صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

carnation with vermilion characters; while for the moon, a white ground with black characters.

In this, the second part of our paper, we shall consider the sacred persons who performed the rights of sacrifice. The priests of the Chinese State religion are the emperor, the kings, the nobles, the statesmen and the civil and military officers who are known as pi kwan. The emperor fills the position of high priest, the “pontifex maximus"; the lower dignitaries are subordinates to him. The civil and sacred functions are usurped by the joo keou, or “sect philosophers.” Women and priests are forbidden entrance at the grand state worship of nature; the empress and the several grades of imperial concubines only take part in the sacrifice to the patroness of silk manufacturers, which takes place by itself.

The Chinese hierophants had to meet two requirements: they were to be freed from any recent legal crime, and were not to be in mourning for the dead. In order to perform the first order of sacrifices, they are required to prepare themselves as the priests amongst the Hebrews did, during the time when the Jewish temple stood in Jerusalem, namely, by ablution, a change of garment, a vow in the fast of three days. During this time, they must occupy a clean chamber and abstain from (a) judging criminals; (b) being present at feasts; (c) listening to music; (d) cohabitation with wives or concubines; (e) inquiries about the sick; (f) mourning for the dead; (g) drinking wine; (h) eating garlic. The above were carefully to be fulfilled in as much as sickness and death were believed to defile, while banqueting and feasting dissipate the mind and make it unfit to commune with Him who holds sway over this great earth.

The third division of this paper deals with the victims sacrificed and the things offered. The animals or bloody sacrifices that were made use of for sacrifices of heaven and earth were divided into four classes :

(a) A heifer, or new tsze.
(b) A bullock, or new fco.
(c) Oxen generally.

(d) Sheeo, or pigs. The things that were offered were chiefly silk, about which we shall speak elsewhere. The first essential in sacrifice was that the victims should be whole and sound, while an azure black colored animal was much preferred. The victims were to be purified nine decades or cleansed ninety days for the grand sacrifices; three decades for the intermediary class, or only one decade or ten days for the herd or flock of sacrifices. These seemed to be no ceremony connected with the killing of the animals. Contrary to the Greek custom of decorating with wreaths and garlands and the Jewish custom of sprinkling the blood, the Chinese sacrifice seemed to be simply slaughtered the day before they are to be offered and dressed. After being laid on the altar, they were ready to be distributed among the tse fuh jou, "the sacrificial blessed flesh,” which the civil and military priesthood no doubt relished after a three-days' fast. The sacrifices are offered at specified times; on the day of the winter's solstice, those to the earth, and at regularly appointed times the others were offered.

The following ceremonies characterize the grand worship of nature: bowing, kneeling and knocking the head against the ground, or, as it is termed in Chinese, pae kwei kow. The emperor when he officiates in propria persona at certain sacrifices, bows in the place knocking his head against the ground. The emperor makes three kneelings and nine bows, instead of three kneelings and nine knockings of the head against the ground. The knocking or bowing, or, as it is known in Chinese, the kow or the pae, seems to effect a material or rather a feeling difference in the estimation of his majesty.

Our last topic deals with the penalty of informality. The forfeiture of a month's salary or a specified number of blows with the bamboo stick, which very often was avoided by the payment of a trifling sum of money, instead of the lawful punishment for the neglect of due preparations, imperfect victims, etc., etc. The displeasure of the things or beings worshipped is not considered ; man's wrath is only to be appeased by a forfeiture or a fine. The number of blows adjudged to the delinquent determines the amount of fines. But while such easy penalties are reserved for the delinquents, for the hierophants and philosophical legislatures; the common people who presume to arrogate the rights of worship, being heaven and earth, announcing their affairs thereto, or of lighting lamps to the seventh stars of ursa major, are punished bonafide with eighty blows of strangulation. The State religion is in reality a worship regarded proper for monarchs and philosophers, and one that is not to be desecrated by the worship of the vulgar plebian. Such, then, do we find to be the worship of the Chinese State religion prior to the nineteenth century, before the Occident got a firmer hold on Oriental China.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

A MONTHLY MAGAZINE
Devoted to the Science of Religion, the Religion of Science, and

the Extension of the Religious Parliament Idea

VOL. XXXVIII (No. 5) MAY, 1924

(No. 816) Copyright by THE OPEN Court PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1924

RUDOLPH EUCKEN

BY GIOVANNI PAPINI

(Note: The following paper is from Papini's 24 Cervelli ("Four and Twenty Minds"), published in 1912, before the author's conversion to Catholicism. It is one of the papers not included in Professor Wilkins' book of Papini translations.)

WHEN,

THEN, a short while ago, a swarm of news dispatches an

nounced among the list of Nobel prize-winners, a name deformed by German syllables, followed by the word Jena, certain Italian newspapers, better versed in matters of crime than in the history of philosophy, at once leaped to the conclusion that the fortunate recipient-to-be of one of these annual cheques was none other than the celebrated Ernest Hackel, who also resided in Jena. However, better informed journals and more intelligent persons understood at once that the savant in question was not the evolutionistic pope.

It is possible also that down there in Jena they would have been better satisfied if the prize had been awarded to Haeckel instead of to Eucken. The contemporary history of the little university town is well known but interesting. Behind its walls dwelt three great men. The first, Haeckel, is the patron saint of the city. There is a Hackelstrasse, and the tobacco shops carry cigar boxes displaying a large bearded face, with the energetically satisfied inscription, Unser Haeckel! beneath it. The second, Eucken, is known after a fashion, and while he has many friends and acquaintances, it might be said that his good fortune had made him known for the first time to a number of his fellow townsmen. The third, Frege, is absolutely unknown, in Jena and out, although he is, perhaps, the most original of the three. He is a modest mathematician, inventor of a logical symbolism, and, in many respects, worthy of a place beside our own Peano. There are not ten persons in Europe, possibly, who have

1 Translated from the Italian by Samuel Putnam.

« السابقةمتابعة »