The daotong (Succession to the Way), an extremely complex concept, has been the core and dominant ideology in Chinese academia since the Song and Ming dynasties. This is due to the fact that Zhu Xi used daotong to contrast the values in the Four Books and left the impression that it had been handed down earlier from sage to sage. We will review relevant documents in order to clarify and understand Zhu Xi’s thought in his worship of the ancient philosophers. Any evidences in the pre-Qin historical literature that illustrate such a handing down tradition will also be investigated and analyzed. My research will show a clear path in its reasoning to distinguish itself from ambiguous concepts in the past. In fact, the pedigree of sages, which includes Yao, Shun, Yu, Tang, Wen, Wu, and the Duke of Zhou, is the result of the systematized and concretized Confucius canon. Not only Mozi was inspired by Confucius’ work, but also Mencius had the expectation that there must be a dominant sage every five hundred years according to the Shijing and the Shangshu. The strong belief in the pedigree of sages in Chinese history, as well as the destined self-expectation of sages, confirm that jingxue (the philosophy of canon) and lixue (the philosophy of principle) are derived from the same origin.