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spirit of Heaven and of Earth is that of a banquet. There is no trace of any other idea," says Dr. Edkins.1 Dr. Legge, citing this statement, expands its significance by saying: "The notion of the whole service [at the Temple of Heaven] might be that of a banquet; but a sacrifice and a banquet are incompatible ideas." He then shows that the Chinese character tsî, signifying "sacrifice," "covers a much wider space of meaning than our term sacrifice [as he seems to view our use of that term]." Morrison gives as one of the meanings of tsê, “That which is the medium between, or brings together, men and gods"; and Hsü Shan "says, that tsi is made up of two ideograms; one the primitive for spiritual beings, and the other representing a right hand and a piece of flesh." Legge adds: “The most general idea symbolized by it is an offering whereby communication and communion with spiritual beings [God, or the gods] is effected."4
Dr. S. Wells Williams says that "no religious system has been found among the Chinese which taught 2 The Religions of China, p. 55. word "sacrifice" in the light of a There is surely no incompatibil
1 Religion in China, pp. 23, 32. 3 Dr. Legge here seems to use the single meaning which attaches to it. ity in the terms "banquet" and "sacrifice," as we find their two-fold idea in the banquet-sacrifice of the Mosaic peace-offering (see Lev. 7: 11-15).
The Relig. of China, Notes to Lect. I., p. 66.
the doctrine of the atonement by the shedding of blood"; and this he counts "an argument in favor of their [the Chinese] antiquity"; adding that “the state religion has maintained its main features during the past three thousand years." Williams here, evidently, refers to an expiatory atonement for sin; and Legge has a similar view of the facts.2 The idea of an approach to God through blood-blood as a means of favor, even if not blood as a canceling of guilt-is obvious in the outpouring of blood by the Emperor when he approaches God for his worship in the Temple of Heaven. The symbolic sacrifice in that worship, which precedes the communion, is of a whole "burnt offering, of a bullock, entire and without blemish "; and the blood of that offering is reverently poured out into the earth, to be buried there, according to the thought of man and the teachings of God in all the ages. It is even claimed that as early as 2697 B. C., it was the blood of the first-born which must be poured out toward God—as a means of favor -in the Emperor's approach for communion with
1 The Mid. King., II., 194.
2 The Relig. of China, p. 53
The Mid. King., I., 76-78;
See also Martin's The Chinese, p. 258.
Gray thinks differently (China, I., 87.)
The Chinese, p. 99; Relig. in China,
p. 21; The Relig. of China, p. 25; Confucianism and Taouism, p. 87.
4 Relig. in China, p. 22. The same is true in sacrifices to Confucius (Gray's China, I., 87).
THE CUP AND MEAT OF BLESSING.
God; "a first-born male" being offered up "as a whole burnt sacrifice," in this worship. Surely, in this surrender of the first-born, there must have been some idea of an affectionate offering, in the gift of that which was dearest, even if there was no idea of substitution by way of expiation; something in addition to the simple idea of "a banquet"; something which was an essential preliminary to the banquet.
Access to God being attained by the Emperor, the Emperor enjoys communion with God in the Temple of Heaven. It is after the outpouring of blood, and the offering of the holocaust, that-in a lull of the orchestral music, in the great annual sacrifice-“a single voice is heard, on the upper terrace of the altar, chanting the words, 'Give the cup of blessing, and the meat of blessing.' In response, the officer in charge of the cushion advances and kneels, spreading the cushion. Other officers present the cup of blessing and the meat of blessing [which have already been presented Godward] to the Emperor, who partakes of the wine and returns them. The Emperor then again prostrates himself, and knocks his forehead three. times against the ground, and then nine times more, to represent his thankful reception of the wine and meat [in communion]."2
1 Chow le, cited by Douglas in Confuc. and Taou., p. 82 f.
The evidence is abundant, that the main idea of this primitive and supreme service in the religions of China. is the inter-communion of the Emperor with God. And there is no lack of proof that in China, as elsewhere all the world over, blood-as life-is the means of covenanting in an indissoluble inter-union; of which inter-union, inter-communion is a result and a proof.
In China, as also in India,' when the sacrifice of human beings was abolished, it was followed by the sacrifice of the horse. And the horse-sacrifice is still practised in some parts of the Chinese Empire, on important occasions. A white horse is brought to the brink of a stream, or a lake, and there sacrificed, by decapitating it, "burying its head below low-water mark, but reserving its carcase for food." In a description of this sacrifice, in honor of a certain goddess, as witnessed by Archdeacon Gray, it is said: "Its blood was received in a large earthenware jar, and a portion carried to the temple of the aforesaid goddess; when all the villagers rushed tumultuously to secure a sprinkling of blood on the charms which they had
1 See page 156 f., infra.
2" The flesh of the horse is eaten both by the Chinese and the Mongolians." (Gray's China, II., 174.)
See C. F. Gordon Cumming's article "A Visit to the Temple of Heaven at Peking," in Lond. Quart. Rev., for July, 1885.
BLOOD-SPRINKLING IN CHINA.
already purchased. The rest of the blood was mingled with sand," and taken, with various accessories, in a boat. "This boat headed a long procession of richly carved and gilded boats, in which were priests, both Buddhist and Taouists, and village warriors discharging matchlocks to terrify the water-devils; while the men in the first boat sprinkle the waters, as they advance, with blood-stained sand."
So, again, it is the blood of a cock,-not the body but the blood,-which is made the propitiatory offering to the goddess known as "Loong-moo, or the Dragon's Mother," on the river junks of China. The blood is sprinkled on the deck, near a temporary altar, where libations of wine have already been poured out by the master of this junk, who is the sacrificer. Afterwards, bits of silver paper are "sprinkled with the blood, and then fastened to the door-posts and lintels of the cabin";1 as if in token of the blood-covenant between those who are within those doors and the goddess whose substitute blood is there affixed. And this precedes the feast of inter-communion.2
Nor are indications wanting, that the idea of interunion with the gods by blood was originally linked with, if it were not primarily based upon, the rite of blood-covenanting between two human friends. Thus, Archdeacon Gray unconsciously discloses traces of
1 See Exod. 12: 7-10.
2 Gray's China, II., 271 f.