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beyond fair question. On this point Bähr, out of his world-wide outlook
over religious symbols, says: " Everywhere, from China to Iceland, the blood is the chief element, the kernel, and the central point, of sacrifice. In blood lies its [i. e. sacrifice's] peculiar efficacy; through blood is its peculiar action; blood is synonymous with sacrifice; it is the sacrifice in the narrower sense. In this point the Mosaic sacrifice harmonizes perfectly with the heathen. . . . To sacrifice is to proffer and to receive life. When the blood is shed and it streams forth, a life is given to the divinity to which the sacrifice is dedicated. This giving is at the same time the taking (the receiving) of a life from the divinity; and the sacrifice looks also, in general, to a binding together of life, or to a communion of life between those offering and the divinity. In so far as this communion is the end and object of all religion, every cult concentrates finally in sacrifice [and blood is synonymous with sacrifice; it is the sacrifice in the narrower sense']."
This view of blood-union in, or through, typical sacrifices, thus found to be held by Jewish rabbis and by later Arabians, as well as by adherents of the ethnic religions, shows itself more or less clearly in writings of the Christian Fathers, in their explanation of the covenant relation between Christ, as the Antitype of all bloody sacrifice, and his trustful people. For example, Ignatius says: "I desire the drink of God, his blood, which is love incorruptible and life eternal;" and again : 3 "Being kindled to new life in the blood of God, ye have accomplished wholly the work of that relationship." 5 Says Clement of Alexandria : 6 "In all respects, therefore, and in all things, we are brought into union with Christ, into relationship through his blood, by which we are redeemed;" and again: "To drink the blood of Jesus, is to become 1 Symbolik, II., 262 f. 2 Ad Romanos, 7. 8 Ad Ephesios, 1.
4 The old Latin version gives the "blood of Christ God."
5 The Greek words, to syngenikon ergon (rò σvyyevɩkòv épyov), are otherwise translated: by Horneman, "work worthy of Christian brothers;" by Hefele, "the work of brotherhood."
Paedagogus, II., 5.
1 Ibid., II., 2.
partaker of the Lord's immortality." Later on, Julius Firmicus says: "We drink the immortal blood of Christ. Christ's blood is joined to our blood. This is the salutary remedy for your offenses."
A similar idea of the covenanting force of blood in the symbolism of the Old Testament and of the New, is again indicated in the fact that so many of the Christian Fathers saw a token of the blood-covenant in the scarlet cord which Joshua commanded Rahab to let down from her window as the token of the covenant whereby she was made one with the people of God. Thus Clement of Rome and Justin Martyr1 counted this token a symbol of the blood of Christ, while Irenæus 5 deemed it a symbol of the original passover blood; all alike seeming to look upon it as a covenant-token; as, indeed, the scarlet cord has been thus recognized in many parts of the world down to the present day. Justin Martyr is yet more explicit in his recognition of the blood-covenant idea in the earlier and the later conjoining of God's people with Himself. Referring to the old covenant-token of circumcision, whereby the descendants of Abraham became partakers of God's covenant with Abraham, he says: 7 "The blood of that circumcision is obsolete, and we trust in the blood of salvation; there is now another covenant."
Under the old covenant and under the new, as likewise in all the ethnic religions as well as in the Jewish ritual, covenant-union in sacrifice is represented by blood as its nexus, and by flesh, or bread, as its exhibit. Only through blood-through the proffer of flowing blood— can man be brought into that covenant at-one-ment with God, or with the gods, which justifies the exhibit of that covenant at-one-ment or union between the two parties, in mutual food-sharing.
1 De Errore, 22; cited in Wilberforce's Doctrine of the Holy Eucharist, p. 225.
ETHNIC REACHINGS AFTER UNION WITH THE DIVINE.
Among all peoples, from the beginning, sacrifice has been a means of seeking union with the divine-with God or with the gods. And through sacrifice this divine-human inter-union has been deemed a possibility, in all lands and always. The idea of such a union between the human nature and the divine has inevitably come to partake of the grossness of the religious conceptions of the different peoples holding it; but even in its grossest form it has remained a witness to the primal truth which prompted it.
The ancient kings of Assyria and of Egypt were accustomed to claim a common nature with the chief divinities which they worshiped; and this divine kinship was both secured and confirmed to them through their sacrifices in their royal-priestly character.1 Renouf shows that this belief in the divine nature of the Egyptian sovereigns existed from "the earliest times of which we possess monumental evidence;" moreover, that these kings both sought and claimed a union with the divine by their multiplied sacrifices, and that "they are also represented as worshiping and propitiating their own genius;" since they were both god and man through their inter-union with the divine. It has already been shown that this outreaching for union with the divine was at the basis of sacrifice in India,2 in China, in Persia,4 in Peru,5 in Tahiti. Bähr and Réville find this as the truth of truths in every cult; and there would seem to be gleams of this truth in the well-nigh universal habit, on the part of worshipers, of taking the name of a divinity as a portion of one's own name; thereby claiming a right to be counted as in family oneness with the object of one's sacrificial worship.
1 Renouf's Religion of Ancient Egypt, pp. 167-172; and pp. 79-83, 165-169, 170-173, supra.
2 See pp. 155-164, supra. 5 See pp. 175-178, supra.
8 See pp. 148-154, supra.
4 See p. 169 f., supra.
In fact, the very meaning of the primitive Chinese word, or character, for "sacrifice," '—a word which claims to show its use at least forty-five centuries ago,-gives a gleam of this universal heart yearning after divine-human inter-union as surely as the definition of "sacrifice." Dr. Legge says1 of the Chinese term for "sacrifice" (ts): "The most general idea symbolized by it is—an offering whereby communication and communion with spiritual beings is effected." Says St. Augustine: 2 "A true sacrifice is every work which is done that we may be united to God in holy fellowship, and which has a reference to that supreme good and end in which alone we can be truly blessed." So it is that all sacrifice-whether under ethnic longings or under Bible teachings— was a reaching out after at-one-ment between the human and the divine; and this apart from any question as to the speculative philosophy of the at-one-ment.
Concerning the traditional view, in Arabia, of blood as a means of fellowship with divinities, Maimonides says: 3 "Although blood was very unclean in the eyes of the Sabeans, they nevertheless partook of it because they thought it was the food of the spirits; by eating it man has something in common with the spirits, which join him and tell him future events, according to the notion which people generally have of spirits. There were, however, people who objected to eating blood, as a thing naturally disliked by man; they killed a beast, received the blood in a vessel or in a pot, and ate of the flesh of that beast, whilst sitting around the blood. They imagined that in this manner the spirits would come to partake of the blood which was their food, whilst the idolaters were eating the flesh; that love, brotherhood and friendship with the spirits was established, because they dined with the latter at one place and at the same time; that the spirits would appear to them in dreams, inform them of coming events, and be favorable to them. Such ideas people liked and accepted in those days; they were general, 2 The City of God, X., 6.
1 The Religions of China, p. 66.
3 Guide of the Perplexed, Friedländer's Translation, III., 232.
and their correctness was not doubted by any one of the common people. The Law, which is perfect in the eyes of those who know it, and seeks to cure mankind of these lasting diseases, forbade the eating of blood, and emphasized the prohibition exactly in the same terms as it emphasized idolatry: 'I will set my face against that soul that eateth blood' (Lev. 17: 10). The same language is employed in reference to him, 'who giveth of his seed unto Molech;''then I will set my face against that man' (Lev. 20: 5). There is besides idolatry and eating blood no other sin in reference to which these words are used. For the eating of blood leads to a kind of idolatry, to the worship of spirits. . . . The commandment was therefore given that whenever a beast or a bird that may be eaten is killed, the blood thereof must be covered with earth (Lev. 17: 13) in order that the people should not assemble round the blood for the purpose of eating there. The object was thus fully gained to break the connection between these fools and their spirits. This belief flourished about the time of our teacher Moses. People were attracted and misled by it. We find it in the Song of Moses (Deut. 32: 17): They sacrificed unto spirits, not to God.'"
On the same point Rabbi Moses bar Nachman says of the ancient "heathens in their worship of their idol gods:" "They gathered together blood for the devils their idol gods, and then they came themselves and did eat of that blood with them, as being the devils' guests, and invited to eat at the table of devils; and so were joined in federal society with them."
Strabo says, that the Persians reserved for the use of the offerers all the "flesh" of their sacrifices; "for they say that God requires the soul [yxh, psyche-the blood] and nothing else." And this idea, that the divinities were fed and nourished by the blood of sacrifices, while the worshipers were brought into communion and union with the divinities through this offering, seems to have prevailed among the Greeks and 1 Cited in Cudworth's Intellectual System of the Universe, Andover ed., II., 542. 2 Geographica, XVII., 13 (732).