Reflections Inspired by Feng En, an Imperial Official with a Body of Steel Who Refused to Compromise his Integrity Despite the Threat of Death

Li Jian

PureInsight | January 23, 2006

[] Feng En was an Imperial Court official in Nanjing during the reign of Emperor Shizong (1522 - 1567 A.D.) in the Jiajing Era (1522 -1567 A.D.) of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1628 A.D.). During a winter day in the eleventh year of the Jiajing Era, a meteor appeared in the sky. The Emperor issued an imperial edict asking all the officials to speak out against the errors and defects in the affairs of the Dynasty. In response to the edict, Feng En gave his view on the state of the nation, and described what he thought of twenty ministers in the Imperial Court. He reckoned that the senior scholars Zhang Fujing, Fang Xianfu, and Wang Hong, the governor of Youdu, among others, were the "meteors" who were ruining and messing up the Imperial Court. He said, "If those three meteors are not eliminated, the officials will not be in harmony, the administration will not be fair, and although there is a desire to end the calamities, there is no other way out."

When the Emperor read Feng En's statement, he was furious. He was certain that someone else had put Feng En up to it. He ordered the Imperial Guard to interrogate Feng En. Feng En was tortured and flogged daily, often to the state of near death. But he had an extraordinary will to withstand the punishments and would not budge one bit from his original intentions.

In the second spring, Feng En's case was transferred to the Ministry of Justice (in feudal China) to be dealt with. Emperor Shizhong wanted Feng En to be found guilty of defaming officials in the Imperial Court and then sentenced to death. But Wang Shizhong, Minister of Justice, stood up to the Emperor and defended Feng En. The furious Emperor immediately ordered the sacking of Wang Shizhong. Under the intense pressure by the Emperor, Feng En was sentenced to death. Xingke, the thirteen-year-old eldest son of Feng En, tried to seek justice for his father. He knelt on the streets of Chang'an day and night. When any government official passed by, he would hang on to the carriage and appeal for help. Though some officials took pity on Xingke, no one dared to say a just word for Feng En.

When the case was taken up for "Imperial Court interrogation" (committee of high-ranking officials in the Imperial Court to investigate and examine death sentence cases), Wang Hong, Minister of the Ministry of Civil Personnel and one of the three officials that Feng En had spoken out against, served as the Judge. He sat facing the East. When Feng En was escorted in to face the high officials, he purposely knelt and faced north to show that he despised Wang Hong.

Wang Hong ordered the guards to drag Feng En to kneel facing him. Feng En stood up and severely rebuked the guards. Wang Hong was at a loss as to what to do and could only say, "You repeatedly wrote things with an aim to destroy me, today I will kill you first!" Feng En stared at him with anger and said, "With the Sacred Emperor as my witness, as a minister, you think you can abuse the government for your personal gains and want to kill honest and outspoken government officials like me. Moreover, what is this place supposed to be? You have the impudence to openly vent your personal spite in front of hundreds of officials. That is reckless and brazen! After I die, I will turn into a fierce ghost to mete out punishment to you, the treacherous traitor!" Wang Hong replied: "You have always claimed yourself to be upright and honest, but in prison you have accepted help from others on many occasions. What have you to say for that?" Feng En gave a wry smile and said: "Helping each other in times of difficulty has been recognized as a great virtue since the ancient times. How can it be compared with your seeking for power and taking bribes, paying bribes to other officials and selling official posts for money?!" Thereafter, he exposed many of the scandals perpetrated by Wang Hong.

After the "Imperial Court interrogation," Feng En was sent outside the gate of Chang'an to be executed. Hundreds of people from the capital city jostled on the street to look at his graceful demeanor. Many of them sighed with emotion saying, "This imperial officer has not only a mouth of iron, even his knees, his liver and bones are cast from iron. It is little wonder he is one with sinews and bones of iron and is known as the 'four parts iron imperial official.'"

In that instant, the over-80-year-old mother of Feng En sounded the drum outside the courthouse, demanding justice for her son. The son of Feng En used his blood to write a plea and requested to die in lieu of his father. After seeing all those, the Emperor Shizhong was also moved with compassion and ordered the person concerned with the case to review the sentence imposed. Finally, the verdict was that Feng En was to be exiled to a garrison in the Lei Prefecture.

Heaven is fair! Good and evil will receive reward or punishment accordingly. Two months later, because Wang Hong was too corrupt, he was dismissed from office. Feng En remained at the Lei Prefecture for six years. After that, he was pardoned and returned to the Imperial Court. In 1567 A.D, Emperor Muzhong ascended to the throne. Feng En was eventually re-appointed as a high-ranking imperial official.

Feng En, "the Imperial Court official with four body parts of steel," was steadfast in his beliefs and would not yield even in the face of death. I cannot help but think about the Falun Gong practitioners in China today. Because Falun Gong practitioners follow the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance," countless numbers of them have suffered untold hardships and suffering, many narrowly escaping death, while many have died from the persecution. Countless have been tortured, yet they harbor no hatred. They continue to tell the world the facts about the glorious Dafa and about the atrocities committed by the evil CCP against the Dafa practitioners, conveying the blessings of Dafa to the people of the world. Their compassionate and tolerant hearts and minds, extraordinary will and nerves of steel will be noticed in heaven and on earth.

However, many people cannot comprehend why Dafa practitioners endure the hardships and sufferings instead of just compromising with evil. In history, there have been many just and upright people who had laid down their lives for a just cause. They all steadfastly adhered to their own integrity even preferring to lose their lives than to change their beliefs. But today, those people with diminished morality and virtue cannot comprehend the ideals that those heroes tried to uphold. Actually, the action of the loyal heroes is the real conduct that people should ascribe to!

Looking at it from the angle of belief, has the evil ever succeeded in the persecution of a true faith in history? Never ever! The Christians were persecuted for more than three hundred years and they had never changed their faith. Instead, Christianity grew in strength more and more. Instead it was ancient Roman Empire that angered heaven by their killing of the Christians and completely collapsed in the wake of natural and man-made calamities. In the history of China, four emperors, including Emperor Taiwu of North Wei Dynasty, Emperor Wu of North Zhou Dynasty, Emperor Wuzong of Tang Dynasty and Emperor Shizong of Later Zhou Dynasty, attempted to destroy Buddhism, but they all failed. And today, is it possible for the evil CCP to succeed in trying to use violence and lies to deprive the Dafa disciples of their belief? Falun Gong practitioners have grasped the truth about the universe and are treading on the path of godhood! The CCP is presumptuously arrogant and is wishfully thinking that they are capable of setting the precedent! After the CCP commenced suppressing Falun Dafa, Falun Dafa has spread over the whole world, growing in strength. The total annihilation of the evil CCP by the gods because of the CCP's cruel and savage persecution of the Dafa practitioners is before our eyes!

The Chinese people, the descendants of the Emperors Yan and Huang with a long-standing history, must all quickly recognize the bloodthirsty nature of the CCP, the violent evil spirit, and immediately quit the evil Party and its associated organizations. Only then will they have chosen a glorious future for themselves!

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