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Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 39 (Classic Reprint)
Religion, having its monasteries and nunneries, its images and rituals. While it did so, it maintained the superstitions peculiar to itself: some, like the cultivation of the Tao as a rule of life favourable to longevity, come down from the earliest times, and others which grew up during the decay of the A au dynasty, and subsequently blossomed; now in...
Religion, having its monasteries and nunneries, its images and rituals. While it did so, it maintained the superstitions peculiar to itself: some, like the cultivation of the Tao as a rule of life favourable to longevity, come down from the earliest times, and others which grew up during the decay of the A au dynasty, and subsequently blossomed; now in Mystical Speculation; now in the pursuits of A lchemy; now in the search for the pills of Immortality and theE lixir vitae; now in Astrological fancies; now in visions of Spirits and in Magical arts to control them ;and finally in the terrors of its Purgatory and everlasting Hell. I ts phases have been continually changing, and at present it attracts our notice more as a degraded adjunct of Buddhism than as a development of the speculations of Lao-jze and Twang-jze. Up to its contact with Buddhism, it subsisted as an opposition to the Confucian system, which, while admitting the existence and rule of theS upreme Being, bases its teachings on the study of mans nature and the enforcement of the duties binding on all men from the moral and social principles of their constitution. It is only during the present century that the Texts ofT aoism have begun to receive the attention which they deserve. Christianity was introduced into China by Nestorian missionaries in the seventh century; and from the Hsi-an monument, which was erected by their successors in 781, nearly 150 years after their first entrance, we perceive that they were as familiar with the books of Lao-$ze and TT wang-jze as with the Confucian literature of the empire, but that monument is the only memorial of them that remains. In the thirteenth century the Roman Catholic Church sent its earliest missionaries to China, but we hardly know anything of their literary labours.(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)About the Publisher Forgotten Books is a
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