Presently, his father woke up and saw his son murmuring and bowing with candles and incense in front of him. He flared up and said, "You rascal! Are you praying for my death that you are doing this now!" Wang Shushen said to his father, "No! I always talked back to you in the past. I am really sorry, father. I have resolved to change and reform my previous wrong-doings. I realized that I was wrong. My illness is brought about entirely due to my being unfilial to you. So now I want to change." Hearing this, the father also wept and said, "Oh! So you recognize you have been at fault!" They held each other in their arms while crying and repenting to each other.
Originally, Wang Shushen could not walk. However, after his repentance, he could walk on his own the second day. Seeing this efficacious response, Zhang Yaxuan brought forth a special faith toward Good Man Wang. So he and his friend went back to see Good Man Wang again. Good Man Wang said, "Since you have repented, this illness of yours will be cured." Taking the whole thing as a miracle, Zhang said to Good Man Wang, "I want to change my faults too. I owe people great amounts of improperly earned money. What should I do?" Good Man Wang said, "You should try your best to do meritorious deeds. Presently women's virtue is the most imperative matter. Women can change and reform the trends of the society. When a family is not good, it's all because the woman of the family is not good. If women are wholesome, the society as well as the entire nation will be wholesome. It would be most important if you could promote free education for women." Upon hearing this, Zhang Yaxuan said, "Fine! Leave it to me."
Thereafter, he went home and sold his own house. And he used other houses he owned for schools. He thus established free schools. In the rural areas at the time, there were tigers, so not many students showed up. He then hired students to come and study. He would give each student a certain amount of money when they came to school. It was in this way that he started the free school with over a score of students.
Later, he sold all his properties and spent the money on schools. He ran the schools until he had no money left to pay for the teachers’ meals or for any other expenditures. He then bid his wife to go with their son to her mother's home. He said, "Your parents are ill. Why don't you pay them a visit?" After his wife left, he took an ax and broke the safe where his wife kept all her jewelry and other valuables. He wrapped up everything and went to a pawn shop. The pawn shop saw that all the jewelry were women's accessories and suspected their source. So the shop reported this to the police and Zhang Yaxuan was arrested. They asked him where he had gotten the jewelry. He said, "These were stolen from my wife." Then he was asked why he wanted to steal and pawn his wife's belongings. Zhang Yaxuan said that he was running schools and had run out of money. So he resolved to steal his wife's things to pawn so as to get some money for the schools. The police put him in jail. He said, "You can lock me up now, but when I get out I will still run schools. I will run schools no matter what!" Because of his firm resolve, many people, such as Gao Zhengwu, were moved to join him.
This tells how after meeting Good Man Wang he could quickly retreat from what he was doing and change from evil to good. And thereafter, he always moved forward with vigor and courage and was never daunted by any difficulty. He was courageous in changing his faults.
He set up Virtue Societies and ran free schools. At the age of 54, he died from a stroke which was caused by fatigue. We can say that he gave his life for the Way. Such a spirit as his will last forever. As it's said, "The spirit never dies." He is worthy to be a model for later generations.
A verse of praise says:
One becomes red when one draws near crimson.
Born not in a proper time,
He became a hustler
And he never lost in gambling.
Fortunately, he met a good advisor,
Who caused his conscience to wake up.
Devoting his entire wealth to schools,
He was worthy of being thepeople's teacher.
One becomes red when one draws near crimson. When people draw near crimson, they become red. When they get near ink, they turn black. They become blue when dyed blue; and yellow when dyed yellow. He was born in a time when cheating was the fashion. Therefore he also developed such behavior. Born not in a proper time, he became a hustler. He was not born in good times and thus he had fallen to become a horse dealer and cheat people of their money, a hustler. And he never lost in gambling. When he gambled, he was certain to win. He never lost money. He was a gambler as well as a hustler. Fortunately, he met a good advisor who caused his conscience to wake up. Fortunately he met Good Man Wang, who awakened his conscience. He then changed and reformed. Devoting his entire wealth to schools. He renounced his entire wealth to run schools. Throughout Manchuria and Shandong, Henan, and Hebei provinces he set up many schools-over 800. That was the result of his "devoting his entire wealth to schools." He was worthy of being the people's teacher. He was a good teacher for people.
Another verse says:
He was decisive and his nature was righteous.
He enlightened to his own confusion, thus becoming a good advisor.
With great joy and giving, he endured toil and hardship.
He was flexible and responded well to changes.
Establishing schools to nurture blessings and wisdom
was his resolve.
Single-mindedly he devoted himself to the Way and
did meritorious deeds.
Working so hard to protect the Proper Dharma, he died of fatigue.
Though he is dead, his spirit lives on.
He was decisive and his nature was righteous. He was decisive. For example, when he met Good Man Wang, he retreated from what he was doing and changed and reformed. That is being decisive. His strong point was that he had a righteous nature. His disposition was upright, very straightforward. He enlightened to his own confusion, thus becoming a good advisor. He became a good advisor himself, being able to realize his own confusion and leave it behind.
With great joy and giving, he endured toil and hardship. With great delight, he donated his entire wealth to schools. He was never daunted by difficulties and sufferings. It was with this kind of great fearless spirit that he endured toil and hardship. He was flexible and responded well to changes. He could endure temporary setbacks like a great hero. He managed over 800 schools, always able to respond to unexpected changes. This is not easy to do. Establishing schools to nurture blessings and wisdom was his resolve. He gave everything he owned away to set up free schools for women, thus amassing blessings and wisdom. Single-mindedly he devoted himself to the Way and did meritorious deeds. He produced many talented people, thereby establishing his merit and virtue. He amassed a lot of merit and virtue working in the Virtue Society.
Working so hard to protect the Proper Dharma, he died of fatigue. Though he is dead, his spirit lives on. He was not afraid of any toil or difficulty, and worked himself to death. Though he died after having undergone all kinds of hardships, his spirit lives in people's hearts forever.