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THE BLOOD COVENANT.
FROM The Old Testament Student (PROFESSOR W. R. HARPER, PH.D., EDITOR).
The volume is a marvel of research, considering that the field it covers is hitherto unexplored. The author seems to have ransacked all literature, ancient and modern, archæology, medical science, travels, poetry, and folk-lore; Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek, and Roman antiquities, Chinese and Indian lore, Scandinavian sagas, and patristic literature, have yielded their contributions of illustrative facts. This material is handled with consummate scientific skill. There is no flight of imagination, no tumid rhetoric. Everything is subordinated to a presentation of facts, and such inductions as may be derived from them by no undue pressure. We do not see, therefore, how the main principle of the book can be successfully controverted. The facts are indisputable, and they tell their own story. Nor can we refrain from commending the volume as a most striking and valuable contribution to the religious thought of the world. It is emphatically one of the few books that no religious thinker can afford to be without. We doubt any man can rise from its perusal without feeling that his grasp of saving truth is stronger, clearer, and more comprehensive than ever before.
PROFESSOR WILLIAM HENRY GREEN, D. D., LL. D., oF PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, IN The Presbyterian Review.
The ingenuity with which this multitude of seemingly heterogeneous details are brought into mutual relation, and the fresh and often unex
pected light thrown upon them by the connection in which they are here placed, or the aspect under which they are viewed, keeps the reader constantly on the alert, and makes the volume as suggestive and instructive as it is entertaining. The enthusiasm and earnestness of the author manifest on every page cannot fail to secure attention, even from those who hesitate at some of his conclusions. . . The most interesting chapter to a majority of readers will doubtless be that in which application is made of the principles of the volume to passages and institutions of the Bible. The illustration thus afforded of the meaning of circumcision (p. 215) is very happy; so are the remarks on the sacrifice of Isaac (p. 224), and on our Lord's words: "He that drinketh my blood hath eternal life" (p. 276).
PROFESSOR CHARLES A. BRIGGS, D. D., OF UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, IN The New York Evangelist.
Dr. Trumbull rightly sees that the essential thing in sacrifice is not the death of the victim, as is commonly supposed, but the life of the victim, which is secured in the blood for the purposes of the sacrifice. It is the use that is made of this blood which is the most important feature of sacrifice. We thank the author for this fruit of vast labor and persevering research. It is worthy of the study of all students of religion.
PROFESSOR GEORGE E. DAY, D. D., OF YALE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, IN The New Englander and Yale Review.
By a wide induction of particulars, which exhibit favorably the learning and reading of the author, he has shown the existence, in different ages and countries, of a form of blood-covenanting in which two persons, through the intermingling of each other's blood, or by mutually tasting or drinking of it, or by its transfusion into each other's veins, establish an eternal friendship, on the basis, thus conceived to be gained, of a common life, soul, or nature. This the author presents as the true key to the symbolism of blood in sacrifice, both in the heathen world and in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament. . . . It is no objection to this theory that it is new. If the respected author has not established on a satisfactory foundation the theory he propounds, he has been successful in bringing together an amount and variety of interesting facts bearing upon it which make his volume entirely unique.
DANIEL CURRY, D. D., LL. D., IN The Methodist Review.
This is a curious, a remarkable, and a very valuable book. The author in his reading having detected, as many others have done, the occurrence among widely separated races of men of the practice of making use of blood in covenant-making, set himself at work to find out the nexus by which this common practice among different peoples is connected together. . . . The book is well written, the subject ably thought out, and the conclusions stated in a manner wholly unobjectionable. It is well that such a book has been written, and its intelligent and discriminating reading will do good.
PROFESSOR SAMUEL IVES CURTISS, D. D., IN The [LONDON] Expos
"The Blood Covenant," by H. Clay Trumbull, D.D., author of "Kadesh-Barnea," and editor of The Sunday School Times, is a marked book. The author seems to prove beyond a doubt that the blood covenant is one of the most ancient and universal institutions. This idea is founded on the representation familiar to Old Testament scholars, that the blood stands for the life. Those who enter into the blood covenant pledge their life-blood in each other's defense, and form a more solemn bond than any which can be established by marriage or the closest natural relationships. Dr. Trumbull shows that substitute blood was the basis of inter-union between God and man, and that the shedding of blood, not the death of the victim, was the important element in sacrifice.
PROFESSOR F. GODET, D. D., NEUCHATEL, SWITZERLAND.
I have been astonished at the mass of facts which you have been able to bring together and to group around this central idea. It is a study completely new, and one which I hope will bring forth fruit.
CUNNINGHAM GEIKIE, D. D., LL. D., BOURNEMOUTH, England. Allow me to express my admiration at the research you display on every page; at the wide induction on which you rest your conclusions; and on the most striking results to which these conclusions point. I think it a most admirable book; intensely interesting and of the highest moment in the light it throws on things most sacred.