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“The people may be made to follow a course of action," he said, “but they cannot be made to understand it.” We might set against this the charge of Jesus to his ignorant, bewildered listeners, “ Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect;" but we need not. A thousand years before Confucius, the sublime faith of Moses required that “every man,” in the nation of lepers, should “be a priest unto the Lord.” All knowledge, sanitary, scientific, mechanical, literary, or sacred, Moses had been accustomed to see confined to a priesthood, made the perquisite of a caste ; yet an inspiration of the loftiest order made him willing from the beginning to trust, not only government and religion, but all things, to the people.
The contrast between Confucius and the Hebrew prophets is still more marked in other instances. “Have no friends not equal to yourself,” taught the Chinese philosopher. “ All ye are brethren," said the Galilean. 6. There never has been a man trained to benevolence, who neglected his parents," said Confucius. ' There never has been a man trained to righteousness, who made his sovereign an after consideration.” — “If a man love not his brother whom he hath seen, how shall he love God whom he hath not seen?” wrote the apostle; and Solomon knew, “that better was a little with righteousness, than great revenues without right.” It was the sceptical son of David who suggested to James the beautiful words, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep one's self unspotted from the world.”
There have not been wanting critics in modern times whose eyes are so very single, and whose whole bodies are so full of light, that they have professed to find arrogance and assumption in the words of Jesus. They charge upon him mean ambitions and perverted thoughts, to say nothing of mistaken purposes. Unable to share the exaltation of the Mount of Transfiguration, they brand with falsehood every testimony to its glories. To one who penetrates with humble sympathy to the heart of Jesus, it seems profane to make personal
VOL. LXXXIV. - NEW SERIES, VOL. V. NO. II.
comparisons in such matters; not because he is more than human, but because the human that we love, is always to our love, divine. Perhaps a little light may penetrate some sealed eyelids, if we set down here some of the sayings of Confucius, which throw light on his personality, and show in what spirit his claims were advanced. “At forty," he said, “I had no doubts; at seventy, I can follow my heart without transgressing !” O life, narrow and mean! It would seem hardly possible that he could continue, “In ten families you may find one man honorable and sincere as I am, but not one so fond of learning.” It was a later sage who wrote over a Greek temple, “Know thyself.” Of his habits, his disciples wrote the following: “He did not sing on the same day on which he had been weeping.”—“When he was passing the vacant place of the prince, his countenance appeared to change, and his legs to bend under him. His words came as if he had hardly breath to utter them.”—“If his mat was not straight, he would not sit on it.” — “On a clap of thunder, he lost color." These are things we should be sorry to hear of old schoolmates, the last laureate, nay, of old Chaucer in his grave; but how do they sound when attributed to prophet, priest, or king? There be sins which imply some grandeur of make, passions which bear witness to magnanimity, crimes which a mean man could never have committed; but why chronicle the petty weaknesses of our kind? What if the same old quill has served Pius IX. through all the shifts and shivers of his unsteady beart?
A few better utterances we may glean, if we try. “Benevolence is the tranquil habitation of man, and righteousness is his straight path." -“While you are not able to serve men, how can you serve the spirits ?” — “When neither a premature death nor long life causes a man any double-mindedness, but he waits the issue, busy with self-culture, this is the way in which he establishes his ordained being.” Dr. Legge writes “ Heaven-ordained;” but we strike out the adjective, which has no justification in the text. These are truths stated with wearisome and circuitous involution. Not tbus do the barbed arrows of the old Hebrews strike home. His
sublimest utterance reminds us of Socrates. "To whom will you sacrifice ?" said the disciples of Confucius, when the shadows of death fell. “I have already worshipped,” was the simple answer. Socrates did not feel death, but perceived the New Life. “Now, my friends,” he said, dying, to those who had doubtless pressed a similar request,“ Now, we owe a cock to Esculapius." The hold which Confucius has upon the Chinese people he owes to their stationary civilization, their immobile character. Let a new life once stir within the dry skin, let the vessel shiver, and the precious juice be spilled, and every temple to Confucius will die out of sight with the old usages, and his name be lost out of the memories of the people. We must look back to perceive him. He has not a fibre in common with the future. Yet his life will have interest and point, if too much be not claimed for it. We welcome these editions of the Chinese classics, They will do much to disabuse a certain class of critics of their errors.
In the clear light of facts, theories will get their own ghastly color.
of the Four Books, the second is now commonly attributed to Tsăng Sin, his disciple; and the third is the work of a grandson of Confucius, Kung Keih. It will be perceived, that, dull as the Chinese may be, they have already begin to criticise their sacred books as we criticise the Pentateuch; to correct tradition, and judge for themselves of the divine right of their sage.
Among the classics called Confucian, but much later than the time of Confucius, we find occasionally things that remind us of Emerson. “Let superiors live in harmony; inferiors, , in concord." —" Sow first on the southern bill-side." — "Ears line the walls of your chamber.” —“When admonished or satirized, examine yourself.” -“He who receives no guest will seldom find a host." " Friends at hand are better than relatives far away." —"The slow horse must feel the lash.” “He would hide his track, yet he walks on the snow.”—“Only the naked fear the light." _“If the escort go a thousand miles, it shall leave you at last!” Even in China, some women contrive to get an education; and among them the wife of Commissioner Lin, whose duty it was in 1838" to punish the consumers of opium.” Commissioner Lin was a poet, but he has penetrated farther into the middle ages than Browning. We of the nineteenth century lose sight of him. His verses do not offer us one line. His love for his wife touches the human heart in us, in spite of the dull level of the page which records it. The tablet literature of China is little known to Europeans; but the whole country is filled with inscriptions, one day to be translated.' Specimens may be found in the Proceedings of the Royal Asiatic Society for 1855. Confucius and Mencius were both born in the king. dom of Loo. At Tsow-bien are tablets in memory of both. There is also, a statue of Mencius, showing a man, thoughtful, resolute, and outspoken, who had known trial. It is curious that Mencius inscribed on his father's tablet these words: “The spirit's resting-place.” The mother of Mencius was a famous woman, who cut a web she was weaving, to prove to him the folly of idleness, and left a costly house because a neighboring butcher steeled his childish heart. Meucius gave her a superb funeral; and the story of the web is exhibited on one of her tablets.
Kio-feu-hien is a larger city, the birth-place of Confucius, where eight families out of ten bear his surname.
Here is a gnarled old cypress-tree, said to have been planted by Confucius himself. Here is the pavilion in which he taught. His temple is of richly carved marble, and its ornamented eaves are protected from the birds by a delicate wirework! Within it sits the statue of Confucius, eighteen feet high, holding the reed with which men wrote two thousand years ago. Statues of favorite disciples surround bim. Among the beautiful incense pots, rare relics are preserved. One clay dish dates from the time of Taou, 2,300 B.C. A bronze censer. is inscribed with the name of Shang, 1,500 B.C. Bronze elephants, and a carved red-wood table more than a thousand years old, speak volumes of the refinement which the arts had then reached and have since lost.
Confucius was not handsome. He had full, contemplative eyes, and projecting teeth. A hundred and twenty engraved
slabs, built into the temple wall, show in picture the story of his life, and exhibit the furniture, dress, and buildings of his period. The present head of the family lives near, in a house within whose walls the classics were found after a long sleep. They had been hidden from an illiterate emperor, 212 B.c. ! Some of the tombs of the Chinese are pyramidal; trees are groving on their summits; but they instantly suggest the pyramids of Egypt. Such is the tomb of the ancient emperor, Sha-ou-Haou, near the temple of the Duke of Chow, the ideal statesman of Confucius. If avenues, and cypresses, and groves of ancient oak; if gateways, and carvings, and . images of men and animals; if tablets and inscriptions and altars make a magnificent burial, - then is Confucius magnificently buried.
ART. IV.—THE WORCESTER ASSOCIATION.
The Worcester Association and its Antecedents : a History of Four
Ministerial Associations, - the Marlborough, the Worcester (Old), the Lancaster, and the Worcester (New) Associations. With Biographical Notices of the Members, accompanied by Portraits. By Joseph Allen, Senior Pastor of the First Congregational Society
in Northborough. Boston: Nichols & Noyes, 1868. The county of Worcester has long been the largest and most populous of the interior counties of Massachusetts. The expression of the opinion of its people, when such an expression can be gained, is a more sure expression of the opinion of Massachusetts than is the opinion of any other county. With moderate advantages for agriculture, this county has been forward in the improvements of this century in what relates to the cultivation of land. Its great success in farming is in the raising of stock, in which department its most valuable triumphs have been in its care and improvement of the breed of men; a remark, indeed, which may be made of most New-England farming. The waters from its highlands flow into every considerable river in New England, reaching the sea by the Connecticut, the Thames, the Black