with their Lord's command 1 so that these wanderers may, in accordance with his gracious promise 2 find rest unto their souls, that rest for which their heart yearnes, and for which they have been seeking in for thousands of years.


We purpose, with the help of God, to give a brief account of the chief religions and philosophies of the great Chinese empire, and especially to inquire by what means, according to their teaching, men can obtain forgiveness of sin and eternal salvation. Our reason for doing this is that, as all are aware, China is probably the most populous country on earth, and that its people have been highly civilized and possessed of great learning and ability from the earliest times. Leaving aside the early mythical period, their history, as compiled by Confucius from earlier historical records, begins with the reign of the emperor Ya'u (ياؤ) 4 2356 B.C.

1 Matt. xxviii. 18-20. 2 Matt. xi. 20.
3 Chinese and other names are in these pages sometimes given in Arabic characters to show the translator how they should be transcribed.
4 Cf. Prof. H. A. Giles, Religions of Ancient China; Sir R. K. Douglas, Confucianism and Taouism; J. J. M. de Groot, The Religious System of China, its Ancient Forms, Evolutions, History and Present Aspect; M. G. Panthier, Confucius et Mencius; Sergin's Georgievski, Pervwi Period Kitaiskoi Istorii; Prof. S. Julien, Le Livre de la Voie et de la Vertu; Sacred Books of China, by Prof. Legge and others: Die Orientalischen Religionen, art. by De Groot.

There is doubtless some truth in what they relate of still more ancient times. Yet, in spite of all their learning and philosophy, the Chinese have not been able to attain unto the true knowledge of God, but to the present day they either worship images and large numbers of false gods, as well as their own deceased ancestors, or content themselves with a worldly form of philosophy, and set religion entirely aside. In a book published in A. D. 1640 no less than 800 divinities are mentioned as entitled to worship.

The traditional account of the origin of the universe and of mankind runs thus:—

In the beginning, when visible nature had not yet come into existence, there everywhere existed the widely diffused, undivided ether. By means of some secret, internal process, this ether which existed without division assumed the form of duality, as both matter and energy: Yin and Yang, the negative or feminine and the positive or masculine potency of matter respectively, earth and

heaven appeared. On the interaction of these depended the ultimate differentiation of the primordial ether, and, earlier than all other individualities, there was produced the first man in the world, by name Pw'an Ku. He is often represented as wielding an adze and making the world. It is not known how long he lived. When he died, his breath became the wind and the clouds, his voice the thunder, his left eye the sun, his right eye the