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in oil, ani never attempting to disturb the crows and wild dogs who devoured it before their eyes ;l of the modern Moslems sacrificing sheep, oxen, and camels in the valley of Muna on their return from Mekka, it being a meritorious act to give away a victim without eating any of it, while parties of Takruri watch around like vultures, ready to pounce upon the carcases. If the offering to the deity be continued in ceremonial survival, in spite of a growing conviction that after all the deity does not need and cannot profit by it, sacrifice will be thus kept up in spite of having become practically unreasonable, and the worshipper may still continue to measure its efficacy by what it costs him. But to take this abnegation-theory as representing the primitive intention of sacrifice would be, I think, to turn history upside down. The mere fact of sacrifices to deities, from the lowest to the highest levels of culture, consisting to the extent of nine-tenths or more of gifts of food and sacred banquets, tells forcibly against the originality of the abnegation-theory. If the primary motive had been to give up valuable property, we should find the sacrifice of weapons, garments, ornaments, as prevalent in the lower culture as in fact it is unusual. Looking at the subject in a general view, to suppose men to have started by devoting to their deities what they considered practically useless to them, in order that they themselves might suffer a loss which none is to gain, is to undervalue the practical sense of savages, who are indeed apt to keep up old rites after their meaning has fallen away, but seldom introduce new ones without a rational motive. In studying the religion of the lower races, we find men dealing with their gods in as practical and straightforward a way as with their neighbours, and where plain original purpose is found, it may well be accepted as sufficient explanation. Of the way in which gift can pass into abnegation, an instructive example is forth
coming in Buddhism. It is held that sinful men are liable to be re-born in course of transmigration as wandering, burning, miserable demons (preta). Now those demons may receive offerings of food and drink from their relatives, who can further benefit them by acts of merit done in their name, as giving food to priests, unless the wretched spirits be so low in merit that this cannot profit them. Yet even in this case it is held that though the act does not benefit the spirit whom it is directed to, it does benefit the person who performs it. Unequivocal examples of abnegation in sacrifice may be best found among those offerings of which the value to the offerer utterly exceeds the value they can be supposed to have to the deity. The most striking of these, found among nations somewhat advanced in general culture, appear in the history of human sacrifice among Semitic nations. The king of Moab, when the battle was too sore for him, offered up his eldest son for a burntoffering on the wall. The Phænicians sacrificed the dearest children to propitiate the angry gods, they enhanced their value by choosing them of noble families, and there was not wanting among them even the utmost proof that the efficacy of the sacrifice lay in the sacrificer's grievous loss, for they must have for yearly sacrifice only-begotten sons of their parents (Κρόνω γαρ Φοίνικες καθ' έκαστον έτος έθυον τα αγαπητά kai Jovoyevî TÔV tékyov). Heliogabalus brought the hideous Oriental rite into Italy, choosing for victims to his solar divinity high-born lads throughout the land. Of all such cases, the breaking of the sacred law of hospitality by sacrificing the guest to Jupiter hospitalis, Zeùs févios, shows in the strongest light in Semitic regions how the value to the offerer might become the measure of acceptableness to the god. In such ways, slightly within the range of the lower culture, but strongly in the religion of the higher
i Hardy, 'Manual of Buddhism,' p. 59.
2 II. Kings, jii. 27. Euseb. Præp. Evang. i. 10, iv. 156. Laud. Constant. xiii. Porphyr. De Abstin. ii. 56, etc. Lamprid. Heliogabal. vii. Movers, • Phönizier,' vol. i. p. 300, etc.
nations, the transition from the gift-theory to the abnegation. theory seems to have come about. Our language displays it in a word, if we do but compare the sense of presentation and acceptance which “sacrificium " had in a Roman temple, with the sense of mere giving up and loss which “sacrifice” conveys in an English market.
Through the history of sacrifice, it has occurred to many nations that cost may be economized without impairing efficiency. The result is seen in ingenious devices to lighten the burden on the worshipper by substituting something less valuable than what he ought to offer, or pretends to. Even in such a matter as this, the innate correspondence in the minds of men is enough to produce in distant and independent races so much uniformity of development, that three or four headings will serve to class the chief divisions of sacrificial substitution among mankind.
To give part for the whole is a proceeding so closely conformed to ordinary tribute by subject to lord, that in great measure it comes directly under the gift-theory, and as such has already had its examples here. It is only when the part given to the gods is of contemptible value in proportion to the whole, that full sacrifice passes gradually into substitution. This is the case when in Madagascar the head of the sacrificed beast is set up on a pole, and the blood and fat are rubbed on the stones of the altar, but the sacrificers and their friends and the officiating priest devour the whole carcase ;? when rich Guinea negroes sacrifice a sheep or goat to the fetish, and feast on it with their friends, only leaving for the deity himself part of the entrails ?; when Tunguz, sacrificing cattle, would give a bit of liver and fat and perhaps hang up the hide in the woods as the god's share, or Mongols would set the heart of the beast before the idol till next day. Thus the most ancient whole
burnt-offering of the Greeks dwindled to burning for the gods only the bones and fat of the slaughtered ox, while the worshippers feasted themselves on the meat, an economic rite which takes mythic shape in the legend of the sly Prometheus giving Zeus the choice of the two parts of the sacrificed ox he had divided for gods and mortals, on the one side bones covered seemly with white fat, on the other the joints hidden under repulsive hide and entrails. With a different motive, not that of parsimony, but of keeping up in survival an ancient rite, the Zarathustrian religion performed by substitution the old Aryan sacrifice by fire. The Vedic sacrifice Agnishtoma required that animals should be slain, and their flesh partly committed to the gods by fire, partly eaten by sacrificers and priests. The Parsi ceremony Izeshne, formal successor of this bloody rite, requires no animal to be killed, but it suffices to place the hair of an qx in a vessel, and show it to the fire.?
The offering of a part of the worshipper's own body is a most usual rite, whether its intention is simply that of gift or tribute, or whether it is considered as a pars pro toto representing the whole man, either in danger and requiring to be ransomed, or destined to actual sacrifice for another and requiring to be redeemed. How a finger-joint may thus represent a whole body, is perfectly shown in the funeral sacrifices of the Nicobar islanders; they bury the dead man's property with him, and his wife has a finger-joint cut off (obviously a substitute for herself), and if she refuses even this, a deep notch is cut in a pillar of the house. We are now concerned, however, with the finger-offering, not as a sacrifice to the dead, but as addressed to other deities. This idea is apparently worked out in the Tongan custom of tutu-nima, the chopping off a portion of the little finger with a hatchet or sharp stone as a sacrifice to the gods, for the recovery of a sick relation of higher rank; Mariner saw
1 Hesiod. Theog. 537. Welcker, vol. i. p. 764 ; vol. ii. p. 51. · Haug, Parsis,' Bombay, 1862, p. 238. 3 Hamilton in ‘As. Res.' vol. ii. p. 342.
children of five years old quarrelling for the honour of having it done to them. In the Mandan ceremonies of initiation into manhood, when the youth at last hung senseless and (as they called it) lifeless by the cords made fast to splints through his flesh, he was let down, and coming to himself crawled on hands and feet round the medicine-lodge to where an old Indian sat with a hatchet in his hand and a buffalo skull before him; then the youth, holding up the little finger of his left hand to the Great Spirit, offered it as a sacrifice, and it was chopped off, and sometimes the forefinger afterwards, upon the skull.? In India, probably as a Dravidian rather than Aryan rite, the practice with full meaning comes into view; as Siva cut off his finger to appease the wrath of Kali, so in the southern provinces mothers will cut off their own fingers as sacrifices lest they lose their children, and we hear of a golden finger being allowed instead, the substitute of a substitute, The New Zealanders hang locks of hair on branches of trees in the burying-ground, a recognized place for offerings. That hair may be a substitute for its owner is well shown in Malabar, where we read of the demon being expelled from the possessed patient and flogged by the exorcist to a tree ; there the sick man's hair is nailed fast, cut away, and left for a propitiation to the demon. Thus there is some ground for interpreting the consecration of the boy's cut hair in Europe as a representative sacrifice. As for the formal shedding of blood, it may represent fatal bloodshed, as when