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Chapter 4: The Worship of the Sky Among the Civilized Peoples of the Far East

§ 1. The Worship of the Sky in China

Heaven or the Sky the Supreme God in the Chinese pantheon.

ANOTHER people of ancient civilization who have worshipped the sky from time immemorial are the Chinese. Indeed, in the religion of China the sky, personified as a divine power, has always occupied, and still occupies, the supreme place in the national pantheon. It is worshipped not only under its proper name Ti'en, “sky”, but also under the title of Ti, “Emperor”, and still more commonly under the title of Shang-ti, “Emperor-above” or “Supreme Emperor”. These latter titles clearly indicate the conception of the sky as a personal being and supreme ruler.1 In the Chinese classics the word for sky or heaven (Ti'en, pronounced Thien) is everywhere used to denote the Supreme Power, ruling and governing all the affairs of men with an omnipotent and omniscient righteousness and goodness; and this impersonal term is constantly interchanged in the same paragraph for the personal names Emperor (Ti) and Supreme Emperor (Shang-ti).2 Thus we may safely conclude that from the earliest times of which we have any record the Chinese have personified the vault of heaven as a mighty, indeed almighty god. More than that, there are indications in the Chinese classics that the god was conceived in human shape. For example, we read of a barren woman who sacrificed and then walked in the footprints of the Sky-god (Shang-ti) in order to obtain offspring. Yet, whether from religious veneration or a lack of poetic fancy, the process of personification in his case was never carried very far: his majestic figure always remained aloof, remote, and awful: it was never, like that of the Greek Sky-god Zeus, familiarized and brought home to the minds and hearts of his worshippers by intimate personal traits, gossipy anecdotes, and romantic adventures, such as the dethronement of Cronus and the war with the Giants.3

The worship of Heaven or the Sky is the religion of the State rather than of the people.

The Chinese Emperor called the Son of Heaven.

In conformity with this lofty, but somewhat frigid, conception of the Sky-god his worship has always remained more or less cold, abstract, and official. It is the religion of the State, not of the people: it attracts the devotion and secures the homage of the learned, it does not win the affection and excite the enthusiasm of the great mass of men. Candidates who have passed their examinations return their thanks to Heaven, and at marriage bride and bridegroom pay their respects to the same mighty being. In the school of Confucius there are devotees who celebrate the worship of Heaven at the new and the full moon; others are content to do so once a year. But on the whole the occasions on which the ordinary man prostrates himself before the great Celestial Being, the Supreme Emperor, are not frequent, nor are the devotions which the deity receives characterized by religious fervour: the worship of Heaven counts for little in the life of the ordinary Chinese. Heaven is too high and too majestic, they say, to receive the approaches of common folk, to consult their needs, and to grant their requests. Most people believe that the earthly Emperor, who claims to be descended from heaven and hence bears the title of Son of Heaven, is alone qualified to render to Heaven its due and to celebrate its rites with fitting pomp and solemnity. Hence it has come about that the full worship of Heaven is regularly celebrated at the Imperial Court alone. There it has attained to the dignity of a fundamental institution of State, and the Chinese people would be exceedingly displeased and exceedingly disquieted if the Emperor failed to discharge this essential part of his duties. This state of public opinion is a logical outcome of the conception which people in general have formed of the character of the Celestial Power, the Supreme Emperor. As he is supposed to govern the world by general laws without consideration for individuals, it is natural and appropriate that the nation as a whole, represented by and, as it were, summed up in the person of the Emperor, should pay him the honours which he has a right to expect from mankind. That is why the worship of Heaven holds the first place in the Imperial religion, which is at the same time the religion of the State.4

Haven deemed responsible for the course of the seasons and the supply of food.

While Heaven or the Sky-god is believed to regulate the whole order of nature, he is deemed particularly responsible for the order of the seasons, on which the welfare and indeed the existence of mankind is dependent. Hence sacrifices are offered to him for a good year, in other words, for abundant crops; and as the crops in their turn depend on the fall of rain, he is expected and requested to send seasonable showers to refresh and fertilize the thirsty and barren earth. This utilitarian aspect of the Sky-god, in virtue of which he is ultimately charged with the maintenance of the food supply, is the principal and perhaps the original source of the religious veneration which he inspires in the minds of his worshippers.5

The great sacrifice to Heaven on the night of the winter solstice.

The Altar of Heaven at Peking.

Of all the sacrifices offered to Heaven in China the most important and the most august is that which takes place on the night of the winter solstice, that is, on the longest night of the year. The moment is eminently suitable; since from that night the light, of which Heaven is in some sense the personification, begins to increase; the god is born again, the day is his birthday. For the same reason in antiquity the worshippers of Mithra selected the winter solstice as the birthday of the Sun, and in order to wean the pagans from their devotion to the Sun on that day, the Catholic Church adroitly transferred the birthday of Christ from Old Christmas on the sixth of January to New Christmas on the twenty-fifth of December.6 The Chinese sacrifice to Heaven at midwinter is offered on the Altar of Heaven (Tien-tan), also known as the Round Eminence (Yuen-khin), which stands to the south of the Chinese quarter of Peking. The altar, open to the sky, consists of three round marble terraces, of different dimensions, placed one above the other, all provided with balustrades and accessible by marble staircases, which exactly face the four quarters of the compass. It thus represents the celestial sphere with its cardinal points. A wide area, including a park with huge old trees, surrounds this, the greatest altar in the world. The whole is enclosed by high walls, within which there is room for a town of forty or fifty thousand inhabitants.

The scene at the altar.

On the longest night of the year the Emperor, the Son of Heaven, repairs, or rather used till lately to repair, to the altar in great state. Princes, grandees, officers, attendants, troops to the number of many hundreds, escort him, and many hundreds more assemble on the altar to receive him. Everybody is gorgeously attired in the richest ceremonial costume. Lit up by the flickering glare of great torches, the spectacle is very imposing. Every prince, minister, and mandarin has his allotted place on the terraces of the altar or on the marble pavement which surrounds it. On the upper terrace is planted perpendicularly a large tablet bearing the inscription, “Imperial Heaven—Supreme Emperor”: it stands in a shrine on the north side of the altar and faces due south. In two rows, facing east and west, are shrines containing tablets sacred to the ancestors of the Emperor; and the presence of the ancestral tablets is significant, because it shows that the Son of Heavens worships Heaven as the oldest, the original ancestor of his house. Before each tablet a variety of sacrificial food is placed in conformity with ancient precedent and tradition. On the second terrace stand tablets in honour of the spirits of the Sun, the Moon, the Great Bear, the five planets, the twenty-eight principal constellations, and the host of stars; also tablets dedicated to the gods of Clouds and Rain and Thunder. Before these tablets in like manner are set dishes and baskets containing sacrifices. Cows, goats, and swine have been slaughtered to provide all these offerings; and while the ceremonies are being performed a bullock is burning on a pyre as a special sacrifice to High Heaven.

The sacrifices and prayers at the altar.

The Emperor, who has purified himself for the solemn rite by fasting, is led up the altar by the southern flight of steps, which on both sides is thronged by ministers and dignitaries. Masters of ceremonies direct him and proclaim in a loud voice every act he has to perform. In a hymn, chanted by voices and accompanied by instrumental music, the Spirit of Heaven is implored to descend into the tablet which has been prepared for his reception. Before this tablet, and afterwards before the tablets of his ancestors, the Emperor offers incense, jade, silk, broth, and rice spirits. He humbly kneels and knocks his forehead several times against the marble pavement. A grandee intones a statutable prayer in a loud voice, and on the second terrace several officials, appointed for the purpose, offer incense, silk, and wine before the tablets of the Sun, Moon, Stars, Clouds, Rain, Wind, and Thunder. Finally, the sacrificial offerings are carried away, thrown into furnaces and burned. So ends what has been described as the most pompous worship ever paid on earth to a divinity of nature. It is attended by a crowd of musicians and religious dancers, who by their sweet strains and graceful posturing lend variety and charm to the pageant.7

Another altar under a dome representing the vault of heaven.

In the same vast park at Peking there stands, farther to the north, another altar of the same form but of lesser dimensions. It supports a large circular edifice with a dome or cupola, being the only building of this shape and size in China. It represents the vault of the celestial sphere. In this dome prayers are put up for a happy year, that is, for a good harvest throughout the empire. Here, too, year by year, in the first decade of the first month, the Emperor offers a great sacrifice to Heaven and his ancestors. And in the first month of summer, to obtain seasonable rains for the crops, a sacrifice is presented in the same building to Heaven and the ancestors of the Emperor, also to Rain, Thunder, Clouds, and Winds, all represented by their tablets. If rain does not fall in due time, the sacrifice is repeated. These sacrifices are usually performed by princes, grandees, or ministers, as proxies for the Son of Heaven.8

The Emperor's remonstrances with Heaven in time of drought.

In time of drought, when the crops were perishing for lack of rain and the people were afflicted with famine, the Emperor remonstrated with Heaven, his ancestors, and the spirits generally on their unfeeling and ungrateful conduct in plunging the whole kingdom in misery after all the sacrifices that had been offered to them. Thus in the Shih King or Book of Poetry, one of the most ancient of the Chinese classics, we read the following plaint of a king in time of severe drought:

“Bright was the milky way, shining and revolving in the sky. The king said, ‘Oh! What crime is chargeable on us now, that Heaven sends down death and disorder? Famine comes again and again. There is no spirit I have not sacrificed to; there is no victim I have grudged; our jade symbols, oblong and round, are exhausted;9 how is it that I am not heard? The drought is excessive; its fervours become more and more tormenting. I have not ceased offering pure sacrifices; from the border altars (of Heaven and Earth) I have gone to the ancestral temple.10 To the powers above and below (Heaven and Earth) I have presented my offerings and then buried them; there is no spirit whom I have not honoured…This wasting and ruin of our country—would that it fell (only) on me!

“‘The drought is excessive, and I may not try to excuse myself. I am full of terror and feel the peril, like the clap of thunder or the roll…Among the black-hatred people11 there will not be half a man left; nor will God from his great heaven exempt (even) me. Shall we not mingle our fears together? (The sacrifices to) my ancestors will be extinguished.

“‘The drought is excessive, and it cannot be stopped. More fierce and fiery, it is leaving me no place. My end is near; I have none to look up, none to look round, to. The many dukes and their ministers of the past give me no help.12 O ye parents and (nearer) ancestors, how can ye bear to see me thus?

“‘The drought is excessive; parched are the hills, and the streams are dried. The demon of drought exercises his oppression, as if scattering flames and fire. My heart is terrified with the heat; my sorrowing heart is as if on fire. The many dukes and their ministers of the past do not hear me. O God, from thy great heaven, grant me the liberty to withdraw (into retirement).’”13

In short, deserted by God and even by dukes, who either could not or would not comply with his request for rain, the monarch in despair thought of abdicating and so making room for a successor, who might wring from reluctant Heaven and the deceased nobility those showers of which the parched earth stood so sorely in need and of which these august personages are notoriously the only dispensers.

The worship of the Sky among the Lo-lo p'o of Southern China.

The Sky regarded as a Father and the Earth as a Mother.

The Lo-lo p'o are an aboriginal tribe of Yunnan, a province of Southern China. Their religion consists in honouring the Sky and venerating their deceased kinsfolk. The Catholic missionary who reports their creed was at some pains to ascertain what they meant by the Sky which they honour. Is it simply the blue vault of heaven? Is it a Higher Being, a Great Spirit? Or is it some combination of the two? To these questions he could elicit no satisfactory answer. The natives, he tells us, either do not raise such questions at all, or, if they do, the result of their reflections is far from lucid; and an examination of the popular expressions applied to the sky does not resolve the ambiguity, for while some of them admit of a spiritual, others on the contrary favour a purely materialistic interpretation. If the more intelligent of the people are questioned on the subject, they reply that the Sky (Meu-nyi mo) which they adore is the same as the God of the Christians. If, on the other hand, the question is put to the less intelligent members of the tribe, “What is that Sky which you adore?” they answer, “Why, it is just the Sky.” But if you insist in asking, “But after all what do you understand by the Sky?” they cut you short by replying, “We do not know”.14 The same question put to any primitive people concerning their Sky-god would probably elicit the same or a similar answer. Whether the distinction between the material and the spiritual is sound or not, it is one that has been reached by civilized peoples after a long period of reflection and discussion, and it is much too abstract to be understood by simple folk who have never troubled themselves about such metaphysical subtleties. For them the Sky is the Sky, and if they invest it with personal qualities, as they do, they merely follow the impulse of the childlike tendency to personify the whole realm of nature. Thus the Lo-lo p'o regard the sky as the father of mortals; he is often called Father Sky (Men-nyi-mo a-bo). Similarly, they sometimes speak of the earth (Mi-bou-do) as Mother Earth (Mi-bou-do a-mo); and they often say, “The Sky is our father, the Earth is our mother” Yet apparently they do not look upon Sky and Earth as husband and wife. Questioned on this subject, they say, “The Earth is called Mother because the Sky, which is our Father, covers it and protects it”.15 They think that the Sky created man and things for his use. You may hear them saying, “Men cannot make things of that sort; it is the Sky that made them”; or again, “It was the Sky that made the earth”. Again, they appear to conceive of the Sky as omniscient. They will say, for example, “Men cannot know such and such a thing; the Sky (Men-nyi-mo) knows it”; or again, “We must not do evil, the Sky would not look on us with favour”. Sometimes, instead of speaking simply of the Sky, they say “The Master of the Sky”. In short, they appear to use the name for Sky in a sense nearly equivalent to God; so at least, Father Liétard, our authority on the tribe, translates the word.16

Offering to the Sky on the first day of the year.

On the first day of the year the head of a Lo-lo p'o, family presents an offering to the Sky. A bowl of rice and a piece of meat are set on a tray, and holding the tray in his hands the householder steps to the threshold of the door, makes three deep obeisances, and lifts the tray towards the sky. That ends the simple ceremony. Afterwards the rice and meat are consumed by the family,17 so that the Sky gets nothing, unless indeed, it be the spiritual essence of the food, for on that meagre diet many divinities are forced to subsist.

§ 2. The Worship of the Sky in Corea

Siang-tiei, the Supreme God commonly identified with the Sky.

In Corea, as in China, the popular religion is the worship of ancestors, but with this is conjoined a conception more or less vague of a great deity named Siang-tiei, whom most people identify with the sky. His name is clearly the same with Shang-ti, which, in the sense of Supreme Emperor, is the name commonly bestowed on the Sky-god by the Chinese.18 The missionaries have often questioned highly educated Coreans as to the meaning which they attach to the word Siang-tiei, but without ever obtaining a clear and precise answer. Some Coreans believe that the name designates the Supreme Being, the creator and preserver of the world; others maintain that it is simply and solely the sky, to which they attribute a providential power of producing, preserving, and ripening the crops, banishing sickness, and so forth; but most people confess that they know nothing and do not trouble themselves about it. When public sacrifices are offered for rain or fine weather, or for deliverance from plague, the prayers are addressed either to the Supreme Being or to the Sky, according to the text of the programme drawn up by the mandarin who arranges the ceremony.19

Sacrifices to the Supreme Being or the Sky in time of drought.

Such sacrifices are not very frequent. But when districts or provinces suffer from drought, the government issues an order to the mandarins, and each of them, on the day appointed, betakes himself to the place set apart for the ceremony. Attended by his suite, his guards, and his satellites, he there awaits patiently the favourable moment without eating or drinking, or even smoking to beguile the weary hours. The lucky time is usually towards midnight; in any case the mandarin may not return home till after midnight is passed. At the exact moment he sacrifices pigs, sheep, and goats, and offers the raw flesh and blood to the deity. On the morrow he rests from his labours, but only to begin them again the day after, and so it goes on alternately every other day till rain falls. In the capital the mandarins relieve each other, so that the sacrifices take place every day. If after two or three sacrifices the Supreme Being or the Sky (whichever of them happens to be down on the programme) turns a deaf ear to the prayer and a blind eye to the sacrifice, the place of sacrifice is shifted, and they try again. The various places, where the deity is offered raw pork, mutton, and goat's flesh as an inducement to send rain, are determined by ancient custom. But if, after all, no result is obtained, the mandarins are replaced by Cabinet Ministers, who officiate in their stead. But if neither mandarins nor Cabinet Ministers can extract a drop of rain from the deity, recourse is had, as a last resort, to the king, and he comes in great state to offer the sacrifices and to procure the salvation of his people. When rain at last falls, as it always does, sooner or later, neither the sacrificer nor the persons of his suite may take shelter from the downpour; they must wait till midnight before they return home. The whole crowd of spectators follows their example, for they think that it would be an insult to the Sky if they sought to avoid the rain, the object of such earnest desires and prayers. Should anybody be so forgetful of common decency as to put on his hat or open his umbrella, the angry crowd would knock his hat off his head, smash his umbrella, and overwhelm him under a shower of blows and curses.20

Rewards for the mandarin who procures rain.

A mandarin whose sacrifice has been followed by rain is regarded as the saviour of his country; the king rewards him by giving him promotion or a valuable present. In the nineteenth century a mandarin of the capital who dared to offer the sacrifice before the prescribed hour was immediately dismissed from office. But that very night rain began to fall; so the degraded magistrate was restored to his dignity and shared the reward with his brother mandarin, who officiated the next day, and who had the good fortune to be drenched with rain in the very act of sacrificing. On both of them the king bestowed a deerskin, which was carried to their respective abodes with all possible pomp and ceremony.21

Sacrifices for fine weather at Seoul.

At Seoul, the capital of Corea, sacrifices to procure fine weather are offered at the great South Gate. The hour is the same, the sacrificer observes the same rules of abstinence, and so long as the sacrifices continue the gate is shut day and night, and all traffic is stopped. Sometimes, too, on such occasions it is forbidden to carry the dead out to burial. If at these times undertakers attempt to conduct funerals, whether in ignorance of the edict, or in the hope of evading it, or because the date of the obsequies has been fixed by the diviners and cannot be postponed, they are inexorably stopped at the gates of the city; and as they cannot return home before the burial, they and the coffins which they are carrying are obliged to remain out in the rain, often for several days, till with the return of fine weather the embargo on funerals has been rescinded, and the dead are suffered peaceably to repair to their long homes.22

Sacrifices in time of public calamity.

Sometimes in great calamities, as when cholera is raging, individuals club together or collect money to defray the expense of numerous sacrifices, and the king for his part essays to appease the wrath of Heaven by granting partial or general amnesties.23

§ 3. The Worship of the Sky in Annam.

In Annam the sky is, personified as a wise and generally beneficent deity.

In Annam, as in China, the sky (troi) is personified as an intelligent, wise, and on the whole beneficent deity. The personification transpires clearly in such popular expressions as “Mr. Sky” and “Mr. Blue Sky” or “Grandfather Sky”, “Grandfather Blue Sky”; for the title Mr. or Monsieur (ong) means literally “grandfather”, though it is applied in a complimentary sense to any person for whom the speaker entertains respect. Sometimes in common speech the noun “sky” is omitted, while the personification remains. Thus you may hear people say, “Grandfather is raining”, Grandfather is causing a flood”, “If Grandfather goes on like that we shall lose the harvest”.24 But to the mind of the Annamites the sky (troi) is much more than the personified cause of atmospheric phenomena. It occupies towards mankind the position of an overruling Providence. It is the cause of all that happens here on earth. They say, “Life and death are in the power of Heaven” (troi); “Good and bad fortune are in the power of Heaven”; “Riches and honours, want and plenty depend on Heaven”; “It is the will of Heaven.” It is Heaven, too, that sends the wasting sicknesses which spread havoc among the people; cholera or plague is “Heaven's evil” (dich troi). Yet Heaven is also beneficent and compassionate. Men appeal to it in time of trouble. Thousands of times every day the cry goes up from the unfortunate and unhappy in Annam to a just, a pitiful Heaven; “O Heaven (troi ôi!)” is the simple appeal; according to the circumstances and feelings of the speaker it is a cry of supplication, of suffering, of discouragement, of astonishment, or of indignation. Sometimes, in their despair, men blaspheme Heaven, rendering it responsible for the evils that befall them: hence there is “a sin against heaven” (Pham troi); and they say that “Heaven punishes” (troi phat). But in calmer moments men appeal to Heaven as to a wise and just judge. They say, “Heaven knows” (troi biêt) “Heaven judges” (troi xet) meaning, “Heaven sees what I do, he hears what I say; he is my witness that I speak the truth, that I am innocent; he will not leave unpunished the wrong that is done me”. And it is to this great Celestial Being, who made man and watched over him during his life on earth, that man returns after death; to die is “to return to Heaven” (vê troi). Thus on the whole the physical sky (troi) is personified by the Annamites as a wise, good, just and omniscient being, in short, as a high god.25

Theological subtleties concerning the divine nature eschewed by the people.

But if the people are asked whether this great deity, this Overruling Providence, is distinct from the material heaven, the blue vault that they see above their heads, they cannot answer. Either they have never put the question to themselves, or, if they have, they have kept to themselves the fruit of their reflections.26 It is the old, old riddle, and how can we expect that Annam should find the answer?

Earth could not answer: nor the Seas that mourn

In flowing Purple, of their Lord forlorn;

Nor rolling Heaven, with all his Signs reveal'd

And hidden by the sleeve of Night and Morn

The Sky-god called the Emperor of Jade; he is attended by a court and two secretaries, who are the Northern and Southern Star.

But with such unprofitable subtleties the great mass of mankind in Annam, as elsewhere, do not concern themselves. To their thinking the sky is a god, and that is an end of it About his personality there is no manner of doubt. They call him Ngoc Hoang, that is, the Emperor of Jade. He dwells in the midst of heaven and is the supreme ruler of the universe. The sun, the moon, the stars, the planets, the thunder, the rain, the spirits of the mountains, of the rivers, and of the forests are all subject to him. It was he who sent to mankind the three great emperors Phucy, Than nong, and Hien vien, who taught the human race to till the ground and to clothe their nakedness. But the Emperor of Jade does not dwell in lone splendour above the clouds. He is surrounded by a regular court, and in the despatch of all business concerning mankind he is assisted by two Secretaries of State, who are no other than the Northern Star and the Southern Star. It is the duty of these functionaries to superintend and register all things, good and bad, that affect the welfare of humanity. But while the Southern Star keeps his eye on the living and records all their doings, of which they will have to render an account after death, the Northern Star is lord of the dead; he it is who regulates their punishment, increasing, mitigating, or suspending it at his discretion; and it is to him that, a few days before the end of the year, the Spirit of the Kitchen makes his annual report on all that, as Guardian of the Hearth, he has seen and heard in the house during the past year. In popular art the Emperor of Jade is represented clad in a robe of imperial yellow, sitting on a throne amid clouds, and holding an ivory sceptre in his clasped hands. On either side of him stand, at the foot of the throne, the two Secretaries of State, each with the emblems of his office, to wit, a register and a paint-brush or pencil wherewith to make the entries in the judgment roll. The image or statue of the deity is to be seen in many temples, yet he receives no special worship; no ceremonies are performed and no festivals held in his honour, such as are performed and held in honour of the Sun and Moon.27

The descent of the Sky-god's daughter to Earth.

The Emperor of Jade is a father; he has sons and daughters. Among the daughters the most celebrated is the goddess Liêu Hanh.28 One day when her father had invited a select party of gods to dinner, she was so awkward as to break a valuable vase, and for this fault she was banished by her stern sire to earth. There she became a princess in the royal family of the Lês and married a young official named Dao Lang. But after three years she died. When her husband opened the coffin to take a last look at his dead wife the body had vanished. The goddess had resumed the likeness of a young damsel, and in that form now roamed the forests, making the woods echo to her songs and the music of the harp. There her husband, who was inconsolable for his loss, had the good fortune to fall in with her and to recognize her with the help of a very elegant poem which she had carved on the bark of a tree. They married again and lived long years together without ever wearying of their love. Her husband devoted himself to the pursuit of literature, graduated with distinction at the university, and rose to be a high mandarin. Their marriage was blessed with a son. One day—one melancholy day—while they were joyously discussing his future career, they were surprised by a strain of sweet and solemn music which seemed to proceed from the sky. A shudder thrilled the wife: she started up and said to her husband, “We must part, my darling. Thou art Dao Lang and I am the goddess Liêu Hanh. My father, the Emperor of Jade, is calling me to himself. Farewell.” She vanished, this time to return no more, and he was left lamenting.29

  • 1.

    J. H. Plath, Die Religion und der Cultus der alten Chinesen, i. (Munich, 1862) pp. 13, 18 sq.; (Sir) E. B. Tylor, Primitive Culture2 (London, 1873), ii. 257, 352; J. Legge in Sacred Books of the East, vol. iii. (Oxford, 1879) pp. xxiii sqq.; A. Réville, La Religion Chinoise (Paris), 1889, pp. 134 sqq.; C. de Harlez, Les Religions dè la Chine (Leipzig, 1891), pp. 31 sqq., 35 sqq.; J. J. M. de Groot, The Religion of the Chinese (New York, 1910), p. 103; Marcel Granet, La Religion des Chinois (Paris, 1922), p. 49. Shang-ti is the term which most Protestant missionaries in China have adopted to represent the word God; for the same purpose the Catholic missionaries have chosen the expression T'ien Chu, that is “Lord of Heaven”. See R. F. Johnston, Lion and Dragon in Northern China (London, 1910), p. 395 note1.

  • 2.

    J. Legge, op. cit. p. xxiv.

  • 3.

    A. Réville, La Religion Chinoise, pp. 136 sq.

  • 4.

    A. Réville, La Religion Chinoise, pp. 140-142. As to the title “Son of Heaven” bestowed on the emperor, and his claim to be descended from Heaven, see Marcel Granet, La Religion des Chinois, pp. 50, 56 sq.: as to the title, compare J. Legge, in Sacred Books of the East, vol. iii. p. xxv note1.

  • 5.

    Marcel Granet, La Religion des Chinois, p. 49.

  • 6.

    See below, pp. 526-528.

  • 7.

    J. J. M. de Groot, The Religion of the Chinese, pp. 103-106. A good view of the great Altar of Heaven, rising in its triple circular terraces one above the other, is given in The Review of Reviews, No. 419, December 15th, 1924, p. 505.

  • 8.

    J. J. M. de Groot, The Religion of the Chinese, pp. 106 sq.

  • 9.

    These symbols were used at sacrifices: they were of different shapes and colours.

  • 10.

    “By ‘the border altars’ we are to understand the altars in the suburbs of the capital, where Heaven and Earth were sacrificed to—the great services at the solstices, and any other seasons” (J. Legge).

  • 11.

    That it, the Chinese.

  • 12.

    The king had sacrificed to the spirits of all the early lords and their ministers, but in vain.

  • 13.

    The Shih King, Decade iii. Ode 4, translated by James Legge, Sacred Books of the East, vol. iii. (Oxford, 1879). pp. 419-422.

  • 14.

    A. Liétard, Au Yun-nan, Les Lo-lo p'o (Münster-i.-W., 1913), pp. 127 sq.

  • 15.

    A. Liétard, Au Yun-nan, Les Lo-lo p'o, p. 129.

  • 16.

    A. Liétard, op. cit. p. 128 sq. He translates Men-nyi-mo sometimes at “le Ciel” and sometimes as “Dieu”.

  • 17.

    A. Liétard, op. cit. p. 128.

  • 18.

    See above, p. 74.

  • 19.

    Ch. Dallet, Histoire de l’ Église de Corée (Paris, 1874), i. pp. cxxxviii sq.

  • 20.

    Ch. Dallet, Histoire de l’ Église de Corée, i. pp. cxxxix sq.

  • 21.

    Ch. Dallet, Histoire de l’ Église de Corée, i. p. cxl.

  • 22.

    Ch. Dallet, Histoire de l’ Église de Corée, l.c.

  • 23.

    Ch. Dallet, Histoire de l’ Église de Corée, l.c.

  • 24.

    L. Cadière, “Philosophie populaire annamite,” Anthropos, ii. (1907) pp. 118-120; P. Giran, Magie et Religion Annamites (Paris, 1912), pp. 262 sq.

  • 25.

    L. Cadière, “Philosophie populaire annamite,” Anthropos, ii. (1907) pp. 121 sq.

  • 26.

    L. Cadière, “Philosophie populaire annamite,” Anthropos, ii. (1907) p. 122.

  • 27.

    P. Giran, Magie ct Religion Annamites, pp. 262-264; E. Diguet, Les Annamites (Paris, 1906), pp. 219 sq.

  • 28.

    P. Giran, op. cit. p. 264.

  • 29.

    E. Diguet, Les Annamites, pp. 225-227; compare P. Giran, op. cit. p. 264.

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