תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

name of the measuring square, and all the lessons of the chapter are connected more or less closely with that. The application of this principle by a ruler, whose heart is in the first place in loving sympathy with the people, will guide him in all the exactions which he lays upon them, and in the selection of ministers, in such a way that he will secure the affections of his subjects, and his throne will be established, for" by gaining the people, the kingdom is gained, and, by losing the people, the kingdom is lost."9 There are in this part of the treatise many valuable sentiments, and counsels for all in authority over others. The objection to it is, that, as the last step of the climax, it does not rise upon all the others with the accumulated force of their conclusions, but introduces us to new principles of action, and a new line of argument. Cut off the commencement of the first paragraph which connects it with the preceding chapters, and it would form a brief but admirable treatise by itself on the art of government.

This brief review of the writer's treatment of the concluding steps of his method will satisfy the reader that the execution is not equal to the design; and, moreover, underneath all the reasoning, and more especially apparent in the 8th and 9th chapters of commentary (according to the ordinary arrangement of the work), there lies the assumption that example is all but omnipotent. We find this principle pervading all the Confucian philosophy. And doubtless it is a truth, most important in education and government, that the influence of example is very great. I believe, and will insist upon it hereafter in these prolegomena, that we have come to overlook this element in our conduct of administration. It will be well if the study of the Chinese Classics should call attention to it. Yet in them the subject is pushed to an extreme, and represented in an extravagant manner. Proceeding from the view of human nature that it is entirely good, and led astray only by influences from without, the sage of China and his followers attribute to personal example and to instruction a power which we do not find that they actually possess.

>

7. The steps which precede the cultivation of the person are more briefly dealt with than those which we have just considered. "The cultivation of the person results from the rectifying the heart

9 Comm, x. 5.

or mind."10 True, but in The Great Learning very inadequately set forth.

“The rectifying of the mind is realized when the thoughts are made sincere."11 And the thoughts are sincere, when no self-deception is allowed, and we move without effort to what is right and wrong, “as we love what is beautiful, and as we hate a bad smell.”12 How are we to attain to this state? Here the Chinese inoralist fails us. According to Choo He's arrangement of the Treatise, there is only one sentence from which we can frame a reply to the above question. “ Therefore,” it is said, “the superior man must be watchful over himself when he is alone."13 Following Choo's 6th chapter of commentary, and forming, we may say, part of it, we have in the old arrangement of The Great Learning all the passages which he has distributed so as to form the previous five chapters. But even from the examination of them, we do not obtain the information which we desire on this momentous inquiry.

8. Indeed, the more I study the Work, the more satisfied I become. that from the conclusion of what is now called the chapter of Classical text to the sixth chapter of Commentary, we bave only a few fragments, which it is of no use trying to arrange, so as fairly to exhibit the plan of the author. According to his method, the chapter on the connection between making the thoughts sincere and so rectifying the mental nature, should be preceded by one on the completion of knowledge as the means of making the thoughts sincere, and that again by one on the completion of knowledge by the investigation of things, or whatever else the phrase kih wul

I am less concerned for the loss and injury which this part of the Work has suffered, because the subject of the connection between intelligence and virtue is very fully exhibited in The Doctrine of the Mean, and will come under my notice in the review of that Treatise. The manner in which Choo He has endeavoured to supply the blank about the perfecting of knowledge by the investigation of things is too extravagant. “The Learning for Adults,” he says, “at the outset of its lessons, instructs the learner, in regard to all things in the world, to proceed from what knowledge he has of their principles, and pursue his investigation of them, till he reaches the extreme point. After exerting himself for a long time, he will

may mean.

[ocr errors]

10 Comm, vii. 1. 11 Comm. Ch. vi. 12 Comm, vi. 1. 13 Comm, vi. 2.

suddenly find himself possessed of a wide and far-reaching penetration. Then, the qualities of all things, whether external or internal, the subtle or the coarse, will be apprehended, and the mind, in its entire substance and its relations to things, will be perfectly intelligent. This is called the investigation of things. This is called the perfection of knowledge."14 And knowledge must be thus perfected luefore we can achieve the sincerity of our thoughts, and the rectifying of our hearts! Verily this would be learning not for adults only, but even Methuselahs would not be able to compass it. Yet for centuries this has been accepted as the orthodox exposition of the Classic. Lo Chung-fan does not express himself too strongly when he says that such language is altogether incoherent. The author would only be “inposing on himself and others.”

9. The orthodox doctrine of China concerning the connection between intelligence and virtue is most seriously erroneous, but I will not lay to the charge of the author of The Great Learning the wild representations of the commentator of the twelfth century, nor need I make here any remarks on what the doctrine really is. After the exhibition which I have given, my readers will probably conclude that the Work before us is far from developing, as Pauthier asserts, " a system of social perfectionating which has never been equalled.”

10. The Treatise has undoubtedly great merits, but they are not to be sought in the severity of its logical processes, or the largeminded prosecution of any course of thought. We shall find them in the announcement of certain seminal principles, which, if recognized in government and the regulation of conduct, would conduce greatly to the happiness and virtue of mankind. I will conclude these observations by specifying four such principles.

First, The writer conceives nobly of the object of government, that it is to make its subjects happy and good. This may not be a sufficient account of that object, but it is much to have it so clearly laid down to “ all kings and governors,” that they are to love the people, ruling not for their own gratification, but for the good of those over whom they are exalted by Heaven. Very important also is the statement that rulers have no divine right but what springs from the discharge of their duty. “The decree does not always rest

14 Suppl. to Comm. Ch. v.

be

on them. Goodness obtains it, and the want of goodness loses it."15

Second, The insisting on personal excellence in all who have authori. ty in the family, the State, and the einpire, is a great moral and social principle. The influence of such personal excellence inay overstated, but by the requirement of its cultivation the writer deserved well of his country.

Third, Still more important than the requirement of such excellence, is the principle that it must be rooted in the state of the heart, and be the natural outgrowth of internal sincerity. “As a inan thinketh in his heart, so is he.” This is the teaching alike of Solomon and the author of The Great Learning.

Fourth, I mention last the striking exhibition which we have of the golden rule, though only in its negative form.

66 What a man dislikes in his superiors, let him not display in the treatment of his inferiors; what he dislikes in inferiors, let him not display in his service of his superiors; what he dislikes in those who are before him, let him not therewith precede those who are behind him; what he dislikes in those who are behind him, let him not therewith follow those who are before him ; what he dislikes to receive on the right, let him not bestow on the left; what he dislikes to receive on the left, let him not bestow on the right this is what is called the principle with which, as with a measuring square, to regulate one's conduct."16

The Work which contains those principles cannot be thought meanly of. They are “commonplace," as the writer in the Chinese Repository calls them, but they are at the same time eternal verities.

15 Compi. x. 11. 16 Comm, x, 2.

CIIAPTER IV.

THE DOCTRINE OF THE MEAN.

SECTION I.

ITS PLACE IN THE LE KE, AND ITS PUBLICATION SEPARATELY.

1. The Doctrine of the Mean was one of the treatises which came to light in connection with the labours of Lew Heang, and its place as the 31st Book in the Le Ke was finally determined by Ma Yung and Ch'ing Heuen.

2. But while it was thus made to form a part of the great collection of Works on Ceremonies, it maintained a separate footing of its

In Lew Hin's catalogue of the Classical Works, we find “ Two pien of Observations on the Chung Yung."1 In the Records of the dynasty of Suy (A.D. 589–617), in the chapter on the History of Literature, there are mentioned three Works on the Chung Yung; -the first called “The Record of the Chung Yung," in two keuen, attributed to Tae Yung, a scholar who flourished about the middle of the 5th century; the second, “ A Paraphrase and Commentary on the Chung Yung," attributed to the emperor Woo (A.D. 502–549) of the Leang dynasty, in one keuen, and the third, “A Private Record, Deterinining the Meaning of the Chung Yung,” in five keuen, the author, or supposed author, of which is not mentioned. 3

It thus appears, that the Chung Yung had been published and commented on separately, long before the time of the Sung dynasty. The scholars of that, however, devoted special attention to it, the way being led by the famous Chow Leen-k'e. He was followed by the two brothers Ch‘ing, but neither of them published upon it. At last came Choo He, who produced his Work called “The Chung

1中庸說二篇:2隋書,卷三十二志第二十七經籍, 一, 2.12.3禮記中庸傳,二卷,宋散騎常侍戴顯撰;中庸 溝疏一卷,梁武帝撰;私記制行中庸義,五卷-4周濂溪

« הקודםהמשך »