“In the same essay, another Chinese story is translated, and to the same effect:
“I knew a man”, says the author, “who during his life had killed many living beings, and was at last struck with an apoplexy. The sorrows in store for his sin-laden soul pained me to the heart; I visited him and exhorted him to call on the Amita; but he obstinately refused. His illness clouded his understanding; in consequence of his misdeeds, he had become hardened. What was before such a man when once his eyes were closed? In this life the night followeth the day, and the winter followeth the summer; that, all men are aware of. But that life, is followed by death, no man will consider. Oh, what blindness and obduracy is this!” (page 93).
These two instances of Chinese literature hardly strengthen the usual charge of irreligion and total materialism brought against the nation. The first little mystical story is full of spiritual charm, and would grace any Christian religious book. The second is as worthy of praise, and we have but to replace “Amita” with “Jesus”, to have a highly Orthodox tale, as regards religious sentiments and code of philosophical morality.
The following instance is still more striking, and we quote it for the benefit of Christian revivalists:
“Hoang-ta-tie, of T’anchen, who lived under the Sung, followed the craft of a blacksmith. Whenever he was at work he used to call, without intermission, on the name of Amita Buddha. One day he handed to his neighbors the following verses of his own composition to be spread about:
‘Ding-dong! The hammer-strokes fall long and fast, until the iron turns to steel at last! Now shall the long, long day of rest begin, the Land of Bliss Eternal calls me in!’ Thereupon he died. But his verses spread all over Honan, and many learned to call upon Buddha.””
H. P. Blavatsky