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Gospel of John in Hindustani [Printed in PersianType].
Baptist Mission Press, Calcutta 1838 - 8vo. (8" x 5"). Unnumbered title-page in English and Persian followed by 70 pp. numbered in Persian. Bound in Calcutta by the Baptist Mission Press in original quarter cloth over original blue paper card; printed title label affixed to front cover (pencil markings on front and back covers, title page with minor toning, else a clean and crisp copy in the original binding) Rare Hindi-Urdu translation of the book of John. This edition is described in the "Second Report of the Operations of the Calcutta Baptist Missionaries" (1841) as belonging to one of two editions of the Gospels and Acts in Hindustani (both 12mo.), one printed in Persian characters (as here) and the other in Arabic. Of the Gospel of John in Hindustani, the Missionary Herald for December 1841 (pp. 664-665) claimed that 4000 (sic) copies of each edition were printed; however, only one other copy besides ours appears to be recorded. Our copy bears the presentation inscription of Edward Steane, whose sermon occasioned on the death of Pearce ("The Family of God," London, 1840, p. 42) puts this figure in the future tense, as though this huge quantity of copies was projected but not yet realized. Innumerable copies of the Gospels in Hindustani were destoyed in India, as is seen in the report of the "Destruction of Tracts" that appeared in the 1841 Baptist Magazine (p. 526): "Amidst all our liberal distributions [of printed tracts] this season, it has been matter of deep regret to us to see many more tracts destroyed this year than had ever been done before. This I am inclined to ascribe to the influence of the brahmans of the place, who appear now to have a trembling apprehension of the downfall of their craft by the diffusion of gospel knowledge. In conversation with Manniram they evidently gloried in having effected the destruction of some tracts whose scattered fragments were shown to him, and they threatened still further to show their rage against our books when an occasion should offer." * The printer, William Hopkins Pearce (1794-1840), was trained at the Clarendon Press, Oxford. After undergoing a spiritual conversion he traveled to Calcutta and in 1818 founded the Baptist Mission Press. It was at first a rude operation, consisting of one press and two founts of type. By 1837 it possessed sixty-two founts of type in eleven different languages, and seven iron presses that were in constant operation. According to the Memoirs of Rev. W. H. Pearce by William Yates (Baptist Mission Press, Calcutta, 1841): "Soon after its establishment, a type-foundry was found necessary to its usefulness; and it being deemed important to bind works which were printed, on the premises, a number of workmen in this department also were engaged. In December last, the establishment, consisted of four European or Indo-British assistants, and upwards of one hundred compositors, pressmen, binders, or other servants. Besides the New Testament, and other parts of the sacred scriptures, in several languages, the Mission Press has executed many thousands of religious tracts, school-books, and larger works in English, Sanscrit, Bengali, Hindui, Uriya, Arabic, Persian, Hindustani. Siamese, &c. Indeed during the last year only, not less than two hundred and fifty thousand copies of various religious publications in the native dialects were issued, independent of numerous works in English, executed for Government, Societies and individuals. In all the languages above enumerated, except the English, founts of types of various sizes have been cut at the mission foundry for its own use. It has also supplied founts of types in these languages, as well as Mahrathi, Guzarathi, Burman, Bugghese, Malay, and other characters to Missionary brethren of other denominations at Calcutta, Bombay, Surat, Moulmein, Penang, Singapore, and elsewhere." The present work is to be confused with Darlow-Moule 5285, a later publication in which the type was completely reset. The only copy listed in OCLC is at the Universit [Attributes: First Edition; Soft Cover]
      [Bookseller: Michael Laird Rare Books LLC]
Last Found On: 2014-05-04           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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