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Alison, Ewing, and Marshall to the Continental Congress

To the honourable Continental Congress of the United States of North America now sitting in Philadelphia.

Honoured Gentlemen

We the Ministers of the Gospel of Christ in the City of Philadelphia, whose names are under written, taking it into our Serious consideration that in our present circumstances, Books in General, & in particular the holy Scriptures contained in the old & new Testaments are growing so Scarce & Dear, that we greatly fear that unless timely care be used to prevent it, we shall not have bibles for our Schools & families, & for the publick Worship of God in our Churches.

We therefore think it our Duty to our Country & to the Churches of Christ to lay this design before this honourable house, humbly requesting that under your care, & by your encouragement, a Copy of the holy Bible may be printed, so as to be sold nearly as cheap as the Common Bibles, formerly imported from Britain & Ireland, were sold.

The number of purchasers is so great, that we doubt not but a large impression would soon be sold, But unless the sale of the whole Edition belong to the printer, & he be bound under sufficient Penalties, that no copy be sold by him, nor by any Retailer under him, at a higher price than that allowed by this honourable house, we fear that the whole impression would soon be bought up, & sold again at an exorbitant price, which would frustrate your pious endeavours & fill this Country with Just complaints.

We are persuaded that your care & Seasonable interposition will remove the anxious fears of many pious & well-disposed persons; would prevent the murmurs of the discontented; would save much money to the United States; would be the means of promoting Christian knowledge in all our Churches, & would transmit your names with additional honour to the later Posterity.

Our Sincere prayers shall ever be for your Welfare & Prosperity, & we beg leave with the greeted respect to subscribe our Selves

Honoured Gentlemen

Your Most obedient humble servants.

Francis Alison
John Ewing
William Marshall

[Transcribed from image at Footnote.com]

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