Sacred Texts  Taoism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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

p. 127


Nothing is so flexible as water, yet for attacking that which is hard nothing surpasses it. There is nothing which supplants it.

The weak overcome the strong, the soft control the hard. Every one knows this, but no one practises it. 1

Hence a Sage has said—'Who bears his country's reproach is hailed as the lord of his nation's altars. Who bears his country's misfortunes is called the Empire's chief.'

Truth, when expressed in speech, appears paradoxical. 2

Said St. Paul: "When I am weak then am I strong." "For we also are weak with him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you."

"Measure thy love by loss instead of gain;
 Not by the wine drunk, but by the wine poured forth,
 For love's strength standeth in love's sacrifice,
 And whoso suffers most hath most to give."



"The Tongue is an instrument yielding and pliant
 Yet safe in the mouth it ever remains,
 While the teeth are inflexible, hard and defiant,
 And frequently broken to pay for their pains."—Chinese Ode, quoted by Arthur Smith in his Chinese Proverbs.

127:2 This sentence more properly belongs to the next chapter. Cf. chap. 70.

Next: Chapter LXXIX