1803  — 1851

Charles Gützlaff

Karl Friedrich August Gützlaff

A brilliant linguist, careful student of Chinese culture, tireless evangelist, eloquent spokesman for the spiritual needs of China’s unevangelized millions.

A brilliant linguist, careful student of Chinese culture, tireless evangelist, eloquent spokesman for the spiritual needs of China’s unevangelized millions, and passionate advocate for training and empowering Chinese Christians to take the gospel to their own people, Gutzlaff engaged in activities that were both bold and controversial. Much maligned in his own time and later, he left a mixed legacy that includes the formation and fundamental principles of the China Inland Mission under J. Hudson Taylor and the implication of foreign missionaries in Western imperialism. 

Early Life

Gutzlaff was born the son of Lutheran Prussian colonists in Pomerania on the Baltic coast.  His mother died when Gutzlaff was only four, leaving him utterly desolate. When his father remarried, his stepmother treated him harshly, so that he felt abandoned in life. 

His father, a master tailor, sent him to the local Latin school, where he immediately distinguished himself as a brilliant student. He was then apprenticed to a saddler in Stettin, but the passion for learning that would mark the rest of his life still burned in his heart. In 1820, at the age of seventeen, he threw a poem into the carriage of King Frederick William of Prussia as the monarch passed through Stettin. He asked to be sent to college but was now ineligible for study in a normal university. When the king offered to send him to a missionary college, he readily accepted,

He attended the school of Johannes Janicke, a Moravian preacher in Berlin, where he was noted for pride and arrogance because of his scholastic brilliance. His classmates, including his roommate, urged him to repent and trust in Christ alone. One night, a profound sense of sin threw him into mental anguish, and he cried out for God’s forgiveness, which came to him, transforming his life dramatically. After that, others noted that he always sprayed on his knees, “so real was his sense of God.” Broomhall 1.181.From this time, he determined to serve God as a foreign missionary.

There was no German missionary society at the time, but the Netherlands Missionary Society (NMS) accepted him as a candidate in 1823. Saying farewell to his father caused him great anguish, but he left home, knowing he would not return for many years.

Gutzlaff studied at the Dutch Missionary Society training school in Rotterdam for three years, learning more about the specific skills needed for missionary work. These included elementary medical studies, which he supplemented with extensive reading of medical textbooks. Continued study and years of successful practice earned him the title, “Dr. Gutzlaff” in later years. He began studying Malay, assuming that he would work in the Dutch East Indies.

He discovered that he had an extraordinary ability to learn languages, quickly mastering Dutch and even writing a 300-page book on the history of Dutch mission, and a shorter pamphlet calling for greater support of Dutch missionary efforts,  in that language.  During this time, he became aware that the NMS pursued a policy of itinerant evangelism, including distribution of Scriptures and tracts, followed by relatively quick baptism, which was augmented by further training. With a shortage of missionaries, they tried to train local Christian converts but found few that were reliable. 

He went to Paris, then London, where his interest in China grew after a meeting with Robert Morrison. Back on the Continent, he used his considerable personal charm to build relationships with prominent evangelicals who could support his missionary work. 

Already, Gutzlaff manifested a soaring ambition that seems to reflect not only his passion to fulfill the Great Commission but also the Romantic ideal of the hero, the great man who aims at accomplishing great things, despite great difficulties and dangers.

First Missionary Activities

The NMS sent him to Batavia (Jakarta), where he met London Missionary Society (LMS) missionary William Medhurst, who mentored him. Impressed with Medhurst’s unusual fluency in Chinese and his practice of combining preaching with the distribution of Scriptures and tracts that he had written, Gutzlaff learned some Chinese and also Malay, and began disseminating Scriptures to the Chinese traders as well as settlers along the coasts of Java, Borneo and the islands around. Along with another LMS missionary, he “became familiar with Chinese customs and dialects, and an itinerant way of life, living like Chinese on their junks.” Broomhall 1.182

Though he had a natural talent for languages, Gutzlaff applied himself to assiduous study, both of the oral and written languages, eventually acquiring facility in spoken “Fujianese, Cantonese, Hakka, and Malay, along with some knowledge of Thai, Japanese, and the language of the Cambodians. He also studied classical Chinese” with a Chinese scholar and learned to write a simple form of the literary style. Most of all, he immersed himself in conversation with ordinary people, charming them with his childlike efforts and willingness to use mistakes to make progress. Lutz 40

He sailed to Siam (Thailand) in 1828. In Bangkok, he found Chinese junks from as far north as Tianjin, the gateway to Beijing. Here, too, Scriptures and Christian literature were eagerly received. Then Gutzlaff went to Malacca, where he temporarily took charge of the LMS work. There he met a well-to-do English girl, a Miss Newell, whom he married in 1829; he was twenty-six.  Returning to Bangkok in 1830, they set to work translating the Gospel of Matthew into Thai, and portions of the Bible into Lao and Cambodian. For three years, he traveled among various ports in Southeast Asia where Chinese junks visited seasonally.

His wife and her baby died within a year after their arrival, however, leaving Gutzlaff alone again. He wrote, “I have lost my only sister, a wife rich in love, and an industrious co-worker.” Lutz 49

Gutzlaff broke off with the NMS in 1828 because they refused to send him to China, where his heart lay. “All my thoughts are bestowed on China. My love for China is inexpressible. I am burning for their salvation. I intercede for hundreds of millions which do not know the gospel, before the throne of grace.” Broomhall 1.184-185. On their part, the NMS leaders criticized him for repeatedly disobeying instructions about where and how he should work, and for emphasizing literature production and widespread distribution rather than the planting of churches. 

Gutzlaff thought, however, that his work in Thailand was over, for a variety of reasons, including the resistance of the authorities, entrenched Buddhism, and his burden for China. He was aware that others considered him headstrong, overly adventurous, and naïve about the impact of brief encounters with the gospel and the publications he left behind, but felt that God had led him into this strategy of widespread sowing of the gospel seed. In time, he began to spend more effort on the training of Chinese evangelists and colporteurs.

A friend, Lin Zhong, invited him to go to China with him and become a naturalized subject by adoption into the clan or family of Kwo (Guo), from the Tung-an district of Fujian – the only way a foreigner could legally travel to, or reside in, the interior. He joined the crew of a junk headed for Tianjin, and “’went Chinese’ in name, clothing, diet, and habits.” Broomhall 1.185 On this first journey, he traveled to Tianjin, where his medical work earned him a warm reception, and then to other ports along the coast, until he finally arrived in Macao. Along the way, he found copies of publications of the Scriptures that he had distributed in Malacca, far to the south.

Robert Morrison saw in Gutzlaff, who by this time acquired a fluency in Mandarin exceeding his own, a man after his own heart, and befriended the young and passionate adventurer. At the same time, he noted that Gutzlaff could not easily work with or under others.

As a medical practitioner and interpreter, he made several more trips to China in the 1830s, sailing along the coast of China. He recorded his voyages in A Journal of Three Voyages along the Coast of China, 1831, 1832 and 1833. This publication excited considerable interest in China on the Continent and in England. He called for missionaries to be sent to China, where brave men might be able to live and work despite government resistance. He cited the example of the early Apostles to justify his preaching of the gospel even when the government forbade it. He made almost a dozen tours up the China coast between 1831 and 1837. 

On one such journey, Gutzlaff served as ship’s surgeon and interpreter on the Lord Amherst, a vessel owned by the East India Company but not carrying opium on this particular trip. “Gutzlaff’s fluency in colloquial Chinese and his behavior among the people … intrigued Hugh Lindsay, captain of the ship… Everywhere Gutzlaff’s medical treatment and fluent speech were hailed with delight.”  Lindsay noted that “from having lived so long among the lower classes of the Fukien people, Mr Gutzlaff has obtained a knowledge of their peculiarities, both of thought and language, which no study of books can convey … coupled with a thorough acquaintance with the Chinese classics, which the Chinese are ever delighted to hear quoted.”  Broomhall 1.200

As for the mandarins, who were instructed not to allow foreigners to enter their cities, on one occasion “Gutzlaff’s etiquette with the correct bows, pauses and advances, at the right moment, resulted in [Gutzlaff and the captain’s]  being seated in the great man’s presence, drinking tea as honoured guests. Because of their knowledge of protocol they were accused of being mandarins in disguise.” Broomhall 1.204

Though the expedition failed in its object to open ports to trade, it did convince Gutzlaff that the Chinese people were friendly and open to the gospel, if only their rulers would allow foreigners freedom of access. Sadly, however, in each port they had visited, the officials were later punished for not preventing them from landing. Any connection with these “hostile barbarians” carried high risk.

After this initial foray had shown the feasibility of penetrating China’s port cities with British goods, including opium, the East India Company invited Gutzlaff to serve as interpreter on their ships, with full freedom to distribute Christian literature. Gutzlaff did not approve of the opium trade, but he was a medical missionary. For one thing, opium was accepted in Europe for medicinal uses, and the opium trade had not yet outraged the Western Christian conscience. For another, the opportunity to spread the gospel by any means appealed to Gutzlaff’s overall passion in life, to evangelize the Chinese. He accepted the invitation, and then threw himself into the work, first as interpreter on the EIC merchantman Sylph and then on other ships. His zeal blinded him to the terrible consequences of such compromise.

At the same time, he was acting out of a conviction that China must open her doors to trade with the West in order to receive all the benefits of free commerce, the blessings of the best aspects of Western civilization, and the knowledge of the gospel, which alone could save Chinese from spiritual darkness and grant them eternal life with God. Like many other Westerners, he believed that the Manchu rulers were hindering their people’s welfare and happiness by barring foreign merchants and missionaries from freedom to live, trade, and travel in China. To them, this intransigence amounted to defiance of God’s natural law, which showed that free trade would benefit all parties. Their information-gathering trips, in which Gutzlaff played a pioneering role, did enable both merchant vessels and, later, warships to penetrate the defenses of a weak and decadent empire. 

While they thought they were simply carrying out God’s will, the Chinese naturally perceived them as enemies and invaders who used religion as a cloak for aggression. As for preaching the Christian message, the Kangxi emperor had expelled Roman Catholic missionaries and had proscribed the Christian faith in 1724. To them, this message subverted the foundations of Chinese culture, society, and government.

Gutzlaff “was apparently never comfortable in his role as interpreter on the opium clippers. At one point he wrote, ‘I hate the idea of the most nefarious opium, but I could never banish it out of a ship where I was by mere sufferance.” Lutz 90.

Gutzlaff accepted secular employment for another reason: He also needed some way to support himself. For the rest of his career, he would balance two roles: that of a missionary seeking funds from European Christians, and that of a paid employee of the EIC or the British government. His reports home, however, did not mention his secular employment but highlighted his persistent efforts to share the gospel with Chinese, whom he described as friendly and receptive.

During this period and later, the LMS made grants towards his work. 

Second Marriage and Work as Bible Translator and Government Interpreter

He married Mary Wanstall, a cousin of the future British Plenipotentiary Harry Parkes, in 1834. The second Mrs. Gutzlaff ran a school and a home for the blind in Macau. 

While he was in Macao, Gutzlaff worked hard on his translation of the Bible and on tracts, which he printed at his own expense. Well educated in biblical languages, Gutzlaff eventually translated parts of the New Testament into Thai and the entire Bible into Chinese. Building upon the pioneering efforts of Robert Morrison, William Milne, and their Chinese helpers, he worked with several other missionaries to produce a revision of Morrison’s work. In later years, he revised both this version and his own translation of the New Testament in a style that was considered the most accessible to Chinese readers. The leaders of the Taiping movement used Gutzlaff’s version of the Bible. He also translated the Gospel of John and the Epistles of John into Japanese, with the help of three Japanese sailors who had been shipwrecked on the West Coast of the United States and then sent to Macao. 

When Robert Morrison died in 1834, Gutzlaff replaced him as an interpreter and secretary of the British government’s Commission on Trade, under Morrison’s son John Robert. He and John co-founded the Morrison Education Society, which supported the Anglo-Chinese College that Morrison had founded, and Christian schools, and sent two Chinese as students, one to study in the United States and the other in Edinburgh.

Now free from direct involvement with the opium trade, Gutzlaff became implicated in British military aggression, which aimed largely to make such trade legal! He served as interpreter to the commander of the British expeditionary force that arrived in Guangzhou until the end of the First Opium War. When the next expeditionary force under Sir Henry Pottinger made its way north from Guangzhou, he was governor of Chusan (Zhoushan) after its capture. Later, as the force proceeded northward, Gutzlaff went ashore in Zhenjiang to try to stop the mandarins and other Manchu, especially wives of disgraced officials, from committing suicide. He helped negotiate with the imperial envoy, spotting dissimulation quickly and enabling the British to press harder. During the negotiations that produced the Treating of Nanking (Nanjing) in 1842, he presented a New Testament to every member of the Chinese diplomatic team. When John Robert Morrison died in he was appointed interpreter to the British Plenipotentiary, first Lord Pottinger and then Sir John Francis David.

In those days, no one “seems seriously to have challenged the right of the British to compel China to open her doors or the propriety of missionaries accepting the opportunities thus obtained.” Latourette, 231

During and after the war, Gutzlaff served as the magistrate of several cities including Dinghai (July 1840 to February 1844), and Ningbo (October 1841 to May 1842). In Ningbo, he did his job so well that later missionaries benefited from his reputation among the people as a fair and decisive arbiter of justice. The Chinese knew that he held their interests in his heart and sought their welfare.

He then settled in Hong Kong, where all “his spare time he devoted to missionary work.  Scores of Chinese came to office from 7:00 to 8:00 in the mornings to hear him expound the Scriptures in Hokkien, the dialect of Fujian province. After breakfast, he taught in Hakka or another dialect before his daily work began. After hours, he went into the Chinese town or the villages to preach, or worked at home on his translation of the Old Testament and his voluminous personal correspondence.” Broomhall 1.316.  On Sundays, he sometimes preached as many as six times. 

Forbidden to enter China by the treaty agreements, Gutzlaff formed the Chinese Union in 1844 to employ Chinese evangelists to work in Guangdong. He aimed to have Christian bodies or unions (which would be assisted by their counterpart associations in Europe) in every province. He raised enthusiastic support from Germany through his voluminous writings and powerful speaking. As a result, he initiated several European and British missionary societies, including the Chinese Evangelisation Society, to which J. Hudson Taylor later belonged. Inspired by his example and reports, several men joined Gutzlaff in China, including Theodore Hamberg, Rudolf Lechler, and others.

His second wife died in April 1849, of malaria in Singapore. That summer, while in Hong Kong, he planned a tour of Britain, Scandinavia, and the Continent.

Manifesto for Missions to China

Before his departure, he “compiled a statement of the aims, objects, members, and achievements of the Chinese Union in Chinese and England and sent it to England,” in which he did not mention himself. Broomhall 1.320 That omission led some to believe that a Chinese Christian of remarkable spiritual maturity had composed the document. In neat Chinese characters, he listed the names and activities of one hundred thirty preachers and said that that four hundred eighty-three baptisms had been reported. 

It also listed the publications of the Chinese Union: “The Bible and histories of the Bible and of the Church, the English Prayer Book, the Augsburg Confession, two expositions of Christian doctrine and booklets on the birth , death and resurrection of Christ, on God the Creator, the Lord of All Things, Who Is Jesus? And, Saviour of the World. “ There were also “a general history, a general geography, a Short Account of England (suitable for Hong Kong) and various admonitions from Scripture, on Moral Principles in the Bible, God’s Love to Mankind,” and other topics. Broomhall 1.321

The report also included an “audited statement of accounts and, country by country, notes on the Chinese empire and dependencies.” Broomhall 1.321 He added suggestions for the establishment of associations in Europe for the evangelization of China and “Requisites for the foreign preachers of the Gospel who wish to combine their efforts with the Associations now forming for the conversion of Eastern Asia.” Broomhall 1.322

He believed that the best way to spread the gospel in China was for Chinese evangelists under Chinese superintendents to go into the interior, selling Bibles, Scripture portions, and tracts as they preached.

He said that they should rely on God for funds, not soliciting donations but praying to God to provide. Such men must trust entirely in the work of the Holy Spirit, for “nothing can be done without the Spirit of God, and unless the prayer for His powerful assistance is constant and earnest there can be no success. There must be a relation, a communication with Heaven opened, and then only we can anticipate the glorification of Christ in the souls of men… . The love of Christ in and through us must bear us up, and actuate all our thoughts and actions… . It must be love from first to last, real, ardent, never failing love, flowing from the great fountain, Jesus Christ.” Broomhall 1.325

In this same document, Gutzlaff made clear his awareness of the prevalence of lying among the Chinese, including not-yet-fully sanctified Christians; the necessity of strict vetting of each new candidate; careful supervision of the workers; and stern discipline for those who do not adhere to the highest standards of integrity.

Still, he believed that China could only be evangelized by Chinese and that the few Chinese believers in Hong Kong and the treaty ports “must be cherished, enlarged and multiplied to form the nucleus for further operations.” Broomhall 1.327

Further, missionaries should train Chinese and then turn over authority and leadership to them, so that they might create “three-self” churches. This was called “the indigenous principle,” and enunciated by Henry Venn in 1849.

He called for the formation of loosely connected associations in Europe, not under his leadership, to send highly qualified men to China to work with Chinese evangelists. These missionaries would go into the interior of China and “entirely live with the natives, identify himself with them … His pay therefore will be small, his troubles many and unless he be a heavenly minded man, he will soon sink under them.” Broomhall 1.333 He also foresaw the need for “pious females” to assist the men.

He suggested that China be parceled out among the various societies so that they would compete with each other. He argued against both hasty baptisms and delaying baptism too long.

Consciously or unconsciously, Gutzlaff was following the famous five principles of William Carey: “he preached the gospel widely by every possible means; he supported the preaching by the distribution of Scripture in the languages of the people he went to; he established a church as soon as believers were called out; he studied the thought and culture of the people profoundly and sympathetically; and he trained at the earliest opportunity the beginnings of a native Christian ministry. He also insisted that the Chinese must be evangelised by Chinese.” Broomhall 1.349 Since there were too few local believers, however, he called for missionaries to be sent and to engage in training Chinese co-workers, as he had done. 

Reception, then Rejection, in Europe

He received a warm welcome when he arrived in England in January 1850. In time, his efforts led to the formation of “two associations in Scotland and a Chinese Society” in England ‘for the furthering the propagation of the Gospel in China and the adjacent countries by means of native evangelists.” Broomhall.330

In March 1850 the Chinese Association in England began publishing The Gleaner in the Missionary Field, which contained articles by its editor Richard Ball but also many pieces by Gutzlaff. This periodical became very influential for about ten years and had an enormous impact on the thinking and action of J. Hudson Taylor. Eventually, the title was changed to The Chinese Missionary Gleaner, to reflect an exclusive focus on the Middle Kingdom.

While in England, he married Miss Dorothy Gabriel of Liverpool, who wrote his biography.

On the Continent, he met with similar success. The Berlin Missionary Association for China was formed, as were others in Pomerania, Danzig, and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, however, disturbing reports were coming from his colleagues in China that many of the Chinese preachers were unconverted opium-smokers and criminals who had duped him by selling the evangelistic literature to the printer, who then resold it to Gutzlaff. Though James Legge, with whom Gutzlaff had been on bad terms for several years, seems to have been the person primarily backing the investigation, Gutzlaff’s colleague Hamberg clearly documented the scope of the scheme. As damning letters reached Europe, Gutzlaff responded with fervent affirmations of his Chinese co-workers’ integrity, but in the end, he had to admit that many of them had completely deceived him. It turned out that “he had  een the victim of his own enthusiasm and credulity.” Latourette 254

Support for Gutzlaff and the Chinese Union collapsed in Europe before he could return to Hong Kong to investigate and rectify the situation.

Last Years and Legacy

In January 1851, Gutzlaff and his new wife returned to Hong Kong, where he died in Hong Kong on August 9, 1851, at age 48 before he could correct the situation, but he was instrumental in attracting other German missionaries to China. Thirty of the Chinese members of the Chinese Union proved to be honest, and they carried out the work faithfully, many of them helping other missionaries after the dissolution of the Union. Many of these were Hakka, including one of the colporteurs who had deceived Guztlaff and then sincerely repented, and they helped establish a Hakka Christian community in Hong Kong that persists to this day.

Robert Neumann carried on his work with seven loyal members of the Chinese Union for four years until his health broke and he had to return to Europe. 

Perhaps most of all, he profoundly inspired the young J. Hudson Taylor and permanently shaped Taylor’s views of how Western missionaries should take the gospel to the Chinese in a way that they would evangelize their own countrymen. Taylor called him “the grandfather of the China Inland Mission.”


 “A man much maligned, Gutzlaff set his sights on attaining the unattainable, no less than to reach the remotest corners of the fast-closed empire with the gospel of Christ and in every province to plant a Christian Church – aims which Hudson Taylor was to see fulfilled.” Broomhall, 1.9.

Gutzlaff  “was a visionary. Long before it was permissible or even possible to reside in inland China, he was propounding ways of reaching the remotest corners of the empire with the gospel, and succeeded in placing four German missionaries on the mainland, away from the treaty ports, quietly at work under the eyes of the authorities.” Broomhall 1.33.

London Missionary Society historian Eugene Stock described Gutzlaff as “Ascending the rivers, landing here and there at the risk of his life, pursued by pirates, harassed by the police, stoned by the mob, haled before magistrates, but giving medicine to crowds of sick folk, and distributing literally hundreds of thousands of tracts and portions of Scripture. His method was much criticized, but his adventures excited unbounded interest in England and America, and certainly gave the Christian public a new idea as to the possibilities of missionary work in China…” [He was] an accomplished scholar, a qualified doctor, a man of extraordinary enterprise and resource.” Broomhall 1.227228

“Gutzlaff’s ambitions, interests, and thirst for knowledge about China seem unlimited.” Lutz 113 His writings on China display a sophisticated knowledge of various regions, cultures, classes, and responses to Westerners, as well as of its history and civilization. He cared deeply about the welfare of its people and sought to improve their lot by any means. He studied Chinese history, geography, and culture so well that he could author authoritative scholarly and popular books to educate Westerners. The title of one of them, Opening China, was chosen by Jessie Lutz as the title for her biography because of its double meaning: Gutzlaff was providing information to British officials who sought to expand trade and diplomacy with China, but he was also trying to “open” China to the minds of Westerners. He also composed many works on Western civilization in Chinese to broaden the horizons of narrow-minded scholars. “Gutzlaff … contributed to the transformation of the West’s image of China and to attempts to alter Chinese perceptions of the West. And to bring both Christianity and Western secular learning to the Chinese.” 

One of his consistent themes was the degradation of women in Chinese society, which he traced partly to Confucianism. He longed to see women set free by the gospel of Christ.

His major contribution to missiology was the conviction that “China can only be converted through Chinese. To reach this goal the nation itself has to be stirred and the [gospel] has to be given to it as a graceful gift of God, but not as a present of foreigners or as a teaching of foreign countries.”  Moffett, II.296

One bibliography lists 188 titles: Sixty titles in Chinese, plus, “in Dutch, English German, and other European languages there were his histories of China, biographies of Chinese emperors,  … official reports as a British civil servant, essays on the Chinese language and grammar, reviews of Chinese classics and literary works, and commentaries on Chinese religious practices… As an aid to learning Korean, he edited a comparative vocabulary of Chinese Korean, and Japanese language, adding the English meaning, the sound in Korean, and indices.” Lutz 126

Personally, however, “despite his seeming assurance and omniscience, he was simultaneously an insecure loner, sensitive and quick to perceive offense in relations with equals or those in authority. His exaggerated form of expression … struck many as insincere.” Lutz 115.

Though his mastery of Chinese etiquette gained him respect with the mandarins, on more occasions he acted rudely, forcing himself into the presence of officials and demanding equal treatment with them. His faith in the rightness of the British goal of free trade and national honor led him to support, and participate in, actions of war and aggression. On the other hand, as an administrator, he manifested absolute integrity and fairness. His ‘relations with Chinese appear to have been more amicable than those of many Western missionaries, merchants, or government officials… He adopted Gaihan (Ai Han Zhe_, ‘lover of the Chinese’) as his pen name, and he insisted that he had been adopted into a Chinese lineage and made a naturalized citizen of Fujian province.” Lutz 121

Charles Gutzlaff’s career was intertwined in the intricate matrix of Sino-Western relations, which featured pressure upon the rulers in Beijing to unlock China’s doors to free trade and the propagation of the Christian faith. Obsessed with keeping a tight grip on their people, China’s leaders resisted outside intrusion and insisted upon their right to control de-stabilizing Western imports.

In this context, Gutzlaff’s mix of varied activities not only spread the Christian message far and wide and mobilized many Westerners to go to China as missionaries, but also confused the Chinese as to his real intentions and the ultimate aims of the missionary enterprise. He left a mixed legacy that forms an enduring component of the status of the Christian religion in China.

“The greatest missionary contribution of Gutzlaff was probably his inspirational example of holy consecration, sacrifice, love, eloquence, and zeal.” McClain, 422.


  • Broomhall, A.J., Hudson Taylor & China’s Open Century. Sevenoaks, Kent, UK: Hodder and Stoughton. Part One: Barbarians at the Gates, 1981; Book Two, Over the Treaty Wall, 1982.
  • Hans-Werner Gensichen, “Gutzlaff, Karl Friedrich August,” in Gerald H. Anderson, ed., Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998.
  • Latourette, Kenneth Scott, A History of Christian Missions in China. New York: MacMillan, 1929; Gorgias Press, 2009.
  • Lutz, Jessie, Opening China: Karl. F.A. Gutzlaff and Sino-Western Relations, 1827-1852.  Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2008.
  • McClain, Vann, “Gutzlaff, Karl Friedrich August, in A. Scott Moreau, ed., Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000, 422.
  • Moffett, Samuel Hugh, A History of Christianity in Asia, Volume I. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2005.
  • John W. Witek, Karl Friedrich August Gutzlaff” in Scott W. Sunquist, ed., A Dictionary of Asian Christianity. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001.

About the Author

G. Wright Doyle

Director, Global China Center; English Editor, Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.