Carl F. Kupfer, A. M., Ph. D.
Press of the Western Methodist Book Concern
“The places described in this little volume represent the centers of religious life among the three religions of the great Imperial Kingdom. The time spent in visiting these places gives one an entirely new view of the relation of the religious systems of China to each other, and the hold they have upon the people. Strange as it may be, we find them opposing each other, and yet closely interlocked in silent partnership, of which even the Government is not excluded. Of course, in an Imperial Kingdom which numbers its inhabitants by hundreds of millions, with dialects, temperament, endeavors, and beliefs so different and varied, it is expected to find the greatest possible religious tolerance. And this is here true in-as-far as the principles of the different religious systems are in harmony with the statutes of the Government.” (from the Conclusion)
“Wherever in China this mountain is mentioned, whether in Kiang-si or in the most distant province, every one knows what it stands for. Just as much as Rome is known to all Catholics to be the home of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, so all Chinese know that the Pope of the Taoist Religion has his residence here. It was to this mountain retreat that Chang Taoling, the first Pope of the Taoist Religion, was directed in the first century of the Christian era. He had retired into seclusion in the mountains of Western China, devoting himself wholly to meditation and the study of alchemy. From the hands of Laotze, the founder of the Taoist Religion, who had lived six hundred years before him, he supernaturally received a mystic treatise by which he was enabled to compound the elixir of life.
The latter years of the mystic earthly experience of Chang Taoling were spent on the Dragon-Tiger Mountains, and it was there, where at the age of 123 years, after having compounded and swallowed the grand elixir, that he had gained power to ascend to heaven to enjoy, the bliss of immortality.”
(Above: A bamboo grove near Chang Taoling’s temple. Below: Lung-Hu Shan, the Dragon-Tiger Mountain.)
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