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[BIBLE – CHINESE.]  Gospel of St Luke in Wenli.  Malacca, 1825.

8vo., ff. 70; titlepage on yellow paper; a very good copy, stitched as issued Chinese-style, in the original paper wrappers, manuscript lable to front cover, rear cover chipped; preserved in a folding cloth box. 

First large-type edition of this translation by Robert Morrison, the first Protestant missionary to China.  Morrison had arrived in Guangzhou (Canton) in 1807 on behalf of the London Missionary Society and was supported in his efforts towards a Chinese translation of the Bible by the Bible Society.  ‘Morrison sought to use a “Middle style” of the literary language [Wenli]: the style of popular literature’, rather than the more high-flown style being employed simultaneously by Joshua Marshman.  Morrison’s first effort, an edition of Acts, appeared in Canton in 1810, and the first edition of the New Testament in 1814; he then transferred to Malacca to found the Anglo-Chinese college, and his complete Bible was printed there in 1823.  The present large-type edition of the Gospels was completed in stages during 1825-6.

Spillett 30; Darlow & Moule 2475.

Bernard Quaritch Ltd, 40 South Audley Street, London, W1K 2PR, UK