The Shortage of Bible by David Barton 07/07/2010
As the war prolonged, the shortage of Bibles remained a problem. Consequently, Robert Aitken, publisher of The Pennsylvania Magazine, petitioned Congress on January 21, 1781, for permission to print the Bibles on his presses here in America rather than import them. He pointed out to Congress that his Bible would be “a neat edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools.” 128 Congress approved his request and appointed a committee of James Duane, Thomas McKean, and John Witherspoon too verses the project. In October 1781, amidst the work on the Bible, the Americans won the Battle of Yorktown and the British troops laid down their arms. The British press reported the activities surrounding the surrender: It was on the 19th of October that Lord Cornwallis surrendered himself and his whole army.
Two days after the capitulation took place, Divine service was performed in all the different brigades and divisions of the American army in order to return thanks to the Almighty for this great event; and it was recommended by General Washington to all the troops that were not upon duty, in his general orders, that they would assist at Divine service “with a serious deportment and with that sensibility of heart which the recollection of the surprising and particular interposition of Providence in their favor claimed.”
On October 24, 1781, Congress, too, set aside a time to honor God for this victory and: Resolved, That Congress will at two o’clock this day go in procession to the Dutch Lutheran Church and return thanks to Almighty God for crowning the allied arms of the United States and France with success by the surrender of the whole British Army under the command of the Earl Cornwallis. Despite the victory, work on the new Bible continued. As it neared its final stage of readiness in late summer 1782, James Duane, chairman of the Congressional committee, reported to Congress: He Mr. Aitken undertook this expensive work at a time when from the circumstances of neither the war an English edition of the Bible could not be imported, nor any opinion formed how long the obstruction might continue.
David Barton - We are being sensitive to the needs of our guests. When we plan these services every single weekend we are serving the food, the truth which is the Word of God, yet we are serving it in a more creative and thoughtful way.