Chinese Missionary Pamphlet, “The Perfect Mans Model.”
( 1836), Singapore
Stab sewn 8vo. 60 pp.
This pamphlet is a religious tract written by Protestant missionary Karl Gutzlaff, a fascinating character, typical of the sort of opportunist who clustered around the opium business in the old China trade. In the 1830s he traveled as a translator on a British opium trading vessel, known as a country ship illegally selling opium for Jardine, Matheson & Co. down the coast of China. Gutzlaff justified his complicity with the pretty rationalization that the journey would be a good opportunity to preach the gospel and distribute Chinese language religious tracts. So, you got opium and Jesus on the same spoon. His moral flaws aside, Gutzlaff was a smart and lucid observer, whose writings offer excellent detail about China and the China Trade in the days leading up to the first Opium War. In his later days he opened a school for Chinese native missionaries, several of whom turned out to be opium addicts using their missionary cover and funding for illicit purposes. The fraud exposed, Gutzlaff died a ruined man. Bad karma, I suppose. This tract, written and printed entirely in Chionese as, “The Perfect Mans Model,” was published in Singapore in 1836, is typical of those he distributed on his opium voyage. Color title page lightly chipped, else very good condition in original wrappers.