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The Tao Teh King: A Short Study in Comparative Religion, by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, [1905], at

p. 58


Who knows men has discernment; who knows himself has illumination. 1

Who overcomes men has strength; who overcomes himself has determination. Who knows contentment has wealth. 2

Who acts vigorously has will. 3

Who never departs from his base, endures long; he dies, but does not perish; he lives eternally. 4

Immortality is a prize to be won, not an estate to be inherited. "These are they which come out of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." (Rev. vii, 14.) They ate the flesh and drank the blood of the Son of Man. (John vi, 54); and then in turn poured out their own blood for the thirsty and gave their own flesh to the hungry, thus filling up on their part "that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ." (Col. i, 24.) There is no alkali but this spiritual self-surrender, which finds its meat and its drink in doing the will of the Father (John iv, 34), which can wash our robes free of the stains of mortality, and make them pure with an incorruptible

p. 59

whiteness. To attain to this not only is it necessary to know men but to know one's Self; not only is contentment required, but a vigorous- will, and "Ile that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death." (Rev. iii, 11.) E coelo descendit (γνῶθι σεαυτόν)—"From heaven descends (the precept) 'know thyself.'" (Juvenal ii, 27.)


58:1 The discernment which gives knowledge of men by providing points for comparison produces the illumination which leads to self-knowledge. Su Cheh says that one can never know himself until he puts all distinctions on one side; a statement supported by Porphyry, who in his treatise on sensation says that the mind only sees itself when it regards objects, as ''the mind embraces everything, and all that exists is nothing but the mind, which contains bodies of all kinds." See Encyc. Britt., 9th edit., vol. i., p. 461. Comp. also the teachings of Plotinus.

"I, the imperfect, adore my own perfect."—Emerson in his essay on "The Oversoul."

58:2 "The Princely Man is contented even in poverty."—Chinese proverb. See Phil. iv. 11.

58:3 "When I seek nothing from without, but vigorously attend to myself there is nothing which can interfere with my will."—Su Cheh.


"So death, so called, can but the form deface,
 The immortal soul flies out in empty space,
 To seek her fortune in another place."

Next: Chapter XXXIV