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a covenant union with his god-from whom sin had separated him-by the substitute blood of his firstborn and best loved son.

Certain it is, that the early kings of Babylon and Assyria were accustomed to make their grateful offerings to the gods, and to share those offerings with the gods, by way of inter-communion with the gods, apart from any sense of sin and of its merited punishment which they may have felt.1 Indeed, it is claimed, with a show of reason, that the very word (surqinu) which was used for "altar" in the Assyrian, was primarily the word for "table"; that, in fact, what was later known as the “altar" to the gods, was originally the table of communion between the gods and their worshipers.2 There seems to be a reference to this idea in the interchanged use of the words "altar" and "table" by the Prophet Malachi: "And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar. And ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible." So again, in Isaiah

1" Whether he has overcome his enemies or the wild beasts, he pours out a libation from the sacred cup," says Layard (Nineveh and its Remains, Vol. II., chap. 7) concerning the old-time King of Nineveh.

2 See H. Fox Talbot's paper, in Trans. Soc. Bib. Arch., Vol. I, Part I, p. 58 f.

3 Mal. I: 6, 7. See also Isa. 65: 11.


65 II: "But ye that forsake the Lord, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for Fortune, and that fill up mingled wine unto Destiny; I will destine you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter."

See, in this connection, the Assyrian inscription of Esarhaddon, the son of Sennacherib,1 in description of his great palace at Nineveh: "I filled with beauties the great palace of my empire, and I called it 'The Palace which Rivals the World.' Ashur, Ishtar of Nineveh, and the gods of Assyria, all of them, I feasted within it. Victims precious and beautiful I sacrificed before them, and I caused them to receive my gifts. I did for those gods whatever they wished."2 It is even claimed by Assyrian scholars, that in this inter-communion with the gods, worshipers might partake of the flesh of animals which was forbidden to them at all other times3-as among the Brahmans of India to-day.

In farther illustration of the truth that inter-communion with the gods was shown in partaking of sacred food with the gods, H. Fox Talbot, the Assyriologist, says of the ancient Assyrian inscription:

12 Kings 19: 37; Ezra 4: 2; Isa. 37: 38. See also I Cor. 10: 21.

2 Rec. of Past. III., 122 f.

3 Savce's Anc. Emp. of East, p. 201; also, W. Robertson Smith's Old Test. in Jew. Ch., notes on Lect. xii.



"There is a fine inscription, not yet fully translated, describing the soul in heaven, clothed in a white radiant garment, seated in the company of the blessed, and fed by the gods themselves with celestial food."1

Among the Parsees, or the Zoroastrians, who intervene, as it were, between the primitive peoples of Assyria and India, and the later inhabitants of the Persian empire, there prevailed the same idea of divinehuman inter-union through blood, and of divine-human inter-communion through sharing the flesh of the proffered and accepted sacrifice, at the altar, or at the table, of the gods, Ormuzd and Ahriman. The horse was a favorite substitute victim of sacrifice, among the Parsees; as also among the Hindoos and the Chinese. Its blood was the means of divine-human inter-union. "The flesh of the victim was eaten by the priest and the worshipers; the 'soul' [the life, the blood] of it only was enjoyed by Ormazd."2 The communiondrink, in the Parsee sacrament, as still observed, is the juice of the haoma, or hom. "Small bread [or wafers] called Darun, of the size of a dollar, and covered with a piece of meat, incense, and Haoma, or Hom," the juice of the plant known in India as Soma, are used in this sacrament. "The Darun and the Hom [having been presented to the gods] are afterwards eaten by

1 Rec. of Past, III., 135. 2 Sayce's Anc. Emp. of East, p. 266.

the priests," as in communion.1 This is sometimes called the "Sacrament of the Haoma."2


In ancient Egypt, it seems to have been much as in China, and India, and Assyria. Substitute blood was a basis of inter-union between man and the gods; and a divine-human inter-communion was secured as a proof and as a result of that inter-union. That it was human blood which was, of old, in Egypt, poured out as a means of this inter-union (in some cases at least) seems clear. It is declared by Manetho, and Diodorus, and Athenæus, and Plutarch, and Porphyry. It is recognized as proven, by Kenrick and Ebers and other Egyptian scholars. Wilkinson, it is true, was unwilling to accept its reality, because, in his opinion, “it is quite incompatible with the character of a nation whose artists thought acts of clemency towards a foe worthy of record, and whose laws were distinguished by that humanity which punished with death the murder even of a slave ";" and he prefers to rest on "the improbability of such a custom among a civilized people." Yet, a single item of proof from the monuments 1 Schaff-Herzog's Encyc. of Relig. Knowl., art. "Parseeism." 2 Anc. Emp. of East, p. 266.


3 See Wilkinson's Anc. Egypt., III., 30, 400.

4 Kenrick's Anc. Egypt, I., 369 ff.

5 Ebers's Egypt. u. d. Büch. Mose's, p. 245 f.
6 Wilkinson's Anc. Egypt., III., 402.



would seem sufficient to settle this question, if it were still deemed a question. The ideogram which was employed on the seal of the priests, authorizing the slaying of an animal in sacrifice, "bore the figure of a man on his knees, with his hands tied behind him, and a sword pointed at his throat." 1

Herodotus,2 describing the magnificent festival of Isis, at Busiris, says that a bull was sacrificed on that occasion; and we know that in every such sacrifice the blood of the victim was poured out as an oblation, at the altar. When the duly prepared offering was consumed upon the altar, those portions of the victim which had been reserved were eaten by the priest and others.4 Herodotus says, moreover, that some of the Greeks who were present at this festival were in the habit of causing their own blood to flow during the consuming of the sacrifice, as if in proof of their desire for inter-union with the goddess, as precedent to their inter-communion with her. He says: "But as many of the Karians as are dwelling in Egypt, do yet more than these [native Egyptians], inasmuch as

1 Cited from Castor, in Plutarch, in Wilkinson's Anc. Egypt., III., 407. See also Ebers's Ægypt. u. d. Büch. Mose's, p. 246.

2 Hist., II., 59.

3 Wilkinson's Anc. Egypt., III., 409. See also page 102, supra. *Wilkinson's Anc. Egypt., III., 109; 410; Kenrick's Anc. Egypt., I., 373. See Herodotus, Hist., II., 47.

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