« PrécédentContinuer »
additions to the text, in the way of illustrative facts, have been made since the delivery of the Lectures; while other similar material is given in an Appendix.
From the very freshness of the subject itself, there was added difficulty in gathering the material for its illustration and exposition. So far as I could learn, no one had gone over the ground before me in this particular line of research; hence the various items. essential to a fair statement of the case must be searched for through many diverse volumes of travel and of history and of archæological compilation, with only here and there an incidental disclosure in return. Yet, each new discovery opened the way for other discoveries beyond; and even after the Lectures, in their present form, were already in type, I gained many fresh facts, which I wish had been earlier available to me. Indeed, I may say that no portion of the volume is of more importance than the Appendix; where are added facts and reasonings bearing directly on well-nigh every main point of the original Lectures.
There is cause for just surprise that the chief facts of this entire subject have been so generally overlooked, in the theological discussions, and in the physio-sociological researches, of the earlier and the later times. Yet this only furnishes another illustration of the inevitably cramping influence of a preconceived fixed theory,-to which all the ascertained
facts must be conformed,—in any attempt at thorough and impartial scientific investigation. It would seem to be because of such cramping, that no one of the modern students of myth and folk-lore, of primitive ideas and customs, and of man's origin and history, has brought into their true prominence, if, indeed, he has even noticed them in passing, the universally dominating primitive convictions: that the blood is the life; that the heart, as the blood-fountain, is the very soul of every personality; that blood-transfer is soul-transfer; that blood-sharing, human, or divinehuman, secures an inter-union of natures; and that a union of the human nature with the divine is the highest ultimate attainment reached out after by the most primitive, as well as by the most enlightened, mind of humanity.
Certainly, the collation of facts comprised in this volume grew out of no preconceived theory on the part of its author. Whatever theory shows itself in their present arrangement, is simply that which the facts themselves have seemed to enforce and establish, in their consecutive disclosure.
I should have been glad to take much more time for the study of this theme, and for the rearranging of its material, before its presentation to the public; but, with the pressure of other work upon me, the choice was between hurrying it out in its present shape, and
postponing it indefinitely. All things considered, I chose the former alternative.
In the prosecution of my investigations, I acknowledge kindly aid from Professor Dr. Georg Ebers, Principal Sir William Muir, Dr. Yung Wing, Dean E. T. Bartlett, Professors Doctors John P. Peters and J. G. Lansing, the Rev. Dr. M. H. Bixby, Drs. D. G. Brinton and Charles W. Dulles, the Rev. Messrs. R. M. Luther and Chester Holcombe, and Mr. E. A. Barber; in addition to constant and valuable assistance from Mr. John T. Napier, to whom I am particularly indebted for the philological comparisons in the Oriental field, including the Egyptian, the Arabic, and the Hebrew.
At the best, my work in this volume is only tentative and suggestive. Its chief value is likely to be in its stimulating of others to fuller and more satisfactory research in the field here brought to notice. Sufficient, however, is certainly shown, to indicate that the realm of true biblical theology is as yet by no means thoroughly explored.
August 14, 1885.
H. CLAY TRUMBULL.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
THE first edition of this work was soon exhausted, and a second was called for. But further investigations of mine in the same general field had revealed a new line of facts, which I desired to present in a supplement to a second edition. I wished, also, to give fuller proofs in the direction of specific exceptions taken by eminent critics to certain positions in the original work. Therefore I delayed the issue of a new edition.
Circumstances quite beyond my control have hindered me in the execution of my purpose until the present time. I now send out a new edition, with a Supplement containing important facts in the line of the original investigation. But much of the matter that I have discovered in other lines is reserved for a new work in the field of primitive covenants, including the Name Covenant, the Covenant of Salt, and the Threshold Covenant. This new work I hope to have ready at an early day.
The reception accorded to The Blood Covenant by scientists and theologians on both sides of the ocean
was gratifying beyond my highest anticipations. From various directions I am hearing of the restatement of religious dogmas by prominent and influential Christian teachers, in the light newly thrown on the terminology of Scripture by the disclosures of this volume, and it is with pleasure that I respond to calls from all sides for a fresh edition of it.
In my careful revision of the work I am indebted for valuable aid to Professor Dr. Hermann V. Hilprecht, the eminent Assyriologist.
January 30, 1893.
H. CLAY TRUMBULL.