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Devoted to the Science of Religion, the Religion of Science, and the Extension of the Religious Parliament Idea.



Volume XVI



{Scanned and edited by Christopher M. Weimer, May 2002}

p. 59


   [The politicians of Europe exhibit great eagerness to prove that the Christianity of the Tai-Ping rebels was spurious, and so it was if we assume that the Western forms of Christianity, Roman Catholicism and the Protestant sects, are the only standard of Christianity. There can be no doubt, however, that the religion of the Tai-Ping is based upon the Bible, that God the Father is recognised as the creator and ruler of the universe, that Jesus is called his son and our elder brother, the latter being a title of respect to superiors, for the elder brother represents the absent parents to his younger brothers and sisters. No mysterious origin was claimed by Hung Siu Tsuen, the leader of the Tai-Ping, but he claimed to have had a vision in which God the Father and Jesus, our elder brother, charged him to pacify the country and assume authority over the world. He called himself the younger brother of Jesus, and his whole appearance in history, the sternness of his moral discipline, the faith in himself and his mission, his piety combined with military success, vividly remind one of Cromwell. The interesting history of the Tai-Ping rebellion is told in full in The Open Court for November and December, 1901.

   The Tai-Ping Canon (or Classic) is a sample of the Tai-Ping religion, being the literal translation of a poem used as an educational text-book and written in the style of the Trimetrical Classic, the common school book of the Chinese, a translation of which appeared in The Open Court, Vol. IX., No. 29.

   The Tai-Ping Canon was translated by the Rev. Dr. Medhurst and published by Sir George Bonham. Mr. John Oxenford in quoting the 'Trimetrical Classic' adds:

   "The above document gives no reason to suppose that the insurgents are otherwise than orthodox Confucians, with a superstructure of spurious Christianity. While Buddhism is stigmatised, not a word is uttered against the ancient Chinese philosopher; and the Emperor Tsin, from whom the reign of diabolical delusions is dated, is the same Emperor who is infamous in Chinese tradition for his attempted destruction of the works of Confucius."--Editor {Paul Carus}.]

"The great God
Made heaven and earth;
Both land and sea
And all things therein.
In six days,
He made the whole;
Man, the lord of all,
Was endowed with glory and honor.
Every seventh day worship,
In acknowledgment of Heaven's favor:
Let all under heaven
Keep their hearts in reverence.
It is said that in former times,
A foreign nation was commanded,
To honor God;
The nation's name was Israel.
Their twelve tribes
Removed into Egypt;
Where God favored them,
And their posterity increased.
p. 60 Then a king arose,
Into whose heart the devil entered;
He envied their prosperity,
And inflicted pain and misery.
Ordering the daughters to be preserved,
But not allowing the sons to live;
Their bondage was severe,
And very difficult to bear.
The great God
Viewed them with pity,
And commanded Moses
To return to his family.
He commanded Aaron
To go and meet Moses;
When both addressed the King,
And wrought divers miracles.
The King hardened his heart,
And would not let them go;
Wherefore God was angry,
And sent lice and locusts.
He also sent flies,
Together with frogs,
Which entered their palaces,
And crept into their ovens.
When the King still refused,
The river was turned to blood;
And the water became bitter
Throughout all Egypt.
God sent boils and blains,
With pestilence and murrain;
He also sent hail,
Which was very grievous.
The King still refusing,
He slew their first born;
When the King of Egypt
Had no resource;
But let them go
Out of his land.
The great God
Upheld and sustained them,
By day in a cloud,
By night in a pillar of fire.
The great God
Himself saved them.
The King hardened his heart,
And led his armies in pursuit:
But God was angry
And displayed his majesty.
Arrived at the Red Sea,
The waters were spread abroad:
The people of Israel
Were very much afraid.
The pursuers overtook them,
But God stayed their course;
He himself fought for them,
And the people had no trouble.
He caused the Red Sea
With its waters to divide;
To stand up as a wall,
That they might pass between.
The people of Israel
Marched with a steady step,
As though on dry ground,
And thus saved their lives.
The pursuers attempted to cross,
Their wheels were taken off;
When the waters closed upon them,
And they were all drowned.
The great God
Displayed his power,
And the people of Israel
Were all preserved.
When they came to the desert,
They had nothing to eat,
But the great God
Bade them not be afraid.
He sent down manna,
For each man a pint;
It was as sweet as honey,
And satisfied their appetites.
The people lusted much,
And wished to eat flesh,
When quails were sent,
By the million of bushels.
At the mount Sinai,
Miracles were displayed;
And Moses was commanded
To make tables of stone.
The great God
Gave his celestial commands,
Amounting to ten precepts,
The breach of which would not be forgiven.
He himself wrote them,
And gave them to Moses;
The celestial law
Cannot be altered.
In after ages
It was sometimes disobeyed,
Through the devil's temptations,
p. 61 When men fell into misery.
But the great God,
Out of pity to mankind,
Sent his first born son
To come down into the world.
His name is Jesus,
The Lord and Saviour of men,
Who redeems them from sin,
By the endurance of extreme misery.
Upon the cross,
They nailed his body;
Where he shed his precious blood
To save all mankind.
Three days after his death
He rose from the dead:
And during forty days
He discoursed on heavenly things.
When he was about to ascend,
He commanded his disciples
To communicate his Gospel,
And proclaim his revealed will.
Those who believe will be saved,
And ascend up to heaven;
But those who do not believe,
Will be the first to be condemned.
Throughout the whole world
There is only one God (Shang-te);
The great Lord and Ruler,
Without a second.
The Chinese in early ages
Were regarded by God;
Together with foreign states,
They walked in one way.
From the time of Pwan-koo
Down to the three dynasties
They honored God,
As history records.
T'hang of the Shang dynasty
And Wan of the Chow
Honored God
With the intentest feeling.
The inscription on T'hang's bathing-tub
Inculcated daily renovation of mind;
And God commanded him
To assume the government of the empire.
Wan was very respectful,
And intelligently served God;
So that the people who submitted to him
Were two out of every three.
When Tsin obtained the empire,
He was infatuated with the genii,
And the nation has been deluded by the devil,
For the last two thousand years.
Seuen and Woo, of the Han dynasty,
Both followed this example;
So that the mad rebellion increased,
In imitation of Tsin's misrule.
When Woo arrived at old age
He repented of his folly,
And lamented that from his youth up,
He had always followed the wrong road.
Ming, of the Han dynasty,
Welcomed the institutions of Buddha,
And set up temples and monasteries,
To the great injury of the country.
But Hwuy, of the Sung dynasty,
Was still more mad and infatuated,
For he changed the name of Shang-te (God)
Into that of Yuh-hwang (the pearly emperor),
But the great God
Is the supreme Lord
Over all the world,
The great Father in heaven.
His name is most honorable,
To be handed down through distant ages:
Who was this Hwuy,
That he dared to alter it?
It was meet that this same Hwuy
Should be taken by the Tartars;
And together with his son
Perish in the northern desert.
From Hwuy, of the Sung dynasty,
Up to the present day,
For these seven hundred years,
Men have sunk deeper and deeper in error.
With the doctrine of God
They have not been acquainted;
While the King of Hades
Has deluded them to the utmost.
The great God displays
Liberality deep as the sea;
But the devil has injured man
In a most outrageous manner.
p. 62 God is therefore displeased,
And has sent his Son
With orders to come down into the world,
Having first studied the classics.
In the Ting-yew year (1837)
He was received up into heaven,
Where the affairs of heaven
Were clearly pointed out to him.
The great God
Personally instructed him,
Gave him codes and documents,
And communicated to him the true doctrine.
God also gave him a seal,
And conferred upon him a sword,
Connected with authority,
And majesty irresistible.
He bade him, together with his elder brother,
Namely Jesus,
To drive away impish fiends,
With the co-operation of angels.
There was one who looked on with envy
Namely, the king of Hades;
Who displayed much malignity,
And acted like a devilish serpent.
But the great God,
With a high hand,
Instructed his Son
To subdue this fiend,
And having conquered him,
To show him no favor.
And in spite of his envious eye,
He damped all his courage.
Having overcome the fiend,
He returned to heaven,
Where the great God
Gave him great authority.
The celestial mother was kind,
And exceedingly gracious,
Beautiful and noble in the extreme,
Far beyond all compare.
The celestial elder brother's wife [mother]1
Was virtuous, and very considerate,
Constantly exhorting the elder brother,
To do things deliberately.
The great God,
Out of love to mankind,
Again commissioned his Son
To come down into the world;
And when he sent him down,
He charged him not to be afraid.
I am with you, said he,
To superintend every thing
In the Mow-shin year (1848).
The Son was troubled and distressed,
When the great God
Appeared on his behalf.
Bringing Jesus with him,
They both came down into the world;
Where he instructed his Son
How to sustain the weight of government.
God has set up his Son
To endure for ever,
To defeat corrupt machinations,
And to display majesty and authority.
Also to judge the world,
To divide the righteous from the wicked;
And consign them to the misery of hell,
Or bestow on them the joys of heaven.
Heaven manages everything,
Heaven sustains the whole:
Let all beneath the sky
Come and acknowledge the new monarch.
Little children,
Worship God,
Keep his commandments,
And do not disobey.
Let your minds be refined,
And be not depraved;
The great God
Constantly surveys you.
You must refine yourselves well,
And not be depraved.
Vice willingly practised
Is the first step to misery.
To ensure a good end,
You must make a good beginning;
An error of a hair's breadth
May lead to a discrepancy of 1,000 le.
Be careful about little things,
And watch the minute springs of action;
p. 63 The great God
Is not to be deceived.
Little children,
Arouse your energies,
The laws of high Heaven
Admit not of infraction.
Upon the good blessings descend,
And miseries on the wicked;
Those who obey Heaven are preserved,
And those who disobey perish.
The great God
Is a spiritual Father;
All things whatever
Depepend on him.
The great God
Is the Father of our spirits;
Those who devoutly serve him
Will obtain blessings,
Those who obey the fathers of their flesh
Will enjoy longevity;
Those who requite their parents
Will certainly obtain happiness.
Do not practise lewdness,
Nor any uncleanness;
Do not tell lies;
Do not kill and slay;
Do not steal;
Do not covet;
The great God
Will strictly carry out his laws.
Those who obey Heaven's commands
Will enjoy celestial happiness;
Those who are grateful for divine favors
Will receive divine support.
Heaven blesses the good,
And curses the bad;
Little children,
Maintain correct conduct.
The correct are men,
The corrupt are imps.
Little children,
Seek to avoid disgrace.
God loves the upright,
And he hates the vicious;
Little children,
Be careful to avoid error.
The great God
Sees every thing.
If you wish to enjoy happiness,
Refine and correct yourselves.

Journals Chinese Articles


1 "Wife" is presumably a misprint or a wrong translation. We believe that the Virgin Mary is here referred to.