There are two different books called Huang-Ming baoxun 皇明寶訓 "Precious instructions of the August Ming". The first book is dating back to the Hongwu reign-period 洪武 (1368-1396), when Zhu Yuanzhang 朱元璋, founder of the Ming dynasty 明 (1368-1644), issued his imperial instructions in 5 juan.
The "Instructions" are modeled on the Tang-period 唐 (618-907) book Zhenguan zhengyao 貞觀政要, a book that presents models for institutional regulations. The first chapter of the Huang-Ming baoxun contains general regulations for the emperor and his conduct of government, from observing Heaven's will to the duty to exert a benevolent and exemplary government.
The second chapter points out details in daily government with the duty to observe rituals, to honour meritorious officials and to rely on a household policy of austerity. The third chapter presents details about how to interact with the ministers and state officials from the side of the officials, the fourth chapter from the viewpoint of the emperor. The fifth chapter finally deals with the interrelations between the court and the military and with the "barbarians".
The book was published under the editorship of Zhan Tong 詹同 and Song Lian 宋濂 (1310-1381).
A second book with the title Huang-Ming baoxun was issued during the Wanli reign-period 萬曆 (1573-1619). It was compiled by Lü Ben 呂本 (1504-1587) and Chen Zhiben 陳治本 (jinshi degree 1592) and contains an enlarged version of the earlier Hongwu instructions. The new title was Taizu Gaohuangdi baoxun 太祖高皇帝寶訓 in 15 juan.
There is also an extension containing the instructions of the successive emperors in 6 more juan. The Wanli version is 40-juan long and contains the governmental instructions of ten Ming emperors.
|2.||孝思||Have filial thoughts|
|3.||勤民||Care for the people|
|4.||仁惻||Be kind and pitiful|
|5.||恩澤||Be benevolent and gracious|
|8.||敬鬼神||Respect the spirits|
|10.||練兵||Train the army|
|12.||教太子諸王||Teach the princes|
|13.||正家道||Rectify the Way of the (imperial) house|
|14.||保全功臣||Preserve meritorious ministers|
|15.||禮臣下||Regulate the officialdom|
|16.||謙德||Be modest and virtuous|
|17.||警戒||Adhere to austerity|
|18.||務實||Adapt to reality|
|19.||節儉||Be frugal and sparing|
|20.||戒奢侈||Refrain from extravagance|
|21.||議禮||Discuss the rituals|
|22.||定律||Fix the law|
|23.||守法||Keep to the rules|
|24.||釁刑||Use the penal law|
|25.||評古||Regard antiquity critically|
|26.||禮前代||Take earlier rituals as a model|
|27.||求賢||Search for worthies|
|28.||任官||Appoint (competent) officials|
|29.||尊儒術||Venerate the Confucian skills|
|30.||定都||Fix the capital|
|31.||論治道||Dispute the rule by the Way|
|32.||求諫||Seek for critical admonitions|
|33.||納諫||Accept critical admonitions|
|36.||諭群臣||Instruct the (civilian) officialdom|
|37.||諭將士||Instruct generals and troops|
|39.||懷遠人||Pity those who became estranged of you|
|40.||制蠻夷||Regulate the savages|