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favor with the gods, has peculiar potency when sprinkled upon lintels of the doors."1 And a house will be deserted by its Dayak inhabitants, "if a drop of blood be seen sprinkled on the floor, unless they can prove whence it came." 2
An incidental connection of this recognition of the blood as the life, with the primitive rite of blood covenanting, is seen in one form of the marriage rite among the Dayaks.3-In the rite of blood-covenanting itself, as consummated between Mr. St. John and Siñgauding, a cigarette stained with the blood of the covenanting parties was smoked by them mutually (See page 51, supra). In the marriage covenant, a cigar and betel leaf prepared with the areca nut are put first into the mouth of the bride by the bridegroom, and then into the mouth of the bridegroom by the bride; while two fowls are waved over their heads by a priest, and then killed; their blood being "caught in two cups" for examination, instead of for drinking.
So, whether it be the heart as the primal fountain of blood, or the liver as the great receptacle of blood, or the blood itself in its supposed outflowing from the heart through the liver, that is made prominent in the rites and teachings of primitive peoples, the rootidea is still the same,-that "as to the life of all flesh, the blood thereof is all one with the life thereof;" "5 and that as a man is in his blood, so he is in his nature; that his "good blood" or "his bad blood," his "hot blood" or his "cold blood," will be evidenced in his daily walk; for that which shows out in his outer life is "in the blood" which is his inner life; and that in order to a change of his nature there must in some way be a change of his blood. Hence, the universal outreaching of the race after new blood which is new life. Hence, the provisions of God for new life through that blood which is the Life.
1 St. John's Life in Far East, I., 160.
2 Ibid., I., 187.
5 Lev. 17: 14.
8 This is a different form from that reported at page 192 f., supra.
4 St. John's Life in Far East, I., 61.
TRANSMIGRATION OF SOULS.
A belief in the transmigration of souls, from man to the lower animals, and vice versâ, has been found among various peoples, in all the historic ages. The origin of this belief has been a puzzling question to rationalistic myth-students. Starting out, as do most of these students, with the rigid theory that man worked himself slowly upward from the lowest savagery, without any external revelation, they are confronted with primitive customs on every side which go to show a popular belief in soul-transmigration, and which they must try to account for within the limits of their unproven theory. The result is, that they first presuppose some conception in the primitive man's mind of spiritual things, and then they conveniently refer all confusing facts to that presupposed conception. "Animism" is one of the pet names for this resolvent of grave difficulties. And when "Animism" is supplemented by "Fetishism," "Zoolatry," and "Totemism," the requisite number of changes is secured for the meeting of any number of perplexing facts in the religious belief of primitive man everywhere.
As a matter of simple fact, man's conception of spiritual existences is not accounted for by the "scientists." And the claim that such a conception was innate in primitive man, or that it was a natural growth in man's unaided progress, is at the best but an unproved theory. In the early part of this century, there were thousands of deaf-mutes in the United States, who had never been educated by the system which is now so effective for that class in the community. This gave a rare opportunity of learning the normal spiritual attainments of unsophisticated man; of man uninfluenced by external revelation or traditions. Nor was this opportunity unimproved for a good purpose. When the Rev. Thomas H. Gallaudet (himself a philosophical scientist) introduced the system of deaf-mute instruction into this country, he made a careful examination into the intelligence of all the deaf mutes brought under
his care, on this point of spiritual conceptions. His declaration was, that he never found a person who, prior to specific instruction, had any conception of the nature or the existence of God. A single illustration of Mr. Gallaudet's experiences in this line will suffice for the entire series of them. A young girl of sixteen years of age, or so, who proved to be of far more than ordinary intelligence and mental capacity, had been brought up in a New England Christian home. She had been accustomed to bow her head when grace was said at the daily meals, to kneel in family prayer, and to attend church regularly, from early childhood; yet she had no idea of God, no thought of spiritual existences of any sort whatsoever, until she was instructed in those things, in the line of her new education. A writer on this subject, who differed with Mr. Gallaudet in his conclusions from these facts, added: "This testimony is confirmed by that of all the teachers of the deaf and dumb, and the fact must be admitted."2 Until some human being can be found with a conception of spiritual existences, without his having received instruction on that point from those who went before him, the claimin the face of such facts as these—that primitive man ever obtained his spiritual knowledge or his spiritual conceptions from within himself alone, or without an external revelation to him, is an unscientific assumption, in the investigation of the origin of religions in the world.
But, with man's conception of spiritual things already existing 3 (however he came by it), and with the existing belief that the blood is the life, or the soul, or the nature, of an organism, the idea of the transmigration of souls as identical with the transference of blood, is a very natural corollary. The blood being the life, or the soul, of man and of
1 As to this specific instance, I can bear personal testimony, from my frequent communications on the subject with the person whose experience is here recited. 2 Am. Annals of Deaf and Dumb, Vol. VI., p. 134
3 Paul's claim, in Romans 1: 18-23, is not that man knows God intuitively; but that, having the knowledge of God, which he does have by tradition, man ought not to liken God to "four-footed beasts and creeping things."
beast, if the blood of man passes into the body of a beast, or the blood of a beast passes into the body of a man, why should it not be inferred that the soul of the man, or of the beast, transmigrated accordingly? If the Hindoo, believing that the blood of man is the soul of man, sees the blood of a man drunk up by a tiger, is it strange that he should look upon that tiger as having within him the soul of the Hindoo, which has been thus appropriated? If the South African supposes that, by his drinking the blood or eating the heart of a lion, he appropriates the lion's courage,1 is it to be wondered at that when he sees a lion licking the blood and eating the heart of a South African, he should infer that the lion is thereby the possessor of whatever was distinctive in the Zulu, or the Hottentot, personality?
Indeed, as has been already stated, in the body of this work, there is still a question among physiologists, how far the transference of blood from one organism to another carries a transmigration of soul (of the psyche, not of the pneuma). However this may be, the popular belief in such transmigration is fully accounted for, by the recognized conviction that the blood is the soul.
In this view of the case, there is an added force in the Mosaic prohibition-repeated as it is in the Apostolic Encyclical—of the eating, or drinking, of the blood of the lower animals; with the possibility of And what thereby being made a partaker of the lower animal nature. fresh potency is given to Elijah's prophecy against Ahab and Jezebel, by this conception of the transference of nature by the transference of blood! "Thus saith the Lord [to Ahab], Hast thou killed [Hast thou taken the blood of Naboth ?], and also taken possession [of Naboth's vineyard]? Thus saith the Lord, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine. And of Jezebel also spake the Lord, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the ramparts of Jezreel." The blood, the life, the soul of royalty, shall become a portion of the very life of the prowl2 See page 133 f., supra.
1 See page 136, supra.
ing scavenger dogs of the royal city. And it came to pass accordingly, to both Ahab and Jezebel.1
THE BLOOD-RITE IN BURMAH.
Mention is made, in the text of this volume,2 of the fact that the primitive rite of blood-covenanting is in practice all along the Chinese border of the Burman Empire. In illustration of this truth, the following description of the rite and its linkings, is given by the Rev. R. M. Luther, of Philadelphia, formerly a missionary among the Karens, in Burmah. This interesting sketch was received, in its present form, at too late a date for insertion in its place in the text; hence its appearance here.
"The blood-covenant is well known, and commonly practised among the Karens of Burmah. There are three methods of making brotherhood, or truce, between members of one tribe and those of another. "The first is the common method of eating together.
ever, is of but little binding force, being a mere agreement to refrain from hostilities for a limited time, and the truce thus made is liable to be broken at the briefest notice.
"The second method is that of planting a tree. The parties to this covenant select a young and vigorous sapling, plant it with certain ceremonies, and covenant with each other to keep peace so long as the tree lives. A covenant thus made is regarded as of greater force than that effected or sealed by the first method.
"The third method is that of the blood-covenant, properly so called. In this covenant the chief stands as the representative of the tribe, if it be a tribal agreement; or the father as the representative of the family, if it be a more limited covenant. The ceremonies are public and solemn. The most important act is, of course, the mingling of the blood. Blood is drawn from the thigh of each of the covenanting parties, and mingled together. Then each dips his finger into the blood and applies it to his lips. In some cases, it is said that the blood is 11 Kings 21: 17-23; 22: 35-38; 2 Kings 9: 30-37. 2 At page 44, supra.