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which caused their martyrdom : "That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of Abel, the righteous, unto the blood of Zachariah, son of Barachiah,1 whom ye slew between the sanctuary and the altar." 2

The blood is the life, and when the life is united to God by faith the death of the body cannot silence the voice of him who is in covenant oneness with God.


In the study of this entire subject, of the relation of blood and of blood-covenanting to the primitive religious conceptions of the race, fresh material out of the rites and customs of different peoples in various ages is constantly presenting itself on every side. A few illustrations of this truth are added herewith, without regard to their special and separate classification.

The idea that transferred blood was transferred life, and that the receiving of the blood of a sacred substitute victim was the receiving of the very life of the being represented by that substitute, showed itself in the worship of Cybele, in the ancient East, in a most impressive ceremony. "The Taurobolium of the ancients was," as we are told, "a ceremony in which the high-priest of Cybele was consecrated; and might be called a baptism of blood, which they conceived imparted a spiritual new birth to the liberated spirit. The high-priest about to be inaugurated was introduced into a dark excavated apartment, adorned with a long silken robe, and a crown of gold. Above this apartment [which would seem to have represented a place of burial] was a floor perforated in a thousand places with holes like a sieve, through which the blood of a sacred bull, slaughtered for the purpose, descended in a copious torrent upon the inclosed priest, who received

1 As to the question concerning the identity of this martyr with the son of Jehoiada, see Lightfoot, as above.

2 Matt. 23: 35; Luke 11:51.

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the purifying [or re-vivifying] stream on every part of his dress, rejoicing to bathe with the bloody shower his hands, his cheeks, and even to bedew his lips and his tongue with it [thereby tasting it and so securing the assimilation of its imparted life]. When all the blood had run from the throat of the immolated bull, the and the priest issued forth from the cavity, a spectacle ghastly and horrible, his head and vestments being covered with blood, and clotted drops of it adhering to his venerable beard. As soon as the pontifex appeared before the assembled multitude the air was rent with congratulatory shouts; so pure and so sanctified, however, was he now esteemed that they dared not approach his person, but beheld him at a distance with awe and veneration." 1

carcass of the victim was removed,

Here seems to be the idea of a burial of the old life, and of a new birth into the higher nature represented by the substitute blood; as that idea appears in the Norseland method, of entering into the blood-covenant under the lifted sod. It also appears to represent the receiving of new life by the bath of blood.3

Even down to our own time in such a land as China, where the symbolism of blood seems to have as small prominence as in any portion of the world, there are vestiges of the primitive custom of partaking of the blood, and eating of the heart as the blood-fountain, in order to absorb the life of the victim; a custom which, as has been already noted, has prevailed in the primitive East and in the primitive West. Thus it

is recorded that, as late as 1869, one Aching and his brother, of Sinchew, in the province of which Canton is the capital, were engaged in various local conflicts and finally sought refuge in Fukien Province. There they were killed and mutilated, and "Aching's heart was cut out, boiled, and eaten by his savage captors, under the notion that they would

1 This is cited as from a classical authority, through Maurice's Indian Antiquities (v. 196), in a note to Burder's Whiston's Josephus (Antiq. III., 9).

2 See p. 41 f., supra. 8 See pp. 116-126; 324, supra. 4 See pp. 99-110; 126-133.

become more daring and bloodthirsty in consequence." 1 And a Canton letter in a recent issue of the North China Mail says, that "no Chinese soldier in Tonquin during the late war lost an opportunity to eat the flesh of a fallen French foe, believing that human flesh, especially that of foreign warriors, is the best possible stimulant for a man's courage;" this being clearly a vestige of the primitive belief that the transference of the material life by absorption, is a transference of spiritual identity.

Additional testimony to the vestiges of the blood-covenant as a primitive rite in China, is given in the following letter on the subject from the Rev. Dr. A. P. Happer, who was for many years a missionary in that country ::

"In reference to the form of solemn covenant as it was made anciently among the Chinese. It is expressed as a Mêng Yeuh. The last word is a covenant-agreement treaty. It is the word used in designating the treaties between nations. Mêng' is the word which has the use of blood in giving sanctity to the agreement. It is composed of the characters for sun, moon, and a basin. Whether the sun and moon were the objects before which the oath was taken, and the basin was that in which the blood was held, I will not affirm. It is defined: An oath anciently taken by smearing one's self with the blood of the victim ; ' then, secondarily, 'a contract, an agreement, alliance compact.' Here is almost precisely the form of covenant, as to the mode of ratifying it, as was used by Abraham.

"As to the oath which is taken by those who enter the Triad Society in China I would remark: The name 'Triad' is given because the society is bound by solemn covenant to the great powers in the world as held by the Chinese: namely, heaven, earth, and man; the literal translation of the Chinese name 'San hop wei,'-' Three United Association.'

"This society was organized soon after the present dynasty obtained, which was in 1644. The society is said to have been formed about

1 Thomson's The Straits of Malacca, Indo-China, and China, p. 259.

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1670, for the purpose of driving out the Tatars and restoring the previous dynasty, which was a Chinese dynasty. As the founder of the previous dynasty had been a Buddhist priest, this society was composed, at first, largely of priests, and had their meetings in Buddhist temples. Hence it has always been regarded as a traitorous association and proscribed by the laws. The Taiping rebellion in 1850 to 1865 was an outcome of it. The chief of that rebellion was the head of the Triad Society, and proclaimed himself the emperor of the Great Peace Heavenly Kingdom. One of their vagaries was this, in order to conceal their Triad connection: The chief, in reading Christian books, found that the Christian God is regarded as a Trinity. Taking the word used by part of the missionary body to designate God, namely, Shangti, they designated themselves as the Shangti Association; that is, The Triune God Association.

"The initiation into this society is with the most solemn rites and binding oath. It is done in.secret meeting, in a secret place, generally at night. Swords are crossed so as to form an arch, under which the new member passes, to imply that a sword is over the neck of any one who violates the covenant. Blood is drawn from his finger, and mixed with water, which he drinks. The members are called brethren, and the relation is more sacred and inviolable than that of brothers by birth. Any one who violates this covenant of brotherhood made with blood must be killed by the brotherhood. No one may protect, screen, or assist, in any way, such a delinquent, or, rather, false brother, one who had falsified such a solemn oath.

"From this narrative we see that this manner of adding sanctity to an oath in making an agreement or covenant by blood comes down from the earliest history of the Chinese people. The Triad Society adopted this manner of taking an oath to fulfil all the agreements and obligations of their covenant, written in thirty-six clauses, because it was the most solemn and obligatory of any known to them."

This blood-drinking as a means of courage inspiring is also linked

with the idea of blood-covenanting, in an illustration given by Herodotus1 out of the times of the Persian invasion of Egypt under Cambyses. One Phanes was blamed by the Greek and Carian allies of the Egyptians “for having [treacherously] led a foreign army into Egypt." His sons were taken by the allies, and in the sight of both armies their throats were cut, one by one, the blood being received into goblets and mingled with wine and water; "all the allies drinking of the blood" as preliminary to a united onset against the enemy thus vicariously absorbed into the being of the allied forces.

"There is no doubt," says President Washburn, of Robert College, Constantinople," ,"2 that among the Sclavic races the blood-covenant [as described in this volume] still exists; especially in Montenegro and Servia." A recent German writer3 cites a Sclavic song which gives an illustration of this custom; the full meaning of which song he quite fails to comprehend, through his unfamiliarity with the rite itself. The song describes the slaughter on a battle-field at Mohaas, in Hungary, where the outpoured blood of the combatants was intercommingled in their death:

"There as well as here was lamentation;

Flooded o'er with blood the field of slaughter.

Dark alike was blood of Turk and Christian

Turk and Christian here by blood made brothers."

This tender reference to blood-brotherhood in death is supposed by the German writer to be made in keen irony, although he cites it from a people who are, in his opinion, less bigoted and fanatical than Muhammadans generally.

It has been already shown that Poseidonios tells of the custom,

1 Hist. III., II.

2 In a private letter to the author.

8 Dr. Friedrich S. Krauss, in a paper read before the American Philosophical Society, Oct. 2, 1885; in Proceedings of the Am. Phil. Soc., for January, 1886, pp. 87-94.

4 Page 320, supra.

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