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had been; and they repeated after me an invocation of the gods and of your image, which for this purpose, I had ordered to be brought with the images of the deities. They performed sacred rites with wine and frankincense, and execrated Christ, -none of which things I am told a real Christian can ever be compelled to do. On this account I dismissed them. Oihers, named by an informer, first affirmed, and then denied the charge of Christianity ; declaring that they had been Christians, but had ceased to be so, some three years ago, others still longer, some even twenty years ago.
All of them worshipped your image, and the statues of the gods, and also execrated Christ."
From the foregoing extracts, we perceive, that both among the Greeks and Romans, it was common to deify distinguished mortals at their death, or even during their lives; and thus we need not be surprised, if amongst a people farther removed froin the light of revelation, such practices should prevail. It appears, that the Romans first deified Romulus, the founder of their state, in which we perceive a resemblance to the extravagant ascriptions of the honours of deity to their first emperors by the Chinese. After Romulus, the kings and consuls of Rome were not greeted with divine honours ; neither were the kings of the three dynasties Hëa, Shang, and Chow, in China, called Tes. The practice of deifying deceased rulers was resumed under Julius Cæsar and the emperors who succeeded him, as was the case under Tsin-che-hwang, in China, with the Han and following dynasties. It seems, however, that the Romans excluded from the list of deified emperors, those who had disgraced themselves by tyranny; and in a similar way the Imperial ritual, appointing the rites for the worship of the former monarchs of China, ounits all those emperors and even dynasties, who are regarded as having acted in opposition to the doctrines of the sages. The Romans in their prayers put Romulus before the celestial, terrestrial, and infernal beings invoked by them; and in a way not much unlike this, ihe Chinese in the state ritual, arrange the services intended for the honours of deceased monarchs, before those presented to the spirits of heaven and earth ; while the prefixing of Divus to the name of Angustus, and Theos to that of Cæsar, has its counterpart in the practice, to which the Chinese are accustomed, of putting 'Te before the names of their deified emperors. Even the manner of the apotheosis, as described by llerodian, viz. that of an eagle mounting into the sky, and bearing the soul of the emperor from earth to heaven, is not much unlike that which the Chinese fable of li v tIwang-te, who is said to have
been carried up to heaven by a long-bearded dragon ; which story has given rise to the Chinese expression with regard to their deceased emperors “he mounted the dragon as a chariot : the driver of the dragon bas ascended to heaven : the driver of the dragon has been taken up on high," &c. " which dragon," says Visdelou, “bears some rese:yblance to the eagle, in the apotheosis of the Roman emperors, who were thought cither to have ascended to heaven in the form of an eagle, or to have been borne thither on the wings of the royal bird.” See his essay appended to De Guignes, translation of the Shoo-king
The resemblance between the deification of emperors practiced by the Romans, and that current among the Chinese, holds good in another respect, that it prevailed in both nations, until the Gospel came among thein; and as the practice, and all the superstitions connected with it gave way before the influence of Christianity in the days of Constantine, inay we not hope that the same result will follow the propagation of the Gospel in China in these latter days. The Apostles, when they began to preach the truth throughout the Roman empire, found human rulers deified, and regularly sacrificed to, after their death; while the divine name was frequently prefixed to that of human beings, both before and after their decease; the Apostles, however, did not object to use the word Thcos, as generic for God, notwithstanding it was prostituted to such purposes ; but finding that it, was used by the peop e for whom they wrote in the sense of the Supreme as well as of inferior deities, they by the sole appropriation of it to divine beings, showed that they disapproved of its application to mortals, and finally the impious ascription of the divine name to mortal men, with the absurd practice of deifying emperors, gave way before the increasing light of the Gospel.
If we were asked whether, with the views entertained by us, we should discountenance the use of the word Te, for an emperor, we should say, just as much as the Apostles would have done the employment of Theos before Cæsar, or Divus before Augustus; and we have no doubt that, in proportion as the Gospel triumphs, such pracrices will be discontinued. Let it be observed, however, that we merely speak of discountenancing the use of Te, with such an application, but not of Hwang-te: this latter being a set phrase used in a definite sense which is never mistaken. In the Chinese state ritual, as we have before observed, the word Hwang-te is always used for the emperor, while Te is appropiated exclusively to the Supreme, the former being elevated but two, and the latter three characters above the line. We might fall back, therefore, upon this example.
But it has been objected, that the word Te is used for emperors by Chinese historians, in the way of regular narrative; and if we take the stream of historical works from the Shoo-king, down to the present time, hundreds and thousands of instances would be found, where Te refers 10 emperors, to one in which it is used in the sense of God: in reply to which we may say, that the Chinese having adopted the systeni of deifying deceased einperors, applied to them the same name which they had been in the habit of employing when speaking of Heaven, or the Divinity: thus they say, that Te spoke, and Te acted, and 'Te issued his commands, &c. But it is observable, that the word Te, in the history of China, is used with reference to none but the first five emperors, ending with Yaðu and Shún; after their death, the word I wang, king is employed; and until the tyrant of 'Tsin, assumed the title of first monarch, was the word 'Te again applied. The Han dynasty huing continued the title of Hwang-te, the word Te is used with reference to deceased emperors down to the present dynasty. As to the number of instances in which Te occurs, we may remark, that in writing historical works, which treat principally of earthly emperors, and rarely of dirine rulers, it is not to be wondered at, that the former are mentioned much more frequently than the latter. The same would be the case with histories composed by Hine and Gibbon: and if the English had been in the habit of deifying their monarchs, as the Chinese have, and of using the same term for the Supreme, that they did, by the consent of their wise men, for the virtuous kings of antiquity, and through the flattery of courtiers or the adulation of descendants, for departed monarchs in general, then we should doubtless have found hundreds of instances, in which the term in question was applied to human, to one, in which it was used with the reference to the Divine ruler.
Another objection to Te is, that if employed in translating the first commandment, it would forbid homage to human emperors, and unloose the bonds of civil obedience. Seeing that various dictionaries give the meaning of the word Te, as the honourable designation of the ruling power, and the title of one who rules over the empire, it has been asked, whether, by forbidding the Chinese to have any other Tes besides the one issuing the command, we should not be propagating a precept the most disorganizing and subversive of civil government, that ever was propounded ? to which we reply, that there might be some force in the objection, if the Chinese had been in the habit of using the word Te commonly for a living emperor, and if they had never employed it in the sense of superior and invis
ible beings, and especially for one to whom they ascribe the produce tion and guidance of all things. As it appears, however, from the Imperial Dictionary, that the word Te is one of the names of Heaven, whom the Chinese regard as the Divinity, and that it was applied by themselves to earthly rulers, only in consequence of their supposed resemblance to the Divine, we might, even on their own principles, insist on the propriety of acknowledging only one Te. For, if it be necessary, as their lexicographers say, that one should imitale Heaven, or the Divinity, in virtue, before he could be entitled to the name of Te, we might ask them, who ever fully and perfectly imitated the Divinity in excellence and goodness ? and as no huinan or angelic being could pretend to overshadow all things with a protective influence as Heaven does, or to shed down natural and moral blessings on mankind like the Divinity, so no one could ever presume to appropriate to himself the name of Te.
In like manner, we might argue, as during his life-time, he would not claim such distinction, so after his death, no such honour could be put upon hiin. Besides we have shewn, that it is not the practice of the Chinese, in state papers and sober writing, to attach to the names of their emperors the word 'Te, during their lives, but after death, when they are supposed to have mounted the prancing dragons and soared aloft, (as the souls of the Ronan emperors were thought to have mounted on eagle's wings to heaven) and when they have been enshrined in the ancestorial temple, and even associated as secondaries in the sacrifices offered to the Supreme in heaven ; under such circumstances, and honoured with such worship, it is not wonderful that the Chinese should go the length of giving them the name usually appropriated to the Divinity. The Chinese know very well how to distinguish beiween earthly and celestial Tes, between visible and invisible beings, who are the objects of adoration : and if it were clearly stated, that they inust not put any one on a par with Him whom they call the Lord and Governor of Heaven, and the arbiter of human destinies, and that they should have none other such Tes before him, they would no doubt, see the propriety of it, and would be very far from supposing that by such a prohibition we meant to forbid allegiance to civil rulers.
An attentive reader of the precept contained in the first commandment would see that the person speaking was not a human but a divine being. That he was represented as Jehovah, who had brought the people up out of the land of Egypt, and the house of bondage; and whatever mode be adopted for rendering the incommunicable
vame, whether we use Supreme lord, or Heavcu - Sovereign, or the self-existent One, it will evidently be seen, that sollie invisible and celestial, some divine and infinitely exalted being is spokeu of, wloro had a right to command, and who possessed authority over the uni
They would recognize in fact the Supreme in Heaven, wie was also the most High over all the earth. Now no lord or sovereig'ı could tolerale in those subject to his sway, or who formed part of his dominion, is divided allegiance; he must have all or none.
And is il surprising that the Lord and Governor of Heavell, should require his subjects to acknowledge him only as Supreme! or would it be considered as disorganizing or subversive of government, for an invisible and celestial ruler to require from his votaries that they should worship him alone ? and when it appears. that the perso! speaking is the Lord of all, who claims sovereignty over all his creatures, it will then seem highly proper, that he should demand froin his people, that they should have none other spiritual and divine Tes before him. It would be evident, that the passage under consideration did 1101 refer to human rulers, but to invisible and celestial beings, and therefore the true meaning conveyed by it would be seen to be, that he who is Lord of the invisible world, requires that men sliould have no other such Lords besides himself. In fact, the chief Chinese lexicographer explains the word Te as originally meaning the Supreine Divinity. besides a variety of spiritual beings. All well-informed Chinese feel no difficulty in understanding the word, when it refers to divine and spiritual beings, in their own books; and we have not inet with single instance in which interpreters have made any difficulty about the meaning of Te in the ancient classics ; nor of it'll rispuse as too whether it referred to a visible or invisibie being. ti: have given hundreds of instances, and could have produced many more, in which the word 'Te occurs in the sense of divine beings, while it is so used by the cominon people with reference to the objects of their own worship, in daily conversation, and yet we never met with any who misinterpreted the meaning, or of any dispute arising anongat thein, as to the right application of the term. IrTe miist not be used because some Chinese might possibly apply it to human rulers, we ought to remember that the same arguinent would apply in the case of the Hebrew word Elohim. It is well known that the law of Moses speaks of civil judges as Einlim, and sanctions their being 50 called: if then in Israelite were poled, thoint he 1111154 have no other Elohim but Jehovah, he might understand it as prohibiting all defer ence to civil judges. But the Isrivelites, it may be replied, would
VOL. XVII. NO.