Click on any word to see more details.伊尹申誥于王曰：「嗚呼！惟天無親，克敬惟親，民罔常懷，懷于有仁；鬼神無常享，享于克誠；天位艱哉！德惟治，否德亂；與治同道，罔不興！與亂同事，罔不亡！終始慎厥與，惟明明後；先王惟時懋敬厥德，克配上帝。今王嗣有令緒，尚監茲哉！若升高必自下，若陟遐必自邇；無輕民事惟難，無安厥位惟危，慎終于始。有言逆于汝心，必求諸道；有言遜于汝志，必求諸非道。嗚呼！弗慮胡獲，弗為胡成，一人元良，萬邦以貞，君罔以辯言亂舊政，臣罔以寵利居成功。邦其永孚于休！」
Yi Yin again made an announcement to the king, saying, 'Oh! Heaven has no (partial) affection - only to those who are reverent does it show affection. The people are not constant to those whom they cherish; they cherish (only) him who is benevolent. The spirits do not always accept the sacrifices that are offered to them; they accept only the sacrifices of the sincere. A place of difficulty is the Heaven-(conferred) seat. When there are (those) virtues, good government is realized; when they are not, disorder comes. To maintain the same principles as those who secured good government will surely lead to prosperity; to pursue the courses of disorder will surely lead to ruin. He who at last, as at first, is careful as to whom and what he follows is a truly intelligent sovereign. The former king was always zealous in the reverent cultivation of his virtue, so that he was the fellow of God. Now O king, you have entered on the inheritance of his excellent line; fix your inspection on him.'
'(Your course must be) as when in ascending high you begin from where it is low, and when in travelling far you begin from where it is near. Do not slight the occupations of the people - think of their difficulties. Do not yield to a feeling of repose on your throne - think of its perils. Be careful for the end at the beginning. When you hear words that are distasteful to your mind, you must enquire whether they be not right; when you hear words that accord with your own views, you must enquire whether they be not contrary to what is right. Oh! what attainment can be made without anxious thought? what achievement can be made without earnest effort? Let the One man be greatly good, and the myriad regions will be rectified by him.'
When the sovereign does not with disputatious words throw the old rules of government into confusion, and the minister does not, for favour and gain, continue in an office whose work is done,--then the country will lastingly and surely enjoy happiness.'
English translation: James Legge
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