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this rite, in his description of the exorcising of demons from the body of a child, by a Taouist priest, in Canton.1 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: "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 inter

1 Gray's China, I., 102.

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

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 Satapatha


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 Taittiriya-brahmana: 'By means of


the sacrifice the gods obtained heaven.'" In the Tandya-brāhmanas: "The lord of creatures offered himself a sacrifice for the gods." "And again, in the Satapatha-brahmana: 'He who, knowing this, sacrifices with the Purusha-medha, or sacrifice of the primeval male, becomes everything.'


That it was the blood, which was the chief element in the covenanting-sacrifice, is evident from all the facts in the case. Thus, in the Aitareya-brahmana, it is said: "The gods killed a man for their victim [of sacrifice]. But from him thus killed, the part which was fit for a sacrifice went out and entered a horse. Thence, the horse became an animal fit for being sacrificed. The gods then killed the horse, but the part of it fit for being sacrificed went out of it and entered an ox. The gods then killed the ox, but the part of it fit for being sacrificed went out of it and entered a sheep. Thence it entered a goat. The sacrificial part remained for the longest time in the goat; thence it [the goat] became pre-eminently fit for being sacrificed!" Indian history shows that this has been the progress of reform, from the days of human sacrifice downward. "It is remarkable that in Vedic times, even a cow was sometimes killed; and goats, as is well known, are still sacrificed to the goddess Kali."2 Kali, also called Doorga, is the blood-craving goddess. The 1 Monier Williams's Hinduism, p. 35 f. 2 Ibid., p. 37 f.


blood of one human victim, it is said, "gives her a gleam of pleasure that endures a thousand years; and the sacrifice of three men together, would prolong her ecstasy for a thousand centuries."1

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Bishop Heber indicates the "sacrificial part" of the goat as he saw it offered at a temple of Kāli in Umeer. He was being shown by his guide through that city, on his first visit there, and the guide proposed a look at the temple. "He turned short, and led us some little distance up the citadel, then through a dark, low arch into a small court, where, to my surprise, the first object which met my eyes was a pool of blood on the pavement, by which a naked man stood with a bloody sword in his hand. The guide tioned me against treading in the blood, and told me that a goat was sacrificed here every morning. In fact a second glance showed me the headless body of the poor animal lying before the steps of a small shrine, apparéntly of Kali. The Brahman was officiating and tinkling his bell. The guide told us, on our way back, that the tradition was, that, in ancient times, a man was sacrificed here every day; that the custom had been laid aside till Jye Singh [the builder of Umeer] had a frightful dream, in which the destroying power appeared to him, and asked why her image was suffered to be dry [It is blood, not flesh,

1 Dubois's Des. of Man. and Cust. in India, Part III., chap. vii.

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