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dressed their heads, and scarce slept all the night. They prayed, and as soon as it was day [they] were all in the temple to receive that communion, with such singular silence and devotion, that though there was an infinite multitude, there seemed to be nobody. If any of the idol was left, the priests ate it."1

So marked, indeed, was the sacramental character of these Peruvian communion feasts, that a Spanish Jesuit missionary to that country, three centuries ago, was disposed to see in them an invention of Satan, rather than a survival of a world-wide primitive custom. He said: That which is most admirable in the hatred and presumption of Sathan is, that he not only counterfeited in idolatry and sacrifices, but also in certain ceremonies, our sacraments, which Jesus Christ our Lord instituted, and the Holy Church uses; having, especially, pretended to imitate, in some sort, the sacrament of the communion, which is the most high and divine of all others." 2

Yet again, a prisoner of war would be selected to represent one of the gods, and so to be partaken of, in inter-communion through his blood. He would receive the name of the god; and for a longer or a

1 Herrera's Gen. Hist. of America, II., 379; cited in Dorman's Orig. of Prim. Supers., p. 152 f.

2 Acosta's Hist. Nat. Mor. Ind., Bk. V., chap. 23; cited in Prescott's Conquest of Peru, I., 108, note.

shorter time," sometimes a year, sometimes six months, and sometimes less," he would be ministered to, and would receive honors and reverence as a god. Then he would be offered in sacrifice. His heart would be presented to the god. His blood would be employed reverently-as was the case with all sacrifices-in token of covenanting. His flesh would be eaten by the worshipers of the god whom he represented.1 This "rite of dressing and worshiping the sacrifices like the deities themselves, is related as being performed at the festivals of many gods and goddesses." 2

A remarkable illustration of the unity of the race, and of the universal sweep of these customs in conjunction with the symbolism of the blood-covenant, is found in the similarity of this last named Central American practice, with a practice charged upon the Jews by Apion, as replied to by Josephus. The charge is, that "Antiochus found, upon entering the temple [at Jerusalem], a man lying upon a bed, with a table before him, set out with all the delicacies that either sea or land could afford." This captive's story was: "I am a Greek, and wandering up and down in quest

1 Herrera's Gen. Hist., III., 207 f.; cited in Spencer's Des. Soc. II., 20.

2 Spencer's Des. Soc., II., 20. See also Southey's Hist. of Brazil, II., 370.



of the means of subsistence, was taken up by some foreigners, brought to this place, and shut up. They gave me to understand, that the Jews had a custom among them, once a year, upon a certain day prefixed, to seize upon a Grecian stranger, and when they had kept him fattening one whole year, to take him into a wood, and offer him up for a sacrifice according to their own form, taking a taste of his blood, with a horrid oath to live and die sworn enemies to the Greeks."1 Baseless as was this charge against the Jews, its very framing indicates the existence in the East,—possibly among the Phoenicians,—in days prior to the Christian era, as well as in pre-historic times in the West, of the custom of seeking inter-communion with God, or with the gods, by the tasting of the blood of a substitute human victim, offered in sacrifice to God, or to the gods.

At the two extremes of the world, to-day, among the primitive Bed'ween of the Desert of Arabia, and among the primitive Indians of the prairies of North America, there lingers a trace of this world-wide idea, that the body of an offering covenanted to God by its blood, can be a means of inter-communion with God in its eating. Both the Bed'ween and the Indians connect in their minds the fact of sacrificing and of feasting; and they speak of the two things interchangeably, 1 Contra Apionem, II., 7.

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An Arab, when he makes a feast, speaks of sacrificing the animal which is the main feature of that feast. I saw an Arab wedding at Castle Nakhl, on the Arabian Desert. The bridegroom sacrificed a young dromedary in honor of the occasion, and to furnish, as it were, the sacramental feast. The blood of the victim was poured out unto the Lord, by being buried in the earth-as the Chinese bury the blood of their sacrifices in the Temple of Heaven. Portions of the dromedary were eaten by all the guests, and a portion was sent to the stranger encamping near them. And that is the common method of Arab sacrificing and feasting.


There is much of similarity in the ways of the Arabs and of the Indians. The Indian feasts are largely feasts of inter-communion with the gods. Whether it were the human victim, of former times, whose blood was drunk and whose heart was eaten, as preliminary to the feasting on his entire remains; or, whether it be the preserved hearts and tongues of the buffaloes, which now form the basis of some of the sacred feasts of the Indians; 2-the idea of divine-human intercommunion was and is inseparable from the idea of the feast. The first portion of the feast is always proffered to the spirits, in order to make it, in a pecu

1 See pages 105 f., 132, supra.

2 See Clark's Indian Sign Language, s. v., "Feast."



liar sense, a sacred feast. Then, each person having a part in the feast is expected to eat the full share assigned to him;1 unless indeed he be permitted to carry a remainder of it away "as sacred food" for the benefit of the others.2

And so the common root-idea shows itself, in lesser or in larger degree, all the world over, and in all the ages. It is practically universal.

One of the many proofs that the idea of a bloodcovenanting sacrifice is that of a loving inter-communion between man and God, or the gods, is the fact that the animals offered in sacrifice are always those animals which are suitable for eating, whether their eating is allowed at other times than when sacrificed, or not. "Animals offered in sacrifice [at the Temple of Heaven, in China]," says Dr. Edkins, "must be those in use for human food. There is no trace in China of any distinction between clean and unclean animals, as furnishing a principle in selecting them for

1"Should he fail [to eat his portion], the host would be outraged, the community shocked, and the spirits roused to vengeance. Disaster would befall the nation-death, perhaps, the individual." "A feaster unable to do his full part, might, if he could, hire another to aid him; otherwise he must remain in his place till the work was done." (Parkman's Jesuits in No. Am., p. xxxviii.)

2 "At some feasts guests are permitted to take home some small portions for their children as sacred food, especially good for them because it came from a feast." (Clark's Ind. Sign Lang., p. 168.)

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