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

p. 104


The Tao has of all things the most honored place. 1

It is the good man's treasure, and that which protects the bad man.

Its excellent words may be displayed before all. Its noble deeds assist all men.

Why should a man be cast aside because he is bad? 2

Hence when the sovereign has been enthroned, and the chief ministers have been appointed, though one escorted by a team of horses, present the jade symbol of office, it would not equal the stilling of the heart, and entering this Tao.

What is the reason that this Tao has been held in such esteem from the beginning? May we not say that it is because those who seek receive, and those who are guilty escape by its (help)? 3 Hence it becomes the most valued thing under heaven. 4

p. 105

The noumenal is the real, the phenomenal, the reflection, and the wise man seeks the former rather than the latter. Earth's fairest pageantries are insignificant compared with That—her costliest gifts as dust compared with That. Only as man harmonizes with That can he escape the Nemesis of guilt, a harmony which is possible because God and man are identical, differing only as the infinite differs from the finite; the impure or differentiated from the pure or undifferentiated. Jesus is at once a door through which God enters the generations of sin, and through which sinners pass into the realms of the eternal.


104:1 This is the rendering of Dr. James Legge.

104:2 "To merely regard the external appearance of things is like standing outside the hall door, the TAO is within, and That is the most honorable. Men fail to perceive that all things possess It. However, the man of virtue knows that the Tao is his, and hence it is said to be the good man's treasure.' But the foolish and ignorant man also possesses the Tao, otherwise he would not be able to endure. Hence it is said to be the bad man's guardian.' Though men wander far from the Tao, the Tao never departs far from men."—Su-cheh.

104:3 This is the only place in the Tao-teh-king where the idea of guilt occurs. The notion is Buddhistic, rather than Taoistic or Confucian.

104:4 "Men, alas, will not seek for the root of truth. It is within themselves. If they sought it they would find it. The Tao has neither merit nor demerit, but men unfortunately do not understand this. If they did they would escape the defilement of sin."—Su-cheh.

"The Tao (path) may not be left for an instant. If it could be left it would not be the Tao (path)."—The Doctrine of the Mean.

Next: Chapter LXIII