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He (Confucius ) sacrificed to the dead as if they were present. He sacrificed to the spirits as if the spirits were present.
The Master said, “I consider my not being present at the sacrifice as if I did not sacrifice."
The philosopher Tsăng said, “ Let there be a careful attention to perform the funeral rites to parents, and let them be followed when long gone with the ceremonies of sacrifice : then the virtue of the people will resume its proper excellence."
Tsze-hea said, “Mourning having been carried to the utmost degree of grief, should stop with that."
The philosopher Tsăng said, "I heard this from our Master. Men may not have shown what is in them to the full extent, and yet they will be found to do so on occasion of mourning for their parents."*
Lin Fang asked what was the first thing to be attended to in ceremonies.
The Master said, “A great question, indeed !"
“In festive ceremonies it is better to be sparing than extravagant. In the ceremonies of mourning it is better that there be deep sorrow than a minute attention to observances.”+
* The sentiment designed to be expressed is, that grief for the loss of parents brings out the real nature of man.
† The reader may wonder that this chapter is so short, since the Chinese are such a religious people ; but throughout the work he will find many allusions to religious matters, and more of them would have been introduced here but for the fact that the paragraphs in which they occur belong more especially to other sub
CONFUCIUS HAD NOT HEARD OF THE ATONEMENT.
The Master said, “He who offends against Heaven has none to whom he can pray.”
“If a man in the morning hear the right way, he may die in the evening without regret."
jects. The reader, however, will not fail to notice and be struck by them wherever they occur.
As to the religious belief and practice of Confucius, he will learn that he believed in the power of heaven to decree, to reward and punish; that he worshiped heaven and earth, the spirits, and ancestors; that he prayed much, and sacrificed much; and that much emphasis was placed on the duties and ceremonies of mourning for parents.
The ancient Chinese believed in the existence and controlling power of spirits. They talked about the spirits of the land and grain, and of the hills and the fountains, and of the rain altars. They believed in omens, lucky and unlucky. They were superstitious, as they are now.
Mention is frequently made of Shang Tai, the High Ruler, by which the ancient Chinese doubtless understood a great ruling power somewhere. Sh
Tai and Heaven generally meant the same thing, though many times in speaking of heaven as an object of worship their conceptions arose no higher than the visible heavens.
The Chinese now everywhere have gods which they call Shang Tai, of which they have images, and concerning which their ideas are as low as concerning any other god which they worship.
Wang E asked what filial piety was. The Master said, “It is, not being disobedient.”
Soon after, as Fan Ch'e was driving him, the Master told him, saying, “Wang-sun asked me what filial piety was, and I answered him-Not being disobedient."
Fan Ch'e said, “What did you mean?” The Master replied, “That parents, when alive, should be served according to propriety ; that, when dead, they should be buried according to propriety; and that they should be sacrificed to according to propriety.”
Tsze-yew asked him what filial piety was. The Master said, “The filial piety of now-a-days means the support of one's parents. But dogs and horses likewise are able to do something in the way of support; without reverence, what is there to distinguish the one support given from the other?”
Tsze-hea asked what filial piety was. The Master said, “The difficulty is with the cour tenance. If, when their elders have any troublesome affairs, the young
the toil of them, and if, when the young have wine and food, they set them before their elders, is this to be considered filial piety?"
The Master said, “In serving his parents, a son may remonstrate with them, but gently; when he sees that they do not incline to follow his advice, he shows an increased degree of reverence, but does not abandon his purpose ; and should they punish him, he does not allow himself to murmur.'
“While his parents are alive, the son may not go abroad to a distance. If he does go abroad, he must have a fixed place to which he goes.”
“If the son for three years does not alter from the way of his father, he may be called filial.” “The
years of parents may by no means not be kept in the memory, as an occasion at once for joy and for fear.”
The philosopher Yew said, “ They are few who, being filial and fraternal, are fond of offending against their superiors. There have been none, who, not liking to offend against their superiors, have been fond of stirring up confusion.”
The Master said, “While a man's father is alive, look at the bent of his will ; when his father is dead, look at his conduct. If for three years he does not alter from the way of his father, he may be called filial."
SOCIAL INTERCOURSE, AND NEIGHBORHOOD OBLIGATIONS.
The Master said, “Is it not pleasant to have friends coming from distant quarters ?”
“There are three friendships which are advantageous, and three which are injurious. Friendship with the upright; friendship with the sincere ; and friendship with the man of much observation : these are advantageous. Friendship with the man of specious airs; friendship with the insinuatingly soft ; and friendship with the glibtongued: these are injurious."
“There are three things men find enjoyrrent in which are advantageous, and three things they find enjoyment in which are injurious. To find enjoyment in the discriminating study of ceremonies and music; to find enjoyment in speaking of the goodness of others; to find enjoyment in having many worthy friends: these are advantageous. To find enjoyment in extravagant pleasures; to find enjoyment in idleness and sauntering; to find enjoyment in the pleasures of feasting: these are injurious.
“There are three errors to which they who stand in the presence of a man of virtue and station are liable. They may speak when it does not come to them to speak; this is called rashness. They may not speak when it comes to them to speak ; this is called concealment. They may speak without looking at the countenance of their superior; this is called blindness."
“There are three things which the superior man guards against. In youth, when the physical powers are not yet settled, he guards against lust. When he is strong, and the physical powers are full of vigor, he guards against quarrelsomeness. When he is old, and the animal powers are decayed, he guards against covetousness."
“There are three things of which the superior man stands in awe. He stands in awe of the ordinances of Heaven. He stands in awe of great men. He stands in awe of the words of sages.