1. 論語摘要 Some sayings of Confucius

  2. 中庸摘要 Some sayings from "Moderated Way"

  3. 大學摘要 Some sayings from "Great Learning"

  4. 書經 (尚書) 摘要 Sayings from "Shu Jing", an ancient Chinese history book

  5. 我們祖先的一些教導 Sayings from ancient China

  6. 唐太宗 的教導等等 Political thinking from Tang Dynasty

  7. 大秦景教流行中國碑 Jesus : "Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" -- a message GOD also gave to ancient China

論語摘要 Some sayings of Confucius


Confucius : "Shijing contains 300 poems. To summarize them in one sentence -- 'think no evil'".
(Note : Shijing is an ancient Chinese poetry book. Please read the notes in the Links section below.)


Confucius : "Learn without thinking will lead you to dullness of mind and confusion. Think but not learn will lead you to dangerous paths".


Confucius : "I tried thinking the whole day and whole night with fasting, but it didn't help. To learn is better than mere thinking".


Confucius : "If you know something, then say 'I know'. If you don't know, then say 'I don't know'. Then you really know".


Confucius : "A person who keeps not promise will have blankness before him. It may be compared to a car that has no wheel. Can it run on the road ?".


Confucius : "If your goal of life is the pursue of righteousness, then you can keep yourself away from evil".


Confucius' student : "The way of Confucius is nothing but faithfulness in one's words and deeds, and be forgiving".


Confucius : "Gentlemen focus on righteousness; base people focus on gain".


Confucius : "See a righteous man, I try to improve myself so as to measure up to him. See an evil man, I search my heart to see if I have that evil in me".


Confucius : "A gentleman would speak less but quick to do more".


Confucius : "A righteous person should be ashamed if he talks more than what he could walk".


Confucius : "An educated person is one who loves to learn, and would not shy away from asking questions, even asking people of low standing/learning".


Confucius : "Yamwu is a commendable man. Scant food, scant drink, poor accommodation in a small alley -- would worry most people, but Yamwu did not change his joy!"
(note : Yamwu was one of Confucius' students who loved to learn very much, yet died early. Confucius grieved much for him.)


Confucius : "Improve not my morality; hiding my knowledge and teach others not; heard of the righteous way yet yield myself to it not, aware of my evils yet correct myself not -- these are my worries".


Confucius : "A gentleman has three fears

  • Fear the commandments of Heaven (= GOD).
  • Fear those in authority.
  • Fear the teachings of godly men long gone.
A base fellow
  • knows not the commandments of Heaven and fears them not,
  • dishonour those whom we should show respect,
  • despise and humiliate the teachings of godly men long gone".


Confucius : "I am not one who is born with knowledge. I just love the teachings of my forefathers, and I am diligent in learning them".


Confucius : "Honest, keep promise, 'love learning', and hold fast the good way onto death".


Confucius : "A righteous man would never give up his righteousness for survival, but die for righteousness".


Confucius : "Hold fast faithfulness and keep promise, befriend not with people of low morality than ourself, shy not away from amending our erroneous way".


Confucius : "If after searching my heart and find no wrong, then why should I fear".


Confucius : "A gentleman helps other to do what is pleasing (morally good), but not helps them to do evil. A base person does just the opposite".


Confucius : "People of old learn to satisfy themselves. People today learn to satisfy others".


Confucius : "If one is faithful (in words and deeds), is honest, is reverent and sober, then even in foreign place, he can walk. If one is not faithful, does not keep promise, is irreverent and playful, then he cannot walk even in his own country".


Confucius : "A righteous man finds fault in himself, a base person finds fault in others."


Confucius : "A righteous man would hold his position but not contention nor quarrel. A righteous man love to be among people but not ganging with them".


Confucius : "Be forgiving. Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you.".


Confucius : "When a multitude hate someone, must stand apart and examine carefully. When a multitude favor someone, must stand apart and examine carefully".


Confucius : "Having done wrong, yet amend not, is wrong".


Confucius : "I would teach all who come to me without discrimination".


Confucius : "Do not attempt to work with people whose way is not your way".
(e.g. a god-fearing man and a godless man have different values)".


Confucius : "There are three things that help and three things that erode,

  1. love restraint/decent music,
  2. love righteous deeds of others even onto mentioning them to others,
  3. love befriend with righteous people,
would all help.
  1. Love unrestraint/indecent/arrogant music,
  2. love leisurely pleasure,
  3. love feasting/eating,
would all erode".


Confucius : "A gentleman has three restraints

  • When young, when still in the flesh, retrain from adultery.
  • When matured and strong, restrain from engaging in fights.
  • When aged, restrain from greediness for gains".


Confucius : "Hear some rumors on the road and follow others to spread the rumour, the righteous would never do".


Confucius : "One who is expert in speech (making you very happy), and is skilful to change according to what you show on your face, that person is rarely righteous".


Confucius : "If I hear the WAY in the morning, then even if I die in the evening, I am contented".

中庸摘要 Some sayings from "Moderated Way"

  • 天命之謂性,率性之謂道,修道之謂教。

    The commandments of Heaven is what we call "nature". To follow this "nature" is the "way". To cultivate this "way" is to be educated.

  • 道也者,不可須臾離也,可離非道也。

    The "way" is that we mustn't depart for a moment. If it is something that we can depart from, then it is not the "way".

  • 是故君子戒慎乎其所不睹,恐懼乎其所不聞。莫見乎隱,莫顯乎微,故君子慎其獨也。

    A gentleman fears of what he isn't aware of; for all things has small beginning, what is plainly visible today was hardly visible in the beginning. A gentleman should be cautious when he is alone, for fear of sinning, when no one is watching.

    (For example, if one loves porn, one may look at porn occasionally when no one is present. Gradually one will love porn more and more, and may spend many hours a day on porn, and finally he may attempt rape, ...)

  • 喜怒哀樂之未發,謂之中;發而皆中節,謂之和.

    To be "moderate" means that we keep our "Gladness, Anger, Sadness, Happiness" in check. And to be harmonious means that when we express those feelings, we keep them under restraint.

  • 寬柔以教,不報無道.

    Forgiving, gentle and meek, as a way that others may learn -- do not repay evil done to you.

  • 君子和而不流,強哉矯!中立而不倚,強哉矯!國有道,不變塞焉,強哉矯!國無道,至死不變,強哉矯!」

    • A gentleman loves to live harmoniously with others, yet not follows the multitude (to do evil).
    • Show no partiality.
    • When the situation is good, keep one's way.
    • When the situation is evil, still keep one's way, even onto death.

    These are commendable behaviour.

  • 素隱行怪,後世有述焉,吾弗為之矣。君子遵道而行,半塗而廢, 吾弗能已矣。

    Practicing the occult, performing the strange (e.g. magic, witchcraft), these are recorded in history, yet I will not do them. A gentleman should follow the "way". Depart from the "way" after some years and not persist to the end, is not what I would do.

  • 道不遠人,人之為道而遠人,不可以為道。

    The "way" is not away from people. If one walks the "way", yet distant himself away from people, then one cannot be said to walk in the "way".

  • 忠恕違道不遠,施諸己而不願,亦勿施於人。

    If one is faithful in one's words and deeds, and be forgiving, then one is not far from the "way". The things that we do not wish others to do to us, do not do to others.

  • 言顧行,行顧言.

    When we talk, we should consider whether we can walk the talk. When we walk, be careful with what we talk.

  • 君子素其位而行,不願乎其外。素富貴,行乎富貴;素貧賤,行乎貧賤;素夷狄,行乎夷狄;素患難行乎患難,君子無入而不自得焉。

    A gentleman is content with what he is, and would not think "what if I am not in this situation!". If rich, do with what you have; if poor, do with what you have; if live in a foreign land, just live in it; if fallen into calamities, live with it. A gentleman should find peace in all situations.

    (Note : a similar Western saying is "If you cannot change it, do not worry about it.")

  • 在上位不陵下,在下位不援上,正己而不求於人,則無怨。上不怨天,下不尤人。

    When we are high, do not oppress the low; when we are low, do not try to "scrub the back of the high" to climb high. Correct ourself, yet not demand the same standard from others, and others would not resent us. When we are in difficult situation, do not put the blame on Heaven (GOD), nor put the blame on others.

  • 故君子居易以俟命。 小人行險以徼幸。

    A gentleman would wait for LORD, until LORD changes his fate. A base fellow would attempt the dangerous, and hope he may get gains out of it.

    (Note : in the Bible, [Jer 28:13], it is recorded if we attempt to change the "yoke" GOD put onto us, GOD would place a more heavier "yoke". Therefore we should amend our behaviour and wait for LORD.

    [Jer 28:13] LORD's word to Hananiah through Jeremiah : "Go, tell Hananiah, 'Thus says the LORD: You have broken wooden bars, but I will make in their place bars of iron.'"

  • 好學近乎知,力行近乎仁, 知恥近乎勇。

    "Love learning" is near knowledge. "Diligent to do what is right" is near righteousness. "Blush and know shame" is near courage.

  • 修身則道立,尊賢則不惑.

    If we continue to improve our righteousness, then our "way" will be established. If we honor the righteous and the godly, then we are less likely to be confused.

  • 去讒遠色,賤貨而貴德.

    Throw away "gluttonous and love gourmet food" spirit.
    Stay far away from the "love of sex".
    Despise gold/silver/jewels ..., but hold as precious "righteousness".

  • 誠者,天之道也;誠之者,人之道也。

    Honesty is the way of GOD. To practice honesty, is the way of being a human.

  • 誠之者,擇善而固執之者也。

    One who chooses righteousness and holds it fast resolutely, is one who walks in truth and honesty.

  • 博學之,審問之,慎思之,明辨之,篤行之。

    Study widely, question what we have studied, solemnly think over them (meditate carefully on them), to make out whether they are right or wrong, and practice the good "way" resolutely.

  • 自誠明,謂之性。自明誠,謂之教。誠則明矣,明則誠矣。

    Starting from being honest to having a heart full of light is natural. Starting from having a heart full of light to being honest is what we call "educated". If we are honest, then we can have a heart full of light. If we have a heart full of light, then we can be honest.

  • 唯天下至誠,為能盡其性.

    Truth fills heaven and earth. If a person is perfectly honest, then he can perceive nature.

  • 至誠之道,可以前知。國家將興,必有禎祥;國家將亡,必有妖孽。

    Perfect honesty enables one to perceive the future. When a nation is about to prosper, there must be harmony. When a nation is about to perish, there must be widespread devilish, demonic practices.

  • 誠者自成也,而道自道也。誠者物之終始,不誠無物。是故君子誠之為貴。 誠者非自成己而已也,所以成物也。

    Truth (or perfect honesty) is self eternal, and the "way" exists of itself. Truth is the origin of all things; without truth, there is no creation. Therefore a gentleman values being of truth. Truth is not a thing that is created. Truth created all things.

  • 愚而好自用,賤而好自專,生乎今之世,反古之道:如此者,災及其身者也。

    If a fool, or a base fellow, does what is right in his own eyes (not in the eyes of GOD, or in the eyes of his fellow people), and listens not to others; he lives in a modern world (with full access to all historical records), yet walks contrary to the "ancient way" -- the way of our forefathers, then he invites calamities onto himself.

大學摘要 Some sayings from "Great Learning"

  • 大學之道,在明明德,在親民,在止於至善。

    "Great Learning" is

    • to publish righteousness that are of light, so that all can understand it;
    • to treat people as family members;
    • aim at perfect goodness.

  • 知止而後在定,定而後能靜,靜而後能安,安而後能慮,慮而後能得。

    If one knows to stop, then one can control oneself. If one can control oneself, then one can quiet down. If one can quiet down, then one can have peace in one's mind. If one has peace in mind, then one can think.

  • 欲修其身者,先正其心。欲正其心者,先誠其意。欲誠其意者,先致其知。致知在格物。物格而後知至,知至而後意誠.

    If one wants to improve one's morality, then one must right one's mind. To right one's mind, one must be sincere and honest and pure in one's intention. To be pure and sincere and honest in one's intention, one must have conscience. To have a good conscience, one must rid oneself of materialistic influences. When materialistic influences are gone, conscience comes. With this conscience, then one can be pure and honest and sincere in one's intention.

  • 所謂修身在正其心者,身有所忿 □,則不得其正,有所恐懼,則不得其正, 有所好樂,則不得其正,有所憂患,則不得其正。心不在焉,視而不見,聽而不聞,食而不知其味。此謂修身在正其心。

    To improve our morality, we must right our mind (or heart). If there is hatred, grudge, anger, in our heart, then it cannot be righted. If there is fear in our heart, then it cannot be righted. If we love pleasures, revelry, our heart cannot be righted. If there are worries in our heart, it cannot be righted. If our heart is not right, then seeing we would not see, hearing we would not hear, eat and we taste not. Therefore, to improve our morality, we must right our heart first.

  • 自天子以至於庶人,一是皆以修身為本. 其本亂而末治者否矣。

    From king to common people, they should single-mindedly make the improvement of their own morality as basic. If this basic is confused, then the ends cannot be managed.

  • 「顧 □ 天之明命。」

    Have regard of the Commandments of Heaven that are in the light.

  • 「克明峻德。」

    Work diligently towards having a righteousness that is of the light, and delightsome.

  • 「苟日新,日日新,又日新。」

    If we improve our morality everyday, and persist in doing so everyday, then everyday our morality will be one step higher.

  • 《詩》云:「緡蠻黃鳥,止於丘隅。」 子曰:「於止,知其所止,可以人而不如鳥乎?」

    Shujing (an ancient Chinese poetry book) : "The yellow bird knows where to rest itself -- in an isolated corner of a small mountain" (i.e. safe place). Confucius : "It knows where to rest, do people know not where to rest?"
    (Note : it means people can find rest only in having good morality, in being righteous.)

  • 為人君,止於仁;為人臣,止於敬;為人子,止於孝;為人父,止於慈; 與國人交,止於信。

    If you hold kingship, aim for righteousness. If you are under someone's authority, aim for respect and reverence. If you are a son, aim for honoring your parents. If you are a father, aim for kindness and compassion. In dealing with your fellow people, aim for honesty and keeping promises.

  • 君子賢其賢而親其親,小人樂其樂而利其利.

    A gentleman has regard for a righteous person because of his righteousness, and cares for relatives because they are his family members.
    A base fellow is happy with those who make him happy, and shows favor to those who benefit him.

  • 所謂誠其意者,毋自欺也。

    To have honest and pure intention, one mustn't deceive oneself. One must be honest with oneself.

  • 故君子必慎其獨也。小人閒居,為不善,無所不至,見君子而後厭然,掩其不善,而著其善。 人之視己,如見其肺肝然,則何益矣。此謂誠於中,形於外,故君子必慎其獨也。 曾子曰:「十目所視,十手所指,其嚴乎!」

    A gentleman should be cautious when he is alone and no one is seeing, for fear of sinning. A base fellow would sin when he is free at home, and would do all sins. But when he sees someone coming, he would hide his sins and appear to be good. However, others see us as if they can see our lung and liver! Then what good is there to pretend? If one is honest in one's heart, one's appearance will show it. Therefore a gentleman should be cautious when he is alone. Tsang-tse said : "Our neighbours would see us, would condemn us for our sins. Shouldn't we fear this?"

  • 其家不可教而能教人者,無之.

    If we cannot teach our family and keep our own house in order, then we cannot teach others.

  • 「如保赤子。」

    "Care for those under us as if we care our little child".

    (Note : in another ancient writing, there is a teaching "赤子之心", meaning, "Make our heart pure as a child". They are two different teachings. The verse above means that we should care for those under us as if they are our sons and daughters.)

  • 一家仁, 一國興仁;一家讓,一國興讓;一人貪戾,一國作亂.

    If one family practices righteousness, whole nation will practice righteousness. If one family would give way and let others go first, whole nation will give way and let others go first. If one family loves gains and cruelty, then the whole nation will be in chaos.

    (Note : we must be careful with our behaviour, and do not think : our act will not affect others.)

  • 是故君子有諸己而後求諸人,無諸己而後非諸人。所藏乎身不恕,而能喻諸人者,未之有也。

    A gentleman would possess a righteousness first, before demanding the same from others. A gentleman would rid of his error first, before demanding others to rid of that error. I have never heard of one that harbors unforgiveness in heart, yet succeed in educating others.

  • 上老老而民興孝,上長長而民興弟,上恤孤而民不倍,是以君子有□矩之道也.

    If those in high position honor the elderly, common people will honor the elderly. If those in high position show respect to those older than they, then all people will love brotherly love. If those in high position show compassion to orphans and those who have no relatives to take care of them, then the people will not be rebellious. Therefore a gentleman acts according to set rules.

  • 所惡於上,毋以使下,所惡於下,毋以事上;所惡於前,毋以先後;所惡於後,毋以從前;所惡於右,毋以交於左;所惡於左,毋以交於右;此之謂□矩之道。

    If we hate being treated that way, do not treat others that way. This is what we call the set rule.

    (Note : compare with Jesus' teaching : "So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.")

  • 好人之所惡,惡人之所好,是謂拂人之性, □必逮夫身。

    If we love to do what is abominable in the eyes of others; or if we hate what others regard as precious and is of value, then we are against man's nature, and calamity will come to us.

  • 是故君子有大道,必忠信以得之,驕泰以失之。

    There is good prospect for a righteous person. One gets it because of faithfulness (in words and deeds) and keeping promises. One loses it because of proudness and laziness.

  • 「惟命不於常。」

    "Our fate will not remain unchanged."

    (Note : it means that if we do righteousness, GOD will bless us. But if we trust in our righteousness and start doing evil, GOD will take away His blessings from us, and curse us instead. Similarly, if we are under curse, and we amend our behaviour, GOD would stop cursing us.)

  • 未有上好仁而下不好義者也,未有好義其事不終者也.

    It will not be : one who is in high position and practices kindness and compassion, yet one's subordinates practice unrighteousness.
    It will not be : one who loves righteousness, yet fails to do something.

  • 「楚國無以為寶,惟善以為寶。」

    Our nation do not treasure treasure, but treasure righteousness.

  • 此謂國不以利為利,以義為利也。

    A nation should not regard "interests" as interests, but regard righteousness as "interests".

書經 (尚書) 摘要 Sayings from "Shu Jing", an ancient Chinese history book

  • 天道福善禍淫

    It is the way of Heaven to send blessings to the good, and calamities to the licentious.

  • 皇天無親,惟德是輔。

    Heaven has no relative that He should show favor to, but will help those who work righteousness.

  • 天惟純佑命

    If one is pure in heart, then Heaven will protect his/her life.

  • 聖謨洋洋,嘉言孔彰。惟上帝不常,作善降之百祥,作不善降之百殃。爾惟德罔小,萬邦惟慶,爾惟不德罔大,墜厥宗。

    Godly teachings are plentiful, commendable teachings are everywhere visible.

    GOD is not pre-determined in His acts -- if one does good, He will send hundreds of blessings; if one does evil, He will send hundreds of calamities.

    Do not think righteousness is a small thing, it can make glad many provinces. Do not think unrighteousness is no big deal, it can ruin what your ancestors had built up.

  • 德惟一,動罔不吉,德二三,動罔不凶。惟吉凶不僭在人,惟天降災祥在德。

    If you work righteousness single-mindedly, all you do will be blessed. If you waver in righteousness, all you do will be cursed. People cannot assume blessing or curse for themselves, but Heaven determines whether to send blessing or curse based on righteousness or unrighteousness.

  • 敬忌天威

    Reverent and fear the power (or anger) of Heaven.

  • 惟德動天,無遠弗屆。滿招損,謙受益。時乃天道。

    It is true everywhere, even in distant land, that righteousness would move the heart of Heaven ( = GOD). If you are proud, you will incur degradation; if you are humble, you will benefit.

    Wait for the LORD, for it is the way of Heaven that GOD acts according to His own due time.

    (Note : There was rebellion in some distant land; and the king sent troops to subdue them, but for 30 days, he failed to subdue the rebellion. Then an officer spoke the above words to the king, and the king listened and recalled the army. The king also became more conscious in dealing in righteousness. 70 days later, the rebels surrendered.)

  • 惟天無親,克敬惟親   ...   德惟治,否德亂。與治同道罔不興,與亂同事罔不亡。

    Heaven has no relatives, but Heaven will get close to one who strives to be reverent and sober. ....

    If we work towards righteousness, we will become orderly. If we work unrighteousness, we will encounter chaos. All who walk with righteousness will prosper, all who walk with chaos will perish.

  • 至諴感神

    Perfect honesty would move the heart of GOD.

  • 至治馨香,感于神明,黍稷非馨,明德惟馨。

    Perfect orderliness gives off pleasing smell, that GOD will be moved. The smell from rice, grain is not pleasing smell, but righteousness that is of the light is pleasing smell.

  • Sober, carefulness, reverence.

  • 濬哲,文,明,溫,恭 (濬 = 通 )

    • Have knowledge of the ways of GOD;
    • be learned in the ways of our forefathers;
    • of light, walk in the light;
    • meek;
    • reverent and respectful to others.

  • 直而溫,寬而栗,剛而無虐,簡而無傲 (栗 = 顫慄, 敬畏)

    • Upright yet meek;
    • Tolerant yet fearful of misbehaviour;
    • Strong (in character) and resolute yet do not maltreat others;
    • live a simple life yet are not proud.

  • 寬而栗 ,柔而立,愿而恭,亂而敬,擾而毅,直而溫,簡而廉,剛而塞,彊而義 ( 愿 = 老實/厚道,塞 = 充實, 彊 = 堅強 )

    • Tolerant yet fearful of misbehaviour;
    • meek yet firm in holding fast what's right;
    • faithful and reverent and respectful;
    • sober when faced with chaotic situations;
    • harassed yet deviate not from his ways;
    • upright and meek;
    • live a simple life and love not unrighteous bribes;
    • strong and resolute in character yet study widely to fill oneself with knowledge;
    • unbending yet follow righteous principles.

  • 為善不同,同歸于治,為惡不同,同歸于亂。

    There are many ways to do good, but all converge to making life peaceful and orderly. There are many ways to do evil, but all converge to creating chaotic situations.

  • 密邇先王其訓,無俾世迷。(密 = 親密,邇 = 近 )

    Get close to the teachings of ancient kings, and do not let yourself be deluded and confused by the multitudes of temptation of the world.

  • 玩人喪德,玩物喪志。

    To play with people (to make sport of people) will ruin your righteousness. To play with material things (to occupy oneself with material things, e.g. car, Hi Fi, clothes, ...) will ruin your desire to be a worthy person.

  • 克明俊德 (克 = 克服)

    Work towards publishing a righteousness that is of light and delightsome (so that all may know righteousness).

  • 克慎明德

    Work diligently and carefully to publish righteousness.

  • 君子所其無逸,先知稼穡之艱難。

    If one is not lazy but works in the rice field, then one can understand the difficulties in farming (in getting one's food).

  • 朝夕納誨,以輔台德。

    Morning and evening accept instructions, that you may improve your righteousness.

  • 無恥過作非

    Do not be ashamed of correction and persist in wrongs.

  • 學于古訓乃有獲

    We gain by learning ancient teachings.

  • 慎厥身修,思永。( 厥 = 此, 它)

    Be careful with improving your own morality. Think of the eternal (= long, long term effect of an act).

  • 欲敗度,縱敗禮。( 欲 = 慾)

    Fleshy passions will ruin established ordinances; un-restrained acts will ruin established courtesies.

  • 天作孽,猶可違,自作孽,不可逭。( 違 = 違背/避免,逭 = 逃避 )

    If Heaven does evil by sending earthquake, flood, ..., it is still possible for us to evade. But if we do evil ourself, there is no escape.

  • 內作色荒,外作禽荒,甘酒嗜音,峻宇彫牆,有一于此,未或不亡。

    If one is caught in one of these :

    • hungry for sex in his inner chambers,
    • hungry for pleasure in the field - hunting,
    • loves good-tasting wine, loves singing and dancing from singing girls,
    • loves building big house and decorates one's house with intricate cravings,

    then one will perish eventually.

  • 不邇聲色,不殖貨利 。( 邇 = 近)

    Do not incline your heart to (*) love of singing and dancing from singing girls (*) love of sex. Do not accumulate material things nor gains.
    (Note : the above was an advice from an officer to his king.)

  • 克寬克仁

    Work hard to be forgiving to your subordinates, work hard to be righteous and compassionate.

  • 以義制事,以禮制心。

    Restrain your acts with righteousness, restrain your heart (e.g. love of sex, love of pleasures, good food, ...) with accepted courtesies.

  • 恭默思道

    Always meditate the Way, in silence and in reverence.

  • 有言逆于汝心,必求諸道,有言遜于汝志,必求諸非道。( 遜 = 敬/恭順 )

    If a saying contradicts what your heart inclines to, then your must search whether it is of truth. If a saying is pleasing to your ambition, then you must search whether it is of falsity.

  • 殖有禮,覆昏暴。欽崇天道,永保天命。

    Plant in the hearts of people courtesy - to care for one's relatives and the poor, and to act within acceptable norms. Discourage blindness (acts without conscious thinking) and abusive behaviour, or bully. Respect and extol the way of Heaven, forever keep the commandments of Heaven.

  • 敢有恆舞于宮,酣歌于室,時謂巫風。敢有殉于貨色,恆于遊畋,時謂淫風。敢有侮聖言,逆忠直,遠耆德,比頑童,時謂亂風。惟茲三風十愆,卿士有一于身,家必喪,邦君有一于身,國必亡。

    • Love of incessant dancing in the palace, love of eating, drinking, singing (by the singing girls) in the chambers -- this is the spirit of devils.

    • Devote oneself entirely to acquiring material goods; doing sex; hunting and pleasure in the fields -- this is the spirit of licentiousness.

    • Elders who humiliate the godly teachings, who walk against faithfulness and uprightness, who depart from the virtuous way an elder should walk and the righteousness pertaining to the aged, who act like naughty children -- this is the spirit of "up-down" perversion.

    These 3 spirits, and ten sins, if one acquires one of them, one's house will be ruined. If a king acquires one of them, his rule will perish.

  • 無從匪彝,無即慆淫,各守爾典,以承天休。( 彝 = 法度 , 即 = 靠近 , 慆 = 長久 )

    Do not follow the ways of the wicked; do not engage in licentious acts; each of you should keep the laws and ordinances, so as to receive the rest from heaven.

  • 天難諶,命靡常,常厥德,保厥位,厥德匪常,九有以亡。

    Heaven is not fixed, fate is not fixed. Always work your righteousness, then your can preserve your position. If your righteousness is perverted, nor constant, then the 9 districts you rule will escape out of your hand.
    (Note : the above words were from one long serving officer to the king's son who was just enthroned.)

  • 德盛不狎侮 ( 狎 = 玩, 玩弄)

    A person who is righteous will not make sport of others, nor humiliate others.

  • 所寶惟賢,則邇人安。( 邇 = 近)

    If we treasure not material treasures, but treasure the righteous, then people near us would have peace.

  • 不矜細行,終累大德。

    If we are not careful with our small acts, our righteousness will be eroded eventually.

  • 惟忠惟孝

    Be faithful (in words and deeds and loyal), and honour parents.

  • 克勤無怠

    Work diligently and not be lazy.

  • 祗勤于德,夙夜不逮。

    Diligent in acquiring righteousness, morning and evening.

  • 業廣惟勤

    To make the business we are engaged in flourish, we must work hard.

  • 丕承無疆之恤

    Possess a compassion that is very big (boundaryless).

  • 爾惟敬明乃訓

    You should regard as instructions : reverent and conduct yourself as in the light (one can see only if one walks in the light).

  • 無載爾偽,作德心逸日休,作偽心勞日拙。

    You should never practice falsehood. He who walks in righteousness has rest in his heart, and his rest increases with time. He who deals falsely -- liars, pretenders, deceivers, ... labours very hard in his heart, and becomes poorer and poorer in his trickery as time goes on.

  • 罔不惟畏,弗畏入畏。

    We should hold everything in reverence and with proper fear. If we do not know how to fear, we will fall into real fears one day.

  • 無以巧言令色,便辟側媚。

    Do not use flattering words to gain favour from others.

  • 責人斯無難,惟受責俾如流,是惟艱哉。

    It is not difficult to admonish others; but it is difficult when being admonished, that we search our heart and correct ourself as admonished.

  • 無依勢作威,無倚法以削。

    Do not oppress others when you have powerful friends. Do not rob the people when the law is on your side.

  • 必有忍,其乃有濟,有容,德乃大。

    A person can accomplish something only if one has patience. If one is tolerant and forgiving, one's righteousness will be great.

  • 習與性成

    What one habitually does will form one's character.

  • 不虐無告,不廢困窮。

    Do not maltreat those who have no one to complain to; do not ruin the way of those who are poor and is in strait.

  • 益曰:吁,戒哉,儆戒無虞,罔失法度,罔遊于逸,罔淫于樂,任賢勿貳,去邪勿疑,疑謀勿成,百志惟熙,罔違道以干百姓之譽,罔咈百姓以從己之欲,無怠無荒。( 虞 = 預料, 熙 = 廣)

    An officer to his king : "Watchful and be alert to the unexpected; do not act beyond the laws and well-established ordinances; do not indulge in leisurely pleasure; do not indulge in watching the dancing and singing of the singing girls; do not be undecided in appointing the righteous to official posts; do not be hesitant in removing the wicked from official posts; do not implement a policy which is suspected of by others; encourage the expressing of views by all your officers; do not act against the "Way" in order to win the praise of people; do not follow your fleshy passions while the people disapprove; do not be lazy."

  • 無稽之言勿聽,弗詢之謀勿庸。 ( 庸 = 用)

    Do not listen to sayings the validity of which cannot be proved; do not implement a policy without first listening to the views of your officers (i.e. seek collectively counseling first before implementing a policy.)

  • 汝無侮老成人,無弱孤有幼。

    You should not humiliate the aged, the adult. You should not weaken (rob the things of) the orphans, or those with child.

  • 克明德慎罰,不敢侮鰥寡。

    Work hard to publish righteousness (educate the people in righteousness), and be careful in administering punishment. Never oppress the aged and single, nor the widows.

  • 無作聰明亂舊章。詳乃視聽,罔以側言改厥度。

    Do not think you are intelligent and make changes to well-established ordinances, for that might throw the ordinances into confusion. Be careful with, and investigate carefully what you hear and see -- do not change your principles because of biased sayings.

  • 同寅協恭和衷

    Colleagues help one another, respect one another, work in harmony and unity of mind.

  • 無面從,退有後言。

    Do not be pretentious : showing obedience before the face of senior, yet when away from him, utter back-biting words against him.

  • 無教逸欲 (= 慾)

    Never teach the people to be lazy and to indulge in fleshing passions.

  • 元首明哉,股肱良哉,庶事康哉; 元首叢脞哉,股肱惰哉,萬事墮哉。

    If the head (= top man) is of the light, and therefore see things clearly, and if his arms and legs (i.e. subordinates) are righteous, then all things will proceed healthily. If the top man has many bad habits, and his arms and legs are lazy, then all things will fail.

  • 為人上者,柰何不敬。

    Why shouldn't a man in high position show reverence and respect ?

  • 先王克謹天戒,臣人克有常憲。

    Ancient kings worked hard to keep the commandments of heaven, officers worked hard to keep well-established ordinances.

  • 居上克明,為下克忠。

    It is desirable that those in high position should walk in the light and therefore could see things clearly. It is desirable that those in lower positions to be faithful to their superiors.

  • 君罔以辯言亂舊政,臣罔以寵利居成功。

    A king should not use his skill in arguments to pervert long established ordinances/policies. An officer should not think he is successful when he is favoured by the king.

  • 任官惟賢材

    Only appoint the righteous and capable to official positions.

  • 同力度德

    Work together to make righteousness to be the rule of the land.

  • 樹德務滋

    Be diligent in planting righteousness.

  • 德將無醉

    A righteous officer will not get drunk.

  • 上下勤恤

    From top to bottom, all were diligent in being compassionate to others.

我們祖先的一些教導 Sayings from ancient China

  • 學莫先于義利之辨. [張栻]

    The first step in learning is to distinguish between "right or wrong" Vs. "is it good to us ? or evil to us?"

  • 人心貴乎光明潔淨. [程頤]

    It is valuable that we have a clean heart and a heart that is full of light.

  • 吾無過人者, 但生平所為, 無不可對人言耳. [司馬鄐稽

    I have nothing that surpasses others, but all through my life, I have not done one thing that I am afraid to tell others.

  • 人前說得出的方可做. [史典]

    Do only things that you are not afraid to tell others.

  • 存心光明正大, 言論光明正大, 行事光明正大. [陶覺]

    Have a heart that is upright and full of light. Speak only things that are upright and full of light. Do things that are upright and full of light (or that can be exposed to light).

  • 丈夫心事當如青天白日, 使人人得而見之. [薛瑄]

    The heart of a gentleman should be like the sun in a clear sky, so that all may see it.

  • 毋自欺也. [禮記]

    Do not deceive yourself.

  • 作偽心勞日拙, 作德心逸日安. [書經]

    One who deals falsely -- liars, pretenders, deceivers, ... labours very hard in his mind, and becomes poorer and poorer in his trickery as time goes on. One who walks in righteousness has rest in his heart, and his peace increases with time.

  • 欲齊其家, 先修其身. [禮記]

    If we want to set our own house in order (that is, keep our wife, children, ... behave in an orderly manner), we must first improve our righteousness.

  • 古之學者, 只是誠實. [李子庸]

    The ancient learned people had one thing, that is honesty.

  • 人不可以無恥. [孟子]

    A man must not be shameless.

  • 欲人勿知, 莫若勿為. [漢書]
    (廣東話 : 若要人不知, 除非己莫為.)

    If you do not want others to know of it, then do not do it.

  • 吾人一舉一動, 毋令愛我者痛, 仇我者快. [陶覺]

    In our every act, do not grieve the hearts of those who love us, but make glad the hearts of those who delight in our fall.

  • 人有智巧, 我不如人, 此漪O我顙茼n處. 切勿增添機術, 失此孩心. [彭端吾]

    See someone excels in his trickery, that I cannot do, then it is my strong point. Never learn that trickery, and lose our childhood purity.

  • 孝, 德之本也. [孔子]

    Honour our parents, is the basis of righteousness.

  • 不寶金玉, 而忠信以為寶. [禮記]

    Do not treasure gold, jade, ...., but treasure loyalty and faithfulness in one's words and deeds.

  • 勸人息爭者, 君子也. 激人起事者, 小人也. [賈石葵]

    One who persuades others to stop quarreling, fights, is a gentleman. A base fellow would agitate others into fights and quarrels.

  • 賭博, 狎妓, 飲酒等事, 最為傷神亂性, 宜痛戒己之. [陶覺]

    Gambling, going to prostitutes, get drunk -- are things that would ruin our spirit and confuse our mind, and that we must stop doing them.

  • 昔人云 : "見利思義". 見色亦當思義, 則邪念自息矣. [陸世儀]

    Our ancient fathers said : "When faced with gains, think of righteousness". Not only so, when faced with sex, think also of righteousness. If we can do this, evil thoughts will leave.

  • 見利不虧其義, 見死不更其守.

    When faced with unrighteous gains, we should not change our righteousness -- do not take unrighteous gains. When faced with death, we should not change our principles, values, righteousness. But hold them fast onto death.

  • 憎我者禍, 仇我者死, 皆當生悲憫心, 不可稍存慶幸. [陶覺]

    When those who hate us suffer calamities, or my enemies perish, we should have a compassionate heart, and never have a heart that is glad of calamity.

  • 滿招損, 謙受益. [書經]

    A proud person will lose in knowledge, a humble person will gain in knowledge.

  • 有一分謙退, 便有一分受益處. 有一分誇張, 便有一分挫折來. [胡達源]

    One little act of humility, will bring one little gain in knowledge. On little act of proudness, exaltation, will bring some humiliation.

  • 勿以善小而不為, 勿以惡小而為之. [蜀漢昭烈帝]

    Do not think a good act is too small, that we do not bother to do it. Do not think an evil act is too small that we are not afraid of doing it.

  • 終身為善不足, 一日為惡有餘. [何垣]

    It is not enough to do good the whole life, but doing evil for just one day is enough to ruin us.

  • 一念之欲不能制, 而禍流于滔天. [程頤]

    If we cannot control just one fleshy passion (e.g. love of sex, love of food, love of porn, love of drugs, love of gambling, ...), the consequences will be extremely severe, and long lasting.

  • 填不滿慾海. [勸戒全書]

    Fleshing passions (love of sex, love of food, love of drug, love of porn, ...) is like a sea, that no matter how much we try to fill it, it cannot be full.

  • 少殺生命, 最可養心. 最可惜福, 一般皮肉, 一般痛苦, 物但不能言耳. [高景逸]

    Do not kill animals unnecessary or be cruel to them, because it can nurture our heart. Animals have the same flesh, same feeling, as us, except that they cannot talk.

  • 目不視非禮之色, 耳不聽非禮之聲, 口不道非禮之言, 足不踐非禮之地; 人不善不交, 物非義不取; 親賢如就芝蘭, 避惡如畏蛇蠍. [邵康節]

    Our eyes should not see unrighteousness; our ears should not hear unrighteousness; our mouth should not speak unrighteousness, our foot should not be in unrighteous place. Do not make friends with unrighteous persons. Do not take unrighteous gains. Love and befriend with a righteous person as if one loves orchid. Distant yourself from an evil man as if from a poisonous snake.

  • 凡事須腳踏實地, 方可做得.

    Pragmatic, doing one step at a time, doing with our whole heart and effort, could we then finish a work in satisfaction.

  • 臨淵羨魚, 不如退而結網.

    Seeing a lot of fish in the pond, and longing to have them as food, yet standing there and doing nothing, is of no use. We should step back and weave net (that may take time, but in the end, we will have fish).

  • 實事求是.

    Face everything solidly.

  • 走不視地者顛.

    If we walk, and do not look at the road, then we will trip.

  • 貞女不假人以色. [烈女傳]

    A decent girl would not falsify others with her beauty, with her sex.
    (Note : some girls would use sex to ensnare others.)

  • 經一番挫折, 長一番見識. [陶覺]

    Every failure, every disappointment, will add to our experience.

  • 不藏怒焉, 不宿怨焉. [孟子]

    Do not hide our anger in our bosom, do not let our grudge stay with us overnight.

  • 邪書休看, 邪話休聽, 邪人休見, 邪地休行. [呂近溪]

    Do not read evil books, do not hear evil words, do not see evil man, do not go to evil places.

  • 微邪者, 大邪之所生. [管子]

    From little evil, comes big evil.

  • 前車覆, 後車戒. [漢書]

    When we see the front car falling into a pit, we, the car that follows, should take warning.
    (Note : learn from history, learn from past mistakes.)

  • 前事不忘, 後事之師. [賈誼]

    If we do not forget past happenings, then past happenings will be our teachers in time to come.

  • 古之仕者為人, 今之仕者為己. [程頤]

    The ancient people assumed public office for others, men of today assume public office for themselves.

  • 責人時, 須想 : "人非聖賢, 孰能無過". 律己時, 須想 : "細行不矜, 終累大德". [朱樹新]

    When we try to rebuke others, think "people are not saints, who in the world does not make mistakes." But when dealing with our own fault, we should think, "if we are not careful with our small acts, in the end, our righteousness will be eroded."

  • 容人之過, 珓D順人之非. 若以順非為有容, 世亦安賴有君子? [史搢臣]

    We forgive others' trespasses, but that doesn't mean that we sanction others' wrongs because of friendship, and speaking to him would ruin friendship. If because of friendship, we tolerate and allow others' wrongs to continue, then what is the use of having righteous person on Earth?

  • 自家過失, 不消遮掩. 遮掩不得, 又添一短. [呂近溪]

    We mustn't hide, conceal our own wrongs. If we hide our wrong, that wrong will forever be added to our list of wrongs, and stay with us forever.

  • 君子憂道不憂貧. [論語]

    A gentleman would worry about his righteousness (whether he measures up to the standard or not) but not worry about his poverty.

  • 知足常樂, 能忍自安. [陶覺]

    One who is always contented will be happy, one who can endure will have peace.

  • 學業才識, 不日進, 則曰退. [左宗棠]

    Our learning, our ability, if we do not improve everyday, then it will get worse everyday.

    (Note : there is another similar saying,


    Learning is like rowing a boat in a river, if you do not move forward, you will be propelled backward.)

  • 業精於勤, 荒于嬉. [韓愈]

    Our learning, our ability, will get better if we are diligent and hard working, but will be ruined if we love playing too much.

  • 好問則裕, 自用則小. [書經]

    If we ask questions of others often, then our knowledge will increase. On the other hand, if we think we know everything, our knowledge will decrease.

  • 酮G而知新. [論語]

    Revising materials that we learned in the past may add new understanding.

  • 日習, 則學不忘. [論語]

    If we practice what we have learned, then we will not forget what we have learned.

  • 取法於上, 僅得其中. 取法於中, 不免為下. [李世民]

    If we learn from the best, we can at most be middle. If we learn from the middle, then we cannot escape from being of the low.
    (Note : for example, if we want to learn Maths, we should read books written by great mathematicians. If we read book by average mathematicians, then our result of learning will be poor.)

  • 疑者, 覺悟之機. 知其疑而問焉, 其悟自不遠矣. 若徒以為曉得, 便竟住了, 大無益. [陳白沙]

    When we suspect the validity of something, then it is the start of understanding. When we question its validity, and ask questions, then understanding is not far away. If we think we understand it, and do not question it, then we gain little.

  • 吾人若久見不德, 不義之事, 即有被其薰染之虞. [吳秀三]

    If we see unrighteous evil deeds for long, then there is a danger that we be influenced by them, and start doing those evils ourselves.

  • 君子重修身而貴擇交. [姚鼐]

    A gentleman values cultivating his righteousness, and be very careful in making friends.

  • 與君子遊, 如入芝蘭之室, 久而不聞其芬, 則與之化矣 ; 與小人, 遊如入鮑魚之肆, 久而不聞其臭, 亦與之化矣. [禮記]

    If we befriend with righteous people for long, it is like entering a room full of orchids, and we would not be aware of the pleasing fragrance, because we have been influenced by them in invisible ways. Similarly, when we befriend with evil people for long, it is like entering a fish market for long, and we would not be aware of the fishy smell, because we are accustomed to those evils.

  • 近朱者赤, 近墨者黑. [野客叢說]

    If you are near red, you will be red. If you are near black, you will become black.
    (Note : be careful with whom we should befriend with.)

  • 古人無友不如己者, 尚友之道也. 求得賢者, 尚友之, 則聞其所聞, 見其所見, 而德日起矣. [游廣平]

    Ancient people would not make friends with people who are inferior in morality than themselves -- this is the meaning of friend. If we see a righteous person and befriend with him, then we hear what he hears, and see what he sees, and our righteousness will improve day by day.

  • 君子以同道為友, 小人以同利為友. [歐陽修]

    A gentleman makes friend with him who holds the same values as his; a base fellow makes friend with him who aims for the same gains as his.

  • 友為五倫之一, 慎於擇交, 懼其損也.

    Friend is one of the five relations. Therefore we should choose friends very carefully, lest we be dragged down in morality because of them.

  • 道吾過者, 是吾師. 誇吾好者, 是吾賊. [白雲上人]

    He who comes to me and points out my errors to me is my teacher. He who comes to me and flatters me is my enemy.

  • 書必擇而讀, 人必擇而交, 言而擇而聽, 地必擇而蹈. [張楊園]

    Be picky with books, be picky with people whom we befriend with, be picky with sayings/precepts, be picky with places we stay, visit.
    (Note : bad books can influence us, bad friends can influence us, bad sayings can influence us, places of evil, if we stay there for long, we may acquire evil.)

  • 觀書如交友, 久與之習, 必有薰染, 宜擇而觀之. [闆循觀]

    Reading book is like befriending with the author. If we read the book for long, we will be influenced by it. Therefore be very picky in choosing books.

  • 人生喪家亡身, 言語占了八分. [呂近溪]

    What brings death to ourself, ruin to our family, 80% of the cause is because of our speech.

  • 是非出口難收. [呂新吾]

    Slander, rumours, ..., once it left our mouth, it is impossible to retract it back.

  • 病從口入, 禍從口出.

    Illnesses arise from things that go into our mouth; calamities arise from things that proceed out of our mouth.
    (Note : very often, we eat unclean food, and become ill. Also, when we speak insolent, humiliating words to others, we bring calamities to ourself.)

  • 贈人以言, 重于珠王. 傷人以言, 甚于劍戟. [孫子]

    To educate another with one "righteous saying" is more than giving pearl, jade to them. To hurt others with words is more than using swords, spears.

  • 君子不唱流言. [禮記]

    A gentleman will not spread rumours.

  • 君子之言寡而實, 小人之言多而虛 . [說苑]

    A gentleman speaks less, but what he speaks is solid. A base fellow talks much, but much of what he talks is illusion.

  • 將欲論人短長, 先思自己如何. [賈石葵]

    When we are about to criticize others, think of ourself first -- do we do the same wrong ?

  • 一言不可輕許人. [薛敬軒]

    Do not be slight in making even one promise. Be sober when giving promise and be ready to fulfill our promise.

  • 不食其言. [公羊傳]

    Do not retract what you have promised, but do faithfully as you have promised.

  • 今日說定的話, 明日勿因小利害而變. [曾國藩]

    What we promise today, do not retract our promise tomorrow when we discover that the promise would make us lose money.

  • 責善者, 朋友之道也. [孟子]

    It is the way of friend that when we see the other doing something wrong, we point out the error to him.

  • 他山之石, 可以攻玉. [詩經]

    Stones from a foreign mountain, can be used to shape jade.
    (Note : the words from strangers, even from uneducated people, may help us improve our righteousness.)

  • 苦口良藥利干病, 忠言逆耳利於行. [家語]

    Medicine is bitter to our mouth, but it will cure our illnesses. Faithful words from others is bitter to our ears, but will help us correct ourselves.

  • 自家有過, 人說要聽. 當局者迷, 旁觀者醒. [呂新吾]

    We have faults, therefore when others talk of us, we should listen. Very often, our vision is limited and our thought is cramped; while others, standing in a far off position, might be able to see more clearly our faults.

  • 義士不欺心, 廉士不妄取. [說苑]

    A righteous man would never deceive his own heart, a person who hates bribes will not take unrighteous gain.

  • 從來有名士, 不用無名錢. 士大夫若愛一文, 不值一文 [于成龍]

    Those who left their names in history never took unrighteous money. If one loves one cent of unrighteous money, then he is not worth one cent.

  • 人只為一念貪私, 便銷剛為柔, 塞知為昏, 變恩為怨, 染潔為汙, 壞了一生人品. 故古人以不貪為寶. [王之鐵]

    A little greediness for unrighteous gains can change a strong man into a weak one, a wise man who sees into one who is blind. It can change our perception -- friends will appear to be enemies to us; and enemies appear to be friends so us. What used to be a "clean" person will become a "filthy, corrupted" one; and one's moral character is ruined forever. Therefore ancient people held as precious "not greedy for unrighteous gains".

  • 人之情不足於財, 則貪鄙苟得無所不至. [王安石]

    If one is not contented with what he has, then greed will take over him, and he will become a base fellow, and will do all sorts of base things.

  • 兒小任情驕慣, 大來負了親心, 費盡千辛萬苦, 分明K個仇人. [呂近溪]

    If we let our children break loose, let our children become proud, and accustom to do whatever he/she likes, then when they are grown, they will disappoint us and grieve our hearts. After spending so much time and effort for so many years, what we bring up is an enemy.

  • 禮, 義, 廉, 恥. 國之四維, 四維不張, 國乃滅亡. [管子]

    The four basics of a nation :

    1. care, politeness and courtesy to others, especially to family members, the weak and orphan, ...
    2. righteousness
    3. hate bribes, hate unrighteous gains
    4. sense of shame

    If these four basics are not visible, then the nation will perish.

  • 和氣致祥, 乖氣致異. [漢書]

    When spirit of harmony, of peace, prevails, then blessing will come. When devilish, demonic spirit prevails, then disasters will come.

  • 父子主僕, 最忌小處煩瑣. 煩瑣相對, 面目可憎. [鄐韞幫V]

    Father and son, master and slave, ..., should avoid fault-finding. If picking at small wrongs, finding faults with little things, prevail, then people will hate one another, and they wouldn't like to stay together.

  • 立法者, 須求大段妥善. 行法者, 當於小處彌縫. [李續賓]

    When enacting laws, we must make the principle clear and short. But when a judge is to administer the law, the judge must fill in minor details himself, according to the demands of that situation.
    (Note : this is different from the practice of the West, where it demands every minute details be explicitly written in the laws, and the lawyers can find loopholes in wordings and evade justice. What our ancient forefathers taught us is comparable to the laws of GOD as given to the Israelites. The laws are brief and short, but the principle of justice is clear to all. And when administering the laws, the judge fills in minor details according to that particular situation.)

  • 政者, 正也. [孔子]

    Politics is to right others, to help others walk the right way -- the righteous and upright way.

  • 先知覺後知, 先覺覺後覺. [孟子]

    When we understand something, we should help others who do not yet understand to understand.

Political thinking from Tang Dynasty

Tang dynasty was one of the most influential dynasty in Chinese history, in that Korea and Japan, as well as nations on the north and West of China were all influenced by it.

"貞觀政要" ("Important political measures when Emperor Tai-chung ruled") is an important book. It gives tremendous insight into the political thinking of that era, and is of value for all who wish to serve the people.

I have extracted from that book sayings that I consider important to this age, the age of 9-11. If you wish to know the full extent, I suggest you learn the Chinese language and read the book yourself.

Lastly, I would say that Koreans and Japanese all learned from that book since antiquity.

Note :

Tai-chung was the emperor. The other named persons were his officers.

  • 太宗 : "朕今所好者,惟在堯、舜之道,周、孔之教,以為如鳥有翼,如魚依水,失之必死,不可暫無耳。」

    Tai-chung : "What I love are the ways of the two ancient kings, and the teachings of Confucius from the Chow Dynasty. Their teachings are like wings to a bird, water to a fish, that death will follow without them. We mustn't depart from these teachings even for a moment."

  • 太宗:"朕每思出一言,行一事,必上畏皇天,下懼群臣。 天高聽卑,何得不畏? 群公卿士,皆見瞻仰,何得不懼? 以此思之,但知常謙常懼,猶恐不稱天心及百姓意也。"

    Tai-chung : "Before I speak a word, or do an act, I would fear the Heavenly King above, and fear my officers below.

    High Heaven hears the complaint from lowly people, then why should I not fear.

    Moreover, what I do are under the eyes of all my officers, then why should I not fear.

    Therefore I humble myself always, and keep fear (of Heaven, of doing wrong) in my heart always, for fear that what I do would not be in accord with the Will of Heaven, nor in accord with the will of the people."

  • 太宗 : "朕每閒居靜坐,則自內省,恆恐上不稱天心,下為百姓所怨。"

    Tai-chung : "Whenever I am free at home, I would search my heart, for fear that what I do would displease Heaven, or bring troubles to the people that they grumble against me."

  • 魏徵 : "昔黃帝與蚩尤七十余戰,其亂甚矣,既勝之後,便致太平。九黎亂德,顓頊征之,既克之後,不失其化。桀為亂虐,而湯放之,在湯之代,既致太平。紂為無道,武王伐之,成王之代,亦致太平。"

    (Translation omitted for this.) Emperor Tai-chung and his officers were discussing whether they should put in drastic measures of reviving the ancient teachings of Confucius, because it had been neglected for so long.

    They were undecided whether gradual change or drastic change should be adopted.

    Ngai-ching, one of his officers, quoted many instances from ancient China (4 instances) that peace would come quickly even after lengthy period of wars and chaos, if teachings of our forefathers were put in place (widespread education of teachings from our forefathers).

    Tai-chung listened to his advice, and in a very short time, peace came with orderliness.

  • 王珪 對 太宗 的話 : "漢家宰相,無不精通一經,朝廷若有疑事,皆引經決定,由是人識禮教,治致太平。近代重武輕儒,或參以法律,儒行既虧,淳風大壞。"

    Wong-kwai's (an officer under Tai-chung) advice to Tai-chung : "During the Han Dynasty, all the officers were familiar with the classics (of Confucius). When important decisions were to be made, they would consult the classics.

    Therefore all the people became familiar with what our forefathers taught, that they became courteous and educated. There was peace throughout all the land.

    But today, people put more emphasis on the use of force, inter-mingled with punishment for breaking the laws. Therefore they suffered in the teachings of our fore-fathers, and moral becomes bad."

  • 魏徵 : "民相愛,則無相傷害之意;動思義,則無畜奸邪之心。若此,非律令之所理也,此乃教化之所致也。"

    Ngai-ching (an officer under Emperor Tai-chung) : "If people love one another, they would not think of hurting each other. If before every action, they would think of righteousness, then those beastly thoughts, treacherous thoughts, evil thoughts, ... would not come.

    To achieve this, it is not through law and punishment, but through education."

  • 太宗: "朕看古來帝王以仁義為治者,國祚延長,任法御人者,雖救弊於一時,敗亡亦促。"

    Tai-chung : "According to my own observation, that ancient kings who ruled in righteousness, his rule would be prolonged. But if he ruled with law, that restrict people through punishment, which may be effective for a while, but his reign would not be long, and ruin came quickly."

  • 太宗 : "夫不學,則不明古道,而能政致太平者,未之有也。"

    Tai-chung : "If a person does not learn, he would not understand the ancient way. For a person who understands not the ancient ways to enter politics and bring peace to the people, that sure would not happen."

    (Note : Emperor Tai-chung set up some 400 schools, to educate people in the Confucius classics.

    Throughout history, whether it be the history of the Israelites (the Bible), or the history of the native Americans (Book of Mormon), or Chinese history, they all point to one fact -- that if the people do righteousness, GOD would send blessings; otherwise GOD would send curses and there come the ruin of the people. People would not know righteousness if there is no moral education).

  • 太宗 : "上智之人,自無所染,但中智之人無恆,從教而變."

    Tai-chung : "Those who are of sound intellect would not be influenced by surrounding filths. But for those of average intellect, they have no constancy. They would change according to what they are educated."

  • 太宗為教導他的眾子, 輯了一本書, 名叫《自古諸侯王善惡錄》. 在序中他說 : "故知善不積不足以成名,惡不積不足以滅身。然則禍福無門,吉凶由己,惟人所召,豈徒言哉!"

    Tai-chung compiled a book, titled "The good and evil deeds of kings since antiquity" for the education of his children.

    In the preface, he said, "Therefore we know that if we do not accumulate good deeds, renown will not come. Also, if we do not accumulate evil deeds, destruction/death will not come.

    Blessing and curse is not predetermined, it is our deeds that bring blessing or curse. These words are true."

  • 太宗:"人皆知畏避災害,不知行仁義則災害不生。"

    Tai-chung : "People know that if disasters come, they should flee. Yet they know not that if they practice righteousness, disasters will not come."

  • (太宗論兆頭, 信邪, 等等) 太宗:"且君天下者,惟須正身修德而已,此外虛事,不足在懷。"

    (Tai-chung's opinion on augury, on the appearance of comet, etc.) Tai-chung : "For a king to govern the land, he should think of conducting himself in a righteous way, and learn righteousness.

    Augury etc. are vain things, that we should not put them to mind."

  • 魏徵 : "君子掩人之惡,揚人之善,臨難無苟免,殺身以成仁。小人不恥不仁,不畏不義,惟利之所在,危人自安。夫苟在危人,則何所不至?"

    Ngai-ching (an officer under Emperor Tai-hung) : "A righteous person would not talk about the bad deed of others, but talk about their good deeds. A righteous person would give up his life for righteousness. Whereas a base person has no shame nor decency. A base person fears not doing unrighteousness. He has an eye only for his own personal gain. He would endanger others in order to save his own life. If he would endanger others to save himself, what else would he not do ?"

  • 前史云:"直臣立朝廷,奸邪為之寢謀。"

    Ancient Chinese historical writing : "When an upright and righteous officer stands in the king's court, the evil, the wicked would day and night plot against his downfall. They would plot against his downfall even when going to sleep !"

  • 褚遂良 : "得一善人,部內蘇息;遇一不善人,闔州勞弊。"

    Chu-shu-leung (an officer under Emperor Tai-chung) : "When an righteous is put to rule, the state has peace and rest. But when we put an unrighteous to rule, the whole state would be troubled."

  • 太宗:"天下愚人者多,智人者少,智者不肯為惡,愚人好犯憲章。凡赦宥之恩,惟及不軌之輩。古語云:『小人之幸,君子之不幸。』 『一歲再赦,善人喑啞。』凡『養稂莠者傷禾稼,惠奸宄者賊良人』。昔『文王作罰,刑茲無赦。』又蜀先主嘗謂諸葛亮曰:『吾周旋陳元方、鄭康成之間,每見啟告理亂之道備矣,曾不語赦。』故諸葛亮治蜀十年不赦,而蜀大化。梁武帝每年數赦,卒至傾敗。夫謀小仁者,大仁之賊。故我有天下以來,絕不放赦。今四海安寧,禮義興行,非常之恩,彌不可數,將恐愚人常冀僥倖,惟欲犯法,不能改過。」

    Tai-chung (on pardons) : "Those of unsound intellect are much more than those of sound intellect. Those of sound intellect would not do evil. Those of unsound intellect love to break the laws.

    When we show pardons, we fear letting go those who sin high-handedly.

    Our forefathers said :

    "Mercy to the base fellow is cruelty to the righteous".

    "If we show pardons repeatedly, the righteous would fade away and would not speak."

    "Keeping the weed would hurt the wheat, kind to the wicked is cruelty to the righteous".

    King of the Chow dynasty showed no pardons, but punished the wicked.

    Also, King of the Sze-chung told his officer Chu-kwok-leung : "I travelled widely around many provinces, and observed what makes for lawfulness and what makes for lawlessness, therefore I never talk about pardons." After the king died, his officer Chu-kwok-leung assumed his place, and he showed no pardons. In just 10 years, there was peace and lawfulness throughout the region of Sze-chung.

    King of Leung showed pardons several times a year, and his kingdom faced downfall eventually.

    When we speak of mercy to the wicked, we are being cruel to the righteous.

    Therefore, when I rule, I pardon not.

    See, now, everywhere it is peace. People practice righteousness and are courteous to one another. Virtues among people are too many to be counted.

    The fools have a mind that their wickedness would not be punished, therefore they high-handedly break the laws, and would not correct themselves."

    (Note : compare the Bible, how LORD ruled the Israelites 40 years in the wilderness after they left Egypt. LORD would not be hesitant to put those who sin high-handedly to death. There are different degrees of wrong -- guilt, sin, breaking the laws high-handedly.

    What our ancient kings did was what LORD did : widespread moral education, and strict enforcement of the laws to those who break the laws high-handedly.)

  • 深惡官吏貪濁,有枉法受財者,必無赦免。在京流外有犯贓者,皆遣執奏,隨其所犯,置以重法。由是官吏多自清謹。制馭王公、妃主之家,大姓豪猾之伍,皆畏威屏跡,無敢侵欺細人。商旅野次,無復盜賊,囹圄常空,馬牛布野,外戶不閉。

    (This described the situation under the rule of Tai-chung)

    Tai-chung hated those officers who took bribes, who perverted justice because of bribes. He would never pardon them.

    For those who took bribes to pervert justice, even where they were far from the capital, he would summoned them back and punished them according to their crimes.

    Because of this, his officers would fear to take bribes.

    Therefore he put a rein on the powerful families, and those who were rich and powerful. They feared and retreated, and dared not oppress the weak and poor.

    Because of this, there were no robbers in the wilderness, the prisons were always empty, the horses and cattles were in the grassland without fear of being stolen, and people would not close their doors, for no one would steal.

    (Note : in China, ever since antiquity, administration of justice is free of charge, no court nor lawyer's fees. People just went to the officer's office, and justice was dispensed quickly. The officers judged according to the moral teachings of Confucius, and the current laws. Laws were interpreted not as the Western lawyers do where they find faults with words and pervert true justice.)

  • 太宗 : "觀古人君,行仁義、任賢良則理;行暴亂、任小人則敗。"

    Tai-chung : "I observe the ancient kings. If they practice righteousness, and if they appoint only the righteous to governing positions, then they bring peace and orderliness to the place. But if they practice cruelty and force, and appoint base fellows to governing positions, they bring ruin to themselves."

  • 太宗 : "但朕年十八便舉兵,年二十四定天下,年二十九升為天子,此則武勝於古也。少從戎旅,不暇讀書,貞觀以來,手不釋卷,知風化之本,見政理之源。行之數年,天下大治而風移俗變,子孝臣忠,此又文過於古也。"

    Tai-chung : "I raised an army when I was 18. When I was 24, I subdued the world. When I reached 29, I became king. What my army achieved is greater than that of my ancestors.

    As I was in the army at an very early age, I did not have time to read.

    But once I was enthroned, books never depart from my hand.

    From the books, I know what makes for a morally good society, what brings lawfulness to a society.

    I practiced these. And in just a few years, there is peace throughout all the land. The moral of the people become good. Children become obedient to their parents, and officers show loyalty to their superiors. What I achieve in the civil side is greatter than that of my ancestors."

    (Note : Tai-chung followed his father to rise against the wicked king before them at the age of 18).

Jesus : "Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" -- a message GOD also gave to ancient China

Christianity was preached to China during the Tang Dynasty. Emperor Tai-chung of the Tang Dynasty welcomed the missionaries, and even built "temples" for them.

In 782 A.D.(?), one missionary made a stone, with some very important writings on it.

However, because later emperor of the Tang Dynasty disliked Christianity, Christianity ceased from China. "Temples" were destroyed and the stone was lost.

In 1623 A.D.(?), the stone was found among relics of a ruined church.

I translated part of it, the part which I think most important. I also use bold letters for words which I think were from GOD. I have also added some notes.

(Note to Chinese : Christianity in China was called "景教 -- religion that teaches people to walk in the light",
"大秦 means the Roman Empire where the missionaries came from",
"大秦寺 -- church from the Roman Empire".
The name of the stone is "大秦景教流行中國碑".
Click here for the whole Chinese text.

Terms were borrowed from Buddhism because it was popular then.

If you think I have made errors in translation, I would be grateful if you write your comments on my FORUM)




Here are godly sayings,

常然真寂, 先先而無元, 窅然靈虛, 後後而妙有, 總玄摳而造化, 妙眾聖以元尊者, 其唯我三一妙身無元真主阿羅訶歟。

One who is always of truth and tranquil, one who is before the beginning of all things yet has no beginning, immeasurable and spiritual, one who lasts longer than all things and exists forever, who holds all authority in heaven and created all things, guides all godly people and angels -- be the highest among them, is me, the only true GOD, Aloho ( = Jehovah). I have no beginning.

(Note : Aloho was the word for Jehovah, and was used by missionaries who came to China from Syria, at the time of Tang Dynasty.)

判十字以定四方, 鼓元風而生二氣, 暗空易而天地開, 日月運而晝夜作, 匠成萬物。

Setting right measurements for the earth, incited from the original spirit, I created two breathes.

Darkness and void were changed into sky and earth. Sun and moon rotate, forming day and night. I crafted and created all things.

(Note : see Book of Enoch (2) Chapter 25, 26 about the 2 "breathes" or entities.)

然立初人。別賜良和, 令鎮化海。

Then I created the first man.

Distinct from all my creations, I made him to be good-natured and meek, and I commanded him to manage the land and the sea.

渾元之性, 虛而不盈。素蕩之心, 本無希嗜。

His original nature is humble and not proud.

Pure and free his heart was, he had no desires nor obsessions.

(Note : no desire for possessions, wealth, fame, life of enemy, power, .... No obsessions like adultery, gourmet food, "Ecstasy", heroin, ...)

洎乎娑殫施妄, 鈿飾純精。間平大於此是之中, 隙冥同於彼非之內。

Until Satan high-handedly beguiled him. His pure spirit was ornamented.

He followed Satan's attitude and became proud, thereby blocking himself off from his "peace and goodwill towards all GOD's creations".

He followed the wrong of Satan, thereby making a split that he no longer viewed all GOD's creation as equal to himself, and his broad acceptance of GOD's creations was severed.

(Note : read Book of Enoch (2) Chapter 29, on how Satan became proud and wanted "to place his throne higher than the clouds above the earth, that he might become equal in rank to GOD's power.")

是以三百六十五種, 肩隨結轍, 競織法羅。

Henceforth in 365 ways, shoulder to shoulder they follow one another to tie knots of wild ideas that entangle themselves.

They compete to weave net of law breaking acts that ensnare themselves.

(Note : 365 is used metaphorically to mean numerous ways. During Tang dynasty, 365 was used to mean all possible things in a year.)

或指物以托宗, 或空有以淪二, 或禱祀以邀福, 或伐善以矯人。

Some pin their destiny on material things, or pursue after vanity/possessions and sink into wavering (unprincipled), or pray and offer to demons to invoke blessing, or cut themselves off from goodness to exalt over others.

智慮營營, 恩情役役。茫然無得, 煎迫轉燒。積昧亡途, 久迷休復。

Their mind can never rest, they think and consider, think and consider.

Their interaction with people become an extremely, extremely, laborious process.

Dazed and profit themselves not, they are as if in a firing pan, or as meat rotated over a fire.

Accumulating blindness, they walk the road of death. They are lost for a long time that they cannot turn back.

於是我三一分身景尊彌施訶。戢隱真威, 同人出代。

Therefore, I, the "three-considered-as-one" God, made a duplicate of myself, the Christian head, the Messiah.

Hiding my real power and authority, I was born a human being at that generation.

神天宣慶。室女誕聖於大秦。景宿告祥, 波斯睹耀以來貢。圓二十四聖有說之舊法。

Angels and the heavens sang for joy.

Virgin gave birth to the holy GOD in a Roman province.

Star showed sign of this peace to earth, and the Persians saw the bright star and came to offer gifts.

All this fulfilled the prophecy made long time ago by 24 prophets.


The teachings from the Messiah would enable families and nations to be put in order.

A new religion, that considers "the Father, the Holy Spirit, the Son" as one, that is of pure spirit, that is not on words but on deeds, is established.

陶良用於正信。制八境之度。煉塵成真。啟三常之門。開生滅死。懸景日以破暗府。魔妄於是乎悉摧。棹慈航以登明宮。含靈於是乎既濟, 能事斯畢, 亭午升真。

Application of efforts is directed to rightness (what is right in the eyes of GOD) and faithfulness.

The 8 ways to be blessed is made known.

After going through trial by fire, a body made of dust was turned into an eternal body.

The 3 precepts that one should always bear in mind -- "love, faith, hope" is made possible.

Death is swallowed by life.

The sun of Christianity is raised to dispel the reign of darkness. Lawless acts of demons, evil spirits, are broken.

Having walked the path of kindness and mercy, the Messiah ascended to his bright heavenly palace.

Spirit was made right, and things were done, the Messiah ascended back to heaven in midday.


From the above writing, we see that to be a Christian is simple --

Rely on Promises from GOD and from Jesus.
Love, faith, hope.

GOD explicitly told us that if we keep His laws/commandments, He would show mercy to us to thousands of generations [Ex 20:6]. This is a very valuable promise that we can hold to, for GOD never lies.

Jesus also said that if we keep his teachings, he as well as GOD would live with us [John 14:23].

With these promises from GOD, from Jesus, what should we fear ? But remember "love, faith, hope" in all situations we encounter, for nothing happen on earth without Jesus' approval, for Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth after he was resurrected by GOD,


  • LOVE of all man, love of all GOD's creations;

  • FAITH in GOD, who truly is a kind and merciful Heavenly Father who plans all things for the good of His children. All things would not happen without Jesus' approval. Jesus holds all authority in heaven and on earth. He is able to sympathize with us for he had been human before.

    FAITH also in GOD's saving power. See the millions of trees, flowers, fish, birds, animals, stars, ..., created and crafted by GOD, and you should know GOD's intelligence, and power to save and to intervene. In truth, GOD does intervene in all things on earth.

  • HOPE means not losing heart even in adverse situation, situation what we human would consider bad. That must be a reason that GOD allows that to happen. Therefore do not lose hope. Take all adverse situations as chance that would enable us to improve and learn.

Blessing to all who hear.

Further reading

Bible (English)

Bible (Chinese)

Main teachings of Jesus, [Matthrew chapters 5,6,7] (English)

Main teachings of Jesus, [Matthrew chapters 5,6,7] (Chinese)

Law of GOD and His commandments (English)

Law of GOD and His commandments (Chinese)

Meaning of baptism




GOD's laws require us to be kind to the land

GOD's laws require us to be kind to the trees

GOD's laws require us to be kind to be animals

Book of Mormon

"An Address to All Believers in Christ", by David Whitmer

This book is valuable to Christians today. It gives valuable insight of why the Mormon church went into error. The Book of Mormon is true history, but the Mormon church was captured by Freemasons (a dark alliance that swear "Oath of Silence" for power and money) at the very beginning.

Book of Enoch (1)

Book of Enoch (2)


孔子 (論語)
Confucius' Analect

  1. (Chinese)

  2. (English)

  3. (Simplified Chinese)

Shijing (An ancient Chinese poetry book)

Shijing (Chinese + English translation)

Content of "Shijing" -

  1. Songs 1 ~ 160 : songs from various provinces under Chow Dynasty
  2. Songs 161 ~ 234 : minor songs of the kingdom
  3. Songs 235 ~ 265 : greater songs of the kingdom
  4. Songs 266 ~ 305 :songs sung at ancestral temple (Our ancient forefathers worshiped "High Heaven", or "High King", which is the same as GOD/LORD of the Christians/Catholics.

唐詩 300 首
300 Poems from the Tang Dynasty

(English + Chinese)


  1. (English)
    (site 1)

    (site 2)

  2. (Chinese)
    (site 1)

    (site 2)

  3. (Simplified Chinese)



(*) 上帝的法律和誡命 Law of GOD and His Commandments
(*) 耶穌的主要教導 Jesus' Sermon on the Mount
(*) 耶穌的其他教導 Other Teachings of Jesus
(*) 聖歌 Hymn loved by Chinese