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The first two characters of the Book are adopted as its name;--Thien Tî, 'Heaven and Earth.' These are employed, not so much as the two greatest material forms in the universe, but as the Great Powers whose influences extend to all below and upon them. Silently and effectively, with entire spontaneity, their influence goes forth, and a rule and pattern is thus given to those on whom the business of the government of the world devolves. The one character 'Heaven' is employed throughout the Book as the denomination of this purposeless spontaneity which yet is so powerful.

Lû Shû-kih says:--'This Book also sets forth clearly how the rulers of the world ought simply to act in accordance with the spontaneity of the virtue of Heaven; abjuring sageness and putting away knowledge; and doing nothing:--in this way the Tâo or proper Method of Government will be attained to. As to the coercive methods of Mo Tî

p. 144

and Hui-dze, they only serve to distress those who follow them.'

This object of the Book appears, more or less distinctly, in most of the illustrative paragraphs; though, as has been pointed out in the notes upon it, several of them must be considered to be spurious. Paragraphs 6, 7, and 11 are thus called in question, and, as most readers will feel, with reason. From 13 to the end, the paragraphs are held to be one long paragraph where Kwang-dze introduces his own reflections in an unusual style; but the genuineness of the whole, so far as I have observed, has not been called in question.

Next: Book XIII. Thien Tâo