|JapSin I, 155|
Hongjue chanshi beiyouji 弘覺禪師北遊集
By Daomin 道忞 (1596–1674).
Manuscript, one juan. Chinese bamboo paper in one volume. No date.
The cover bears a Latin inscription: “Apologia contra | Sam Legem | Auctore Bonzio Hum kio.”There is an introduction in one folio. The main text consists of eighteen folios. The first folio gives the title Miyun Yuanwu chanshi Biantian sanshuo and the author: 密雲圓悟禪師辯〔辨〕天三說，門人道忞述繇並錄 (The three opinions of the Buddhist monk Miyun, known as Yuanwu chanshi, in relation to the character tian, recorded by his disciple Daomin, with a historical sketch).
In 1656 the Shunzhi emperor conferred honors on the concubine Donggo, known also as Dong’e fei 董鄂妃 (ECCP 1:301–302). From then on, his interest in Christianity grew less and less and instead he took a liking to Chan (Zen) Buddhism. Between 1659 and 1661 several monks were summoned to Beijing. One of them was Daomin (zi 木陳, hao 山翁, 夢隱), a native of Chaoyang 潮陽 (Guangdong). This man had abandoned Confucianism and became a Buddhist monk at the age of twenty. He was a disciple of the renowned monk Yuanwu 圓悟 (zi 覺初, hao 密雲, 1566–1642), who was then abbot of the Tiantongsi 天童寺 in Ningbo (Zhejiang). Daomin later succeeded him as abbot. He came to the capital and stayed there from November 1659 to June 1660. He was given the title Hongjue chanshi 弘覺禪師, cf. ECCP 1:257. He and the emperor had intimate conversations about Buddhism, calligraphy, the writing of essays, novels, dramas and other subjects. The Beiyouji 北遊集 (A trip to the North), printed in 1661, which he wrote later records this. While in Beijing he presented to the emperor the Tiantong yulu 天童語錄, records of the lectures given in the Tiantongsi by his master Yuanwu and recorded by Daomin himself. This work includes the Biantian sanshuo 辨天三說 (Three Opinions in relation to the character tian). According to Daomin this treatise of his master is a refutation of Catholicism, which had been introduced by the foreigners who were widely spread in central China and in particular in the provinces of Guangdong and Fujian. He points out scornfully that they have tried to refute Buddhism without knowledge of what Buddhism is.
The account then goes on to say that after Yuanwu published his treatise, lest the Catholics might ignore it, he had posters set up in Wulin (Hangzhou) to challenge them to a dispute. More than twenty days passed and nothing happened. Then one day a certain man named Zhang Juntian 張君湉 appeared at the Catholic mission, presenting himself as a Buddhist who had received the writing of Yuanwu and wished to have a discussion on the subject. We are told that the superior of the Catholic mission was Fu Fanji 傅汎際 (Francisco Furtado). When Furtado heard of the wish of the visitor, he replied: “Good, good; we have had the same idea.” But when he read the treatise of Yuanwu he did not seem to understand it fully and he hesitated for a while. Meanwhile, the son of Li Zhizao 李之藻, who happened to be there, came to his assistance. According to the account, when Furtado heard it [the treatise], he was embarrassed and blushed. He then asked bluntly: “Who is Huang Tianxiang 黃天香?” The reply was “I do not know.” “Then where did he get this?” The answer was: “He got it from his friend . . .”
Cf. Jap-Sin I, 165.d, no. 3–4 (Courant 7172 III–IV).
Source: Albert Chan, S.J., Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome, pp. 206-207.