-25 - A Holy Alphabet, Introduction

The Holy Alphabet Series

How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, 'Your God Reigns'
Isa 52:7 NASB

Throughout the history of the Christian church the alphabet has been used in the equipping of the saints. It is largely out of use today, but this does not mean it is unhelpful.

Starting tomorrow, I intend to begin a 24 week Tuesday series on the holy alphabet. I recently purchased a book in London which includes, as a shorter work, at the back, a holy alphabet. It was done by Robert Port, a minister in the mid-17th century. I will quote the small bit he wrote on each letter and then comment.

The work I will be using is very rare. In fact, the copy in my possession is probably the only one that exists outside of Britain, where only two other copies exist. It was published in 1655, never re-published, and is the authors only known work. I hope that looking a little at this work will not only be useful to you and I as we seek to grow in grace but also insightful into the holy thoughts of a bygone time.

To get you into the mindset of a holy alphabet, and what they are, I share with you a holy alphabet published in 1777, as a New England Primer, during the time of the establishing of the United States.

(Parenthesis are all my additions)
A: In ADAM'S fall we sinned all.
B: Heaven to find, the BIBLE mind.
C: CHRIST crucify'd for sinners dy'd.
D: The DELUGE drown'd the earth around. (The flood--Noah)
E: ELIJAH hid by Ravens fed. (1 Kings 17:4-7)
F: The judgment made FELIX afraid. (Acts 24: 24, 25)
G: As runs the GLASS, our life doth pass. (Hourglass)
H: My book (Bible) and HEART must never part.
J: JOB feels the rod, yet blesses God. (Job, chapters 1, 2, 40, and 42)
K: Proud KORAH'S troop was swallowed up. (Numbers 16: 28-35)
L: LOT fled to Zoar, saw fiery shower, On Sodom pour. (Genesis 19)
M: MOSES was he who Israel's host led thro' the sea. (Exodus 14)
N: NOAH did view the old world and new.
O: Young OBADIAS, David, Josias: all were pious.
P: PETER deny'd his Lord and cry'd. (Matthew 26: 69-75)
Q: QUEEN Esther sues, and saves the Jews.
R: Young pious RUTH left all for truth. (Ruth 1:16, 17)
S: Young SAMUEL dear the Lord did fear.
T: Young TIMOTHY learnt sin to fly.
V: VASHTI for pride, was set aside. (Esther 1: 9-22)
W: WHALES in the sea, God's voice obey.
X: XERXES did die, and so must I.
Y: While YOUTH do cheer, death my be near.
Z: ZACHEUS, he did climb the tree our Lord to see. (Luke 19: 1-10)

Soli Deo Gloria,