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which were transferred from the religions of nature to that of the spirit, first passed through the fire of divine purification, from which they issued as the distinctive theology of the Jews; the dross of a pantheistic deification of nature having been consumed." And as

to even the grosser errors, and the more pitiable perversions of the right, in the use of these world-wide religious symbolisms, Kurtz says, again: "Every error, however dangerous, is based on some truth misunderstood, and every aberration, however grievous, has started from a desire after real good, which had not attained its goal, because the latter was sought neither in the right way, nor by right means."2 To recognize these truths concerning the outside religions of the world gives us an added fitness for the comparison of the symbolisms we have just been considering with the teachings of the sacred pages of revelation on the specific truths involved.

Proofs of the existence of this rite of blood-covenanting have been found among primitive peoples of all quarters of the globe; and its antiquity is carried back to a date long prior to the days of Abraham. All this outside of any indications of the rite in the text of the Bible itself. Are we not, then, in a position to turn intelligently to that text for fuller light on the subject? 1 Kurtz's History of the Old Covenant, I., 235. 2 Ibid., I., 258.

LECTURE III.

INDICATIONS OF THE RITE IN THE BIBLE.

III.

INDICATIONS OF THE RITE IN THE BIBLE.

I. LIMITATIONS OF INQUIRY.

AND now, before entering upon an examination of the Bible text in the light of these disclosures of primitive and universal customs, it may be well for me to say that I purpose no attempt to include or to explain all the philosophy of sacrifice, and of the involved atonement. All my thought is, to ascertain what new meaning, if any, is found in the Bible teachings concerning the uses and the symbolism of blood, through our better understanding of the prevailing idea, among the peoples of the ancient world, that blood represents life; that the giving of blood represents the giving of life; that the receiving of blood represents the receiving of life; that the inter-commingling of blood represents the inter-commingling of natures; and that a divine-human inter-union through blood is the basis of a divine-human inter-communion in the sharing of the flesh of the sacrificial offering as sacred food.

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Whatever other Bible teachings there are, beyond these, as to the meanings of sacrifice, or as to the nature of the atonement, it is not my purpose, in this investigation, to consider.

In the days of Moses, when the Pentateuch is supposed to have been prepared, there were as we have already found-certain well-defined views, the world over, concerning the sacredness of blood, and concerning the methods, the involvings, and the symbolisms, of the covenant of blood. This being so, we are not to look to the Bible record, as it stands, for the original institution of every rite and ceremony connected with blood-shedding, blood-guarding, and blood-using; but we may fairly look at every Bible reference to blood in the light of the primitive customs known to have prevailed in the days of the Bible writing.

2. PRIMITIVE TEACHINGS OF BLOOD.

The earliest implied reference to blood in the Bible text is the record of Abel's sacrifice. "And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain

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