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The evidence is abundant, that the main idea of this primitive and supreme service in the religions of China is the inter-communion of the Emperor with God. And there is no lack of proof that in China, as elsewhere all the world over, blood—as life—is the means of covenanting in an indissoluble inter-union; of which inter-union, inter-communion is a result and a proof.

In China, as also in India,1 when the sacrifice of human beings was abolished, it was followed by the sacrifice of the horse. And the horse-sacrifice is still practised in some parts of the Chinese Empire, on important occasions. A white horse is brought to the brink of a stream, or a lake, and there sacrificed, by decapitating it, "burying its head below low-water mark, but reserving its carcase for food."2 In a description of this sacrifice, in honor of a certain goddess, as witnessed by Archdeacon Gray, it is said: "Its blood was received in a large earthenware jar, and a portion carried to the temple of the aforesaid goddess; when all the villagers rushed tumultuously to secure a sprinkling of blood on the charms which they had

1 See page 156 f., infra.

2"The flesh of the horse is eaten both by the Chinese and the Mongolians." (Gray's China, II., 174.)

3 See C. F. Gordon Cumming's article “A Visit to the Temple of Heaven at Peking,” in Lond. Quart. Rev., for July, 1885.



already purchased. The rest of the blood was mingled with sand," and taken, with various accessories, in a boat. "This boat headed a long procession of richly carved and gilded boats, in which were priests, both Buddhist and Taouists, and village warriors discharging matchlocks to terrify the water-devils; while the men in the first boat sprinkle the waters, as they advance, with blood-stained sand."

So, again, it is the blood of a cock,—not the body but the blood,-which is made the propitiatory offering to the goddess known as "Loong-moo, or the Dragon's Mother," on the river junks of China. The blood is sprinkled on the deck, near a temporary altar, where libations of wine have already been poured out by the master of this junk, who is the sacrificer. Afterwards, bits of silver paper are "sprinkled with the blood, and then fastened to the door-posts and lintels of the cabin";1 as if in token of the blood-covenant between those who are within those doors and the goddess whose substitute blood is there affixed. And this precedes the feast of inter-communion.2


Nor are indications wanting, that the idea of interunion with the gods by blood was originally linked with, if it were not primarily based upon, the rite of blood-covenanting between two human friends. Thus, Archdeacon Gray unconsciously discloses traces of

1 See Exod. 12: 7-10.

2 Gray's China, II., 271 f.

this rite, in his description of the exorcising of demons from the body of a child, by a Taouist priest, in Canton. Certain preliminary ceremonies were concluded, which were supposed to drive out the demons. "The priest then proceeded to uncover his [own] arm, and made an incision with a lancet in the fleshy part. The blood which flowed from the wound, was allowed to mingle with a small quantity of water in a cup. The seal of the temple, the impression of which was the name of the idol, was then dipped into the blood, and stamped upon the wrists, neck, back and forehead of the poor heathen child." By this means, that child was symbolically sealed in covenant relations with the god of that temple, by the substitute blood of that god's representative priest.

Thus, also, Dr. Legge, referring to old-time covenantings in China, says:3 "Many covenants were made among the feudal princes,-made over the blood of a victim, with which each covenanting party smeared the corners of his mouth [which is one form of tasting];* while an appeal was addressed to the invisible powers to inflict vengeance on all who should violate the conditions agreed upon [the ordinary imprecatory prayers in the rite of blood-covenanting]." A symbolic inter1 Gray's China, I., 102.

2 See Rev. 7: 3; 9: 4; 13:

3 The Relig. of China, p. 289.

16; 14: 1; 20: 4; 22: 4.
See The Rite in Burmah, in Appendix.



union of blood is a basis of inter-communion between two human beings, as also between the human and the divine beings even in China—where, perhaps, that idea would be least likely to be looked for.

It is a common opinion, that in no part of the world is there a more general prejudice against blood-shedding, or the taking of animal life, than in India. And it certainly is a fact, that the great religious systems, of Brahmanism and of Booddhism, which have controlled the moral sense of the peoples of India for a score or two of centuries, have exerted themselves, in the main, to the inculcation of these views as to the sacredness of blood and of life—or of blood which is life. Hence, we would naturally look, in India, only for traces, or vestiges, of the primitive, world-wide idea of inter-communion with God, or with the gods, through a divine-human inter-union by blood. Nor are such traces and vestiges lacking in the religious customs of India.

In India, as in China, human sacrifices, especially the sacrifice of the first-born son, were formerly made freely, as a means of bringing the offerer into closer relations with the gods, through the outpoured blood.1 It was the blood, as the life, which was believed to be the common possession of gods, men, and beasts;

1 See Dubois's Des. Man. and Cust. of People of India, Part III., chap. 7; also Monier Williams's Hinduism, p. 36 f.

hence the final substitution, in India, of beasts for men, in the blood-covenanting with the gods. On this point, the evidence seems clear.

The Vedas, or sacred books of the Brahmans, teach, indeed, that the gods themselves were mere mortals, until by repeated offerings of blood in sacrifice, to the Supreme Being, they won immortality from him; which is only another way of making the claim, put forward by the immortalized-mortal, in the Book of the Dead, of ancient Egypt, that the mortal became one with the gods through an interflow of a common life in the common blood of the two. Mortals gave the blood of their first-born sons in sacrifice to the Supreme Being. Then the Supreme Being gave the blood of his first-born male in sacrifice. Thus, the nature of the favored mortals and the nature of the Supreme Being became one and the same. Dr. Monier Williams cites freely from the Vedas in the direction of this great truth; although he does not note its bearing on the blood-covenant rite. Thus, in "the following free translation of a passage of the Satapathabrahmana:

'The gods lived constantly in dread of Death

The mighty Ender-so, with toilsome rites •
They worshiped, and repeated sacrifices,

Till they became immortal.'"

“And again in the Taittirīya-brahmana: 'By means of

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