Bible. N.T. Luke. Chinese. 1811. Sheng Lu-chia shih chuan fu yin shu. [Canton or Macao: s.n., 1811 (or 1812?)]. 80 double leaves ; 28 cm. [R.B.R. folio BS315.C57 L8 1812]
Although the Jesuits, who began missionary work in China in the sixteenth century, had translated portions of the Bible, it was not until 1810 that Protestant missionaries began to translate and publish systematically the Scriptures into Chinese. Robert Morrison (1782-1834), the first Protestant missionary to China, was a British Presbyterian appointed by the London Missionary Society. Because of the strict laws in China regulating foreigners, he was also appointed as a translator for the East India Company. This translation of the Gospel of Luke was published in late 1811 (or 1812?). Like his 1810 translation of the Book of Acts, it was printed from woodblocks rather than moveable metal type. Probably only 100 copies of Luke were printed. On receiving a copy of this Gospel, the British and Foreign Bible Society made a grant of £500 to Morrison as an incentive to continue his work.
The fine binding has been identified as the work of John Roulstone (1777 or 1778-1826), a Boston bookbinder.