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and the assault against ignorance and falsehood must be made by the united forces of wisdom and truth. This necessitates original studies of ethnology and religious beliefs.”

The three great religions of China have from the inception of mission work had their successful and patient investigators. They have delivered to us very much of moral and religious truth, inherent in the systems, which are for us the very fulcrum of the lever in the process of lifting men, by the Gospel.

There are off-shoots of some of these religions, unique in many respects, widely influential, which demand our careful study, not merely because they are a distinct element in the religious life of a people, but more especially because they are a manifest breaking away from the inadequacy and incompleteness of the orthodox faiths. A belief in a future life, of reward and punishment, is a ghost that will not down, under the agnosticism of Confucius' epigram; “We know not life, how can we know death."

Of all the heretical sects in China, perhaps there is none so worthy of study as that which is known under several names, but whose most common designation is that of the “Pa Kua," A f, or "Eight Diagram Society.” With this name is allied another having much the same purpose and aim. We hear the two in the common phrase, “Chiu Kung, Pa Kua,” tu $ 111,* the “Nine Palaces, and Eight Diagram Societies." Other Societies branching out from these, will appear as our study proceeds.

A difficulty presents itself in the outset of the study. These sects are all known under the name of “Mi mi chiao,” secret societies. Their members are bound by well understood oaths not to divulge the tenets, much less the objects, of the sects. It may be that all of them had originally a political purpose, that of opposition to the Tartar Dynasty. The Triad Society in South China, with which the Pa Kua is connected, if indeed it be not another designation

* Origin of phrase “Chiu Kung.” There is a tradition that a friend and fellow

student of Lao Tzu, was a competitor with him in establishing a philosophical system. Owing to some error of conduct he was transformed into a tortoise, known as Kuei Sing Shing Mu. Notwithstanding this disability he still fought with the philosopher. By a happy accident, Lao Tzu tossed a valuable pearl, which he was adoring, into the air. It descended upon the back of the tortoise with such force, that he conld not longer thrust out his head and claws. A god, Ynan Shih Tien Tsur, planned to decapitate it should it now thrust out the head. Lao Tzu demurred, and calling a lad Pao Lieu, gave him a box with orders to put the tortoise into it. On lifting the cover, a gnat flew out. Smelling the blood of the tortoise the gnat flew upon it, and so great was its suction power, that the tortoise was sucked out of the shell, leaving it empty as an egg shell. The lad tried to catch the gnat, but it flew off to the Western Heaven, where were originally twelve connected celestial palaces. So great was the power of the guat now that it readily gulped down the first three orders of the Heavens. In this unique manner, but nine palaces were left. Henceforth there awaited the "nine palaces” for the aspirants to Paradise.

of the same sect, has always been known as political in its aims. The political purpose of the sects in the north has been largely lost sight of. It is a matter of study and of interest to us more as a system of religion, than as a body of Dynamiteurs, whose purpose is the destruction of the Reigning Dynasty. The government has considered all these sects as political, and has forced them into very great secrecy. In the “ Pa Ch‘ing Sü Si," the laws of the Manchu Dynasty, the 16th Chapter relates to Worship and Sacrifice. The 3rd division of this section especially denounces these secret sects who "meet at dusk and disperse at dawn.” They are to be seized wherever found, without warrant or examination, and punished or exiled. The 7th section of the Sacred Edicts is specially devoted to warning the common people, against the folly of being misled by “Heretics,” who persuade men and women to meet at night. Condign punishment is recorded as having been meted out to such in the good days of the Holy Ancestor, the "Humane Emperor Kang Hsi.” Classed with the abhorred sect of the “White Lily,', the adherents have always had and still have a wholesome dread of discovery and punishment. Recent experience has not assured them of any less danger.*

The difficulty of getting full and accurate accounts is not alleviated when many of the sectaries have given up their former beliefs, and have joined the Christian communion. They still fear that some ill may come to them. They decline to put anything to writing. They are reticent as regards many of their methods. We can then have but an imperfect, and merely preparatory study of these interesting religious companies.

A second difficulty is found in the absence of books that are accessible. The danger of discovery has been so great and constant that nearly every possessor of a book has destroyed it; nevertheless there are many books secretly copied, and privately read by their

Such can of course only be lent to the initiated. Without having examined these manuscripts which are supposed to contain the history and tenets of the sects, it is often difficult to trace vut a

owners.

One Stick of Incense Sect.
Former Heaven.
Diviners by Planchette.

* Names of other Heretical sects.

Yi Chu Hsiang,
Hsien Tien Men,
Lau Hua Chu Ping,
Wu Chi Chao Yuau.
Chiang Pao Men,
Luo Tien Men,
Hung Yang men,
Wu Sheng Men,
Fo Yeh Men,
Chiu Huie,
Chung Yang,

Opposed to burning incense.
Wuo burn incense, and invoke Buddha.
Who worship Pu Si only.
Not a secret Society.
Who reject Yü Huang.
Nine Palace Society,
An out growth of the Pa Kua.

connected narrative. Statements are made which are conflicting, and the average Chinese mind is not given to chronologic accuracy.*

The following sketch is therefore given, subject to whatever corrections or discoveries may be made by the writer himself, or any one more familiar with the topics in hand.

I.-History of the Pa Kua Society. We turn then to the origin and history of a sect whose numbers are very great and whose silent forces affect the hopes and aspirations of those for whom Confucianism has no sure word of comfort, and Buddhism only the external show of a senseless idolatry.

The founder of the Pa Kua Society was Li Hsien Tien, F, who seized the opportunity of the dissolution of the Ming dynasty to disseminate his views and establish his sect. The indefinite period, known as “late in the Ming, early in the Ch‘ing,” might well give rise to new doctrines and theories of life and of political action. In all probability the sect was originated with the purpose of expelling the Tartar dynasty, never however attaining the astonishing vitality of the Tai Pfings, and finally settling into what was after all the motive of its origin, the discovery of moral and religious truth. The first tenet of this society is the belief in an original cause for all things, to which the name Wu Sheng, fit , the unbegotten, or “Wu Sheng Lao Mu," HE 4 , the first mother of all things, is given. Although the name Mother is often added, there is distinctly a rejection of the idea of sex; that of guarding and nourishing being the fundamental thought. This conception is the product of modern Taoisin, and in fact all of these sects affiliate more closely with Taoism, than with the other orthodox religions. Yuan Shih Tien Tsun, í F, the Creator, of the Taoism mythology, is the counterpart of the “Wu Sheng” of the Pa Kua. And yet the sectaries fondly believe that they have a higher conception of the “Creator," the “Unbegotten,” than their fellows of the Tao sect. To the Pa Kua disciples, “ Wu Sheng" is the only God. He is the "Incomparable," the "All Merciful,” the “Highest,” and "Most Holy.” It is interesting to compare the views of many who have joined the Christian Church. They maintain it to be easier for them to accept our religion because they find their God, “Wu Sheng," in our personal God and Jehovah. Is “Wu Sheng" then

Names of some books of Pa Kua.
Kai Shan Chuan,

Book of Origins.
Tung Ming Li.
Sau Fo Lün,

Essay on Three Buddhas.
Tui Pei Tiu,

Pictures of the future.
Yuan Tien Kang Li,

History of beginnings.
Chün Feng,

Spring Zephers. Stone of two brothers.
Tung Fang Shao,
Feng Shen Yen Yu,

Work referred to time of Chiang Tai Kung.

the Shangti of the Chinese Classics ? I have been unable-and I say it without prejudice of the great discussion--to find any admission that Shangti and Wu Sheng, are the same. He may be the “Wu Chi,” but not the “Shangti.” In this connection it is interesting to note that “Wu Sheng” is called "Chen Shen,” and “Chen Tien Yeh," jtF11, in clear distinction from any and all gods known to Buddism and Taoism. Li Hsien Tien, the founder of the sect, offers himself to his disciples, as the incarnation of "Wu Sheng Mu.” We may remark in passing, the persistency of the idea of the incarnation of Deity, its possibility unquestioned, its reality maintained. Li Hsien Tien was a common laborer, living in the south. The story is that there appeared, at the gate of his master's residence, a genii, under the garb of a mendicant Taoist priest. "What do you want," said the Master “food, or money ?” “I want neither” replied the priest. “If not food or money, what is your desire ?” “I want to Tu Hua, # , transform, one of your laborers.” The phrase "Tu Hua,” to ferry across the skies, is a common term among the Taoists, representing the secret process of admission to the company of the “Immortals.” When Li Hsien Tien appeared with his basket over his shoulder, the priest bid him follow him. They went together to a desert place. There the priest 'cut grass for incense, and they together kneeled and worshipped with the K'o Tou. On this, the incarnated “Wu Sheng" unfolded the doctrines he was to proclaim, gave him the secret password, K'ou chüeh, 'the riddle and secret sign' of his office, and while they were still kneeling and praying, vanished. Li Hsien Tien rose from his prayer to find the genii gone, and himself the earthly representative of divine doctrine. Possessed of this secret, and set apart to this office, he went abroad secretly proclaiming his doctrine and quietly receiving disciples. He first received eight disciples who were empowered to proclaim the new sect as well as himself. The name “Pa Kua” has its origin from these eight men. Availing himself of the mystery attaching to the Diagrams, and maintaining that the new doctrine was from the Creator himself, he naturally discarded the diagrams of Wen Wang known as the “Hou Tien," F, and allied himself to the diagrams of Fu Hsi, the “Hsien Tien," $ , of the Divines. To each of these eight disciples a separate sign was given, and the different classes of the Society are really made distinct by these signs, rather than by the names of the eight diagrams. After the delivery of these secret passwords, disciples were added in great numbers, in the early Tartar dynasty, up to the time of the great Mohammedan rebellion in Kashgaria. It is reported that the Tartar emperor, perhaps Kang Hsi himself, issued an edict offering great honor and emolument to whomsoever would undertake successfully the subduing

of the rebels. Seeing his opportunity, Li Hsien Tien assembled his disciples in large numbers, and after consultation with them, offered to undertake the conquest of the rebels. Having returned in the triumph of victory, the emperor offered to promote hiin to high office. He declined the honor. Again the Emperor offered him pecuniary reward, which was in like manner declined.

He sought of the Throne, only one thing, the privilege of proclaiming his doctrines unmolested, and that the sect should not be oppressed or exterminated. The Emperor agreed to give him entire toleration in the eighteen Provinces, but did not give him a formal passport, or warrant. In fact he did not ask for such a warrant. He went forth therefore as before preaching his doctrines quietly, and assembling his disciples at night. In this way the night assemblies are accounted for. From this time onward, the sect increased rapidly in numbers. It is said that every class and condition of society are represented in the sect. Multitudes of scholars and literary men, officials also, even those holding the highest rank in the provinces and the capital. To the uninitiated the object of this society is ostensibly to preach salvation. There is concealed a purpose to overthrow the government. The latter object is not known to the acolytes. Even old adherents who have not seen the books do not understand it so.

II.-Organization. The organization of this widely extended sect is not elaborate. Its strength is its simplicity. It has the strength of democracy. Like the miltitia in other lands, its force lies in its units of organization. The division into eight, as has been intimated, depends upon a secret sign, which has reference to the position of the tongue in the mouth. According to the ethical philosophy of Taoism, the body is a congeries of gas-pipes, and the spirit of man is the contained air, although endowed with a conscious life. These gas-pipes, or conducting tubes of the spirit have a variety of stopcocks. The learned and initiated can control access or exit of the spirit by a skillful manipulation of these stop-cocks. To vary the figure, the body is a collection of telegraphic wires. The tongue is the instrument of connection, and transmission. Only those who have the secret, can skillfully manipulate, the ingress or egress of the soul. Upon such a basis eight sects are divided according to the position of the tongue in the mouth. In the first class, the tongue touches the roof of the mouth. In class 2nd, the tongue lies loose in the mouth. In the 3rd and 4th division the tongue touches the side of the mouth either right or left. These four classes, are each divided into a “Wen” and a “Wu," a literary and a military class. Thus the given number of eight is attained. The general classes, Wen and Wu, have each a separate purpose for attaining

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