Robert Morrison certainly didn’t look English in his Chinese coat and thick shoes, with a ponytail on his back. He would do anything to work in China. Via the United States he had boarded a ship as a stowaway and secretly went ashore in Canton.
This city was only open to foreigners for six months. The rest of the year he had to move to the Portuguese island of Macao.
During the day he hired himself as a translator for the East India Company and at night he started to translate the Bible.
His helpers were terrified to be discovered, for on aid to foreigners was the punishment to be martyred to death.
Yet he managed to translate the book of Acts.
This book was printed with wooden blocks and distributed illegally.
In the dark of the night, Morrison buried the wooden blocks outside Canton before leaving for Macao again.
After six months he returned.
When he heard that the translated copies had been distributed so quickly, he searched the wooden blocks again to print more. Unfortunately, in that short time, they were completely eaten by termites.
Perseverance and strength from upward helped Morrison to translate the entire Bible into Chinese. God gives what we need for each task.
Robert Morrison, FRS, was an Anglo-Scottish Protestant missionary to Portuguese Macao, Qing-era Guangdong, and Dutch Malacca, who was also a pioneering sinologist, lexicographer, and translator considered the “Father of Anglo-Chinese Literature”.
Born: January 5, 1782, Morpeth, United Kingdom
Died: August 1, 1834, Guangzhou, China