Sacred Places in China, by Carl F. Kupfer, , at sacred-texts.com
The chief reason for producing this little volume is to give to the thoughtful reader of China and the Chinese a clearer conception of the readiness of the people to accept, with full credence, such whimsical and mythological stories as are here related, of their susceptibility of spiritual influences, and of the decay of intellectual vigor among the Buddhist and Taoist priests, as the inevitable result of monasticism. The intellectual vigor of the Chinese is found among the Confucianists, who hold the controlling power in the government, while Buddhism and Taoism seem past any hope of resurrection to real life. They have had their age of faith. But no one need to doubt the spiritual susceptibility, nor despair of the intellectual progress of all classes. Christianity fosters mental growth and science stimulates thought and is eminently fitted to drive out all fear and superstition. Christian education is not failing in accomplishing this. The response is abundantly gratifying. However, the struggle with Buddhism and Taoism is not yet ended, it has scarcely begun.
The reader finds himself here in the midst of the Asiatic world of nearly two thousand years ago, when Buddhist priests had entered actively upon their pilgrim life. To this day all foot-worn mountain paths lead to some monastery or sacred shrine.
The information recorded in this little volume is the fruit of hard labor. The writer traveled to distant mountains in the Mid-China hot summer months, visiting monasteries, and living with monks in the hope of gaining some knowledge of their inner life and hope of the future. Most of this information was obtained verbally, some through Chinese reading.