PREFACE. this concluding volume we shall endeavour to discover the magical significance of many peculiar incidents in the Hung ceremonies, which task accomplished we can then devote ourselves to a con sideration of the mystical interpretation of the Rite. Therein we
shall discover that, despite the evil reputation which the Society has gained, it teaches mystically the bitter experiences and numerous obstacles encountered by the aspiring soul on its journey back to God. Is it too much to hope that the Society may arise from the depths into which it has fallen and become once more the vehicle for sublime spiritual teaching to the Chinese Nation, and if possible a common meeting ground on which men of every religion can co operate in harmony? To the Buddhist and Christian Chinese alike such a possibility should appeal most strongly, and if once adopted the Hung Society might prove a bond of union between men of diverse religious beliefs, just as Freemasonry does in the W est. That this is a possibility most ardently to be desired no well-wisher of China will deny, and it is particularly an ideal which may appeal to a thoughtful Christian Missionary who, while desirous of converting the Chinese, is anxious to prevent that country from breaking up into a series of warring religious factions.