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

p. 77


The greatest attainment is as though incomplete; but its utility remains unimpaired.

The greatest fulness is as a void; but its utility is inexhaustible.

The greatest uprightness is as crookedness; the greatest cleverness as clumsiness; the greatest eloquence as reticence.

Motion overcomes cold; stillness conquers heat.

Purity and stillness are the world's standards. 1

Read Paul's description of the work of the great Master of humility—the Lord Jesus. "Who, being in the form of God, counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross." His "greatest attainment" was His self-annihilation. "Wherefore also God highly exalted Him, and gave Him the name which is above every name." Hear Paul once more on the same theme: "In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." But how does the Christ describe Himself? "I am meek and lowly of heart." "The greatest fulness is as a void, but its utility is inexhaustible." Paul writes of Jesus the Christ, as He "Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation," but to His disciples Jesus said, "I am in the midst of you as he that serveth," and later, as if to further impress this upon them, He washed their feet. The stillness of His heart conquered the heat of their passions; it is the movings of His love which is overcoming the cold isolations, dividing the different races. In the purity and

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stillness of His inner being He illustrates Nature's profoundest secret. "Nature," says Emerson, "will not have us fret and fume. She does not like our benevolence, our learning, much better than she likes our frauds and wars. When we come out of the caucus, or the bank, or the Abolition convention or the Temperance meeting, or the Transcendental Club into the fields and woods, she says to us, 'So hot? my little sir.'" Purity and stillness are the world's standards.


77:1 Ho-shang-kung, with a fine perception of the greatness inseparable from goodness, remarks—"Heaven and earth yield to the man who is pure and still."

"Purity and stillness" are according to Wu-ch’eng attributes of non-action (or non-attachment).

Next: Chapter XLVI