1822 ROBERT MORRISON. Missionary to China Prays "By Our Redeemer's Power China Must One Day Serve Him!"

1822 ROBERT MORRISON. Missionary to China Prays "By Our Redeemer's Power China Must One Day Serve Him!"

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AN EXCEPTIONAL AND RARE AUTOGRAPH EXAMPLE FROM ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL MISSIONARIES IN CHRISTIAN HISTORY. WE HAVE HANDLED ONE OTHER AUTOGRAPH AND NO LETTERS IN 25 YEARS. 

HE WRITES FROM CANTON: "CHRISTIANISM (AS THE FRENCH EXPRESS IT) IS MOST RIGIDLY INTERDICTED...BY OUR REDEEMER'S POWER CHINA MUST ONE DAY BE MADE TO SERVE HIM. LET US USE THE MEANS, & PRAY FOR THE SPIRIT OF GOD TO MAKE 'THESE DRY BONES LIVE.'"

 ROBERT MORRISON (1782-1834).  Morrison was a Scottish Protestant missionary and the first one in China, frequently working in Macao and Canton. He landed in Canton in 1807 and worked as a translator for the East India Company.  Known as the "Father of Anglo-Chinese Literature," it took Morrison a quarter-century to translate the Bible into Chinese.  He wrote Grammar of the Chinese Language (1815), Dictionary of the Chinese Language, in three parts (completed in 1823) and his translation of the Bible into Chinese (completed in 1819 and published in 1823). 

ALS. 3pg. 7 ¾" x 12 ½". Canton China. October 8, 1822.  An autograph letter signed "Robert Morrison" to Reverend William Jenks of Boston:

"In Octr last received your letter of May 1821; but was prevented answering by domestic affliction & other causes. You have probably ere this time ascertained that you mistook the characters which compose the Imperial Title of our sovereign; but I will write them again - they are [Chinese symbols] Taou-Kwang, The Eternal Season...or glory, we have rendered them by two words Season's glory' To ying-ho's Memorial the Empr said 'Proceed according to Law' at first His Majesty shewed a great disposition to adopt reforms which were suggested to him by some of his statesmen, but of late he has said in his official papers little more than, 'Proceed according to existing laws.' He pardoned a Tartan Grandee the other day the crime of being a Christian, on his confirming his abjuration by trampling on a cross. Buddhism; Mohammedanism...Shanunism, & atheism are all tolerated; but Christianism (as the French express it) is most rigidly interdicted. But we faint not! not by human might, but by our Redeemer's Power China must one day be made to serve him. Let us use the means, & pray for the spirit of God to make 'these dry bones live.'  My dear friend Dr. Milne died on the 2nd of June last; the loss to the Anglo-Chinese College & the Chinese Mission incurred thereby is very great. A pulmonary consumption was the occasion of his dissolution. He has left in Malacca four young orphan children. He & I were [Chinese symbols] friends who knew each other, as intimately as each knew himself. His wife Rachel was called away first; then My Mary, & last of all Dear William, leaving me alone. In consequence of his death I am going down to Malacca, if spared till March 1823, to assist the Brethren there in making arrangements for the future. Milne was in the midst of a revision, for the Press, of the last two books of the old -. which remained unprinted when he was called hence - good is the will of the Lord! We know that the...Chinese & the...Islanders read Chinese & that the Japanese also read it; as well as the people of...but with some of these, it is a sort of learned language acquired only by study, & not spoken as their Mother tongue. From the vigilant enmity of the Chinese against intellectual intercourse with foreigners, no Chinese books of any kind can be sent on board a foreign ship; & least of all books concerning Jesus - I will therefore (if the Lord wills send you from Malacca a complete text of all the xtn Books which have been there printed. I hope you will use your influence to arrange the study of Chinese in the united states. The Merchants of your Country here find the want of a knowledge of the language an evil whenever they wish to petition the Govt. I translate for them the Mandates of the Govt but cannot without the express sanction of the Govt (which it will not give) translate petitions & remonstrances addressed to the govt. I thank you for the Pamphlets you sent me.

May the Lord bless you in your person; your labours, your kindred & your Country. Farewell

Robert Morrison". 

Morrison mentioned William Milne, who died in 1822; he was sent to China by the London Missionary Society and who was also a pioneer in the Chiense work. Morison's wife, Mary, died in 1821 of cholera. The recipient, Reverend Benjamin Jenks was a prominent New England Congregational clergyman and scholar. 

Letter accompanied by a typed transcript, has dark ink, two seal tears and light toning.