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Title: The Covenant of Salt - As Based on the Significance and Symbolism of Salt in Primitive Thought
Author: Trumbull, H. Clay (Henry Clay)
Language: English
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    THE

    COVENANT OF SALT

    AS BASED ON THE SIGNIFICANCE AND SYMBOLISM
    OF SALT IN PRIMITIVE THOUGHT


    BY
    H. CLAY TRUMBULL

    Author of "The Blood Covenant," "The Threshold Covenant,"
    "Kadesh-barnea," "Studies in Oriental Social Life," etc.


    NEW YORK
    CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

    1899

    Copyright, 1899
    By H. CLAY TRUMBULL


PREFACE


In 1884 I issued a volume on "The Blood Covenant: A Primitive Rite
and its Bearings on Scripture." Later I was led to attempt, and to
announce as in preparation, another volume in the field of primitive
covenants, including a treatment of "The Name Covenant," "The Covenant
of Salt," and "The Threshold Covenant." In 1896, I issued a separate
volume on "The Threshold Covenant," that subject having grown into such
prominence in my studies as to justify its treatment by itself. These
two works, "The Blood Covenant" and "The Threshold Covenant," have been
welcomed by scholars on both sides of the ocean to an extent beyond
my expectations, and in view of this I venture to submit some further
researches in the field of primitive thought and customs.

Before the issuing of my second volume, I had prepared the main portion
of this present work on "The Covenant of Salt," but since then I have
been led to revise it, and to conform it more fully to my latest
conclusion as to the practical identity of all covenants. It is in
this form that I present it, as a fresh contribution to the study of
archeology and of anthropology.

As I have come to see it, as a result of my researches, the very
idea of a "covenant" in primitive thought is a union of being, or of
persons, in a common life, with the approval of God, or of the gods.
This was primarily a sharing of blood, which is life, between two
persons, through a rite which had the sanction of him who is the source
of all life. In this sense "blood brotherhood" and the "threshold
covenant" are but different forms of one and the same _covenant_. The
blood of animals shared in a common sacrifice is counted as the blood
which makes two one in a sacred covenant. Wine as "the blood of the
grape" stands for the blood which is the life of all flesh; hence the
sharing of wine stands for the sharing of blood or life. So, again,
salt represents blood, or life, and the covenant of salt is simply
another form of the one blood covenant. This is the main point of
this new monograph. So far as I know, this truth has not before been
recognized or formulated.

Similarly the sharing of a common name, especially of the name of God,
or of a god, is the claim of a divinely sanctioned covenant between
those who bear it. It is another mode of claiming to be in the one
vital covenant. A temporary agreement, or truce, between two who
share a drink of water or a morsel of bread, is a lesser and very
different thing from entering into a covenant, which by its very nature
is permanent and unchangeable. This difference is pointed out and
emphasized in the following pages.

In these new investigations, as in my former ones, I have been aided,
step by step, by specialists, who have kindly given me suggestions
and assistance by every means in their power. This furnishes a fresh
illustration of the readiness of all scholars to aid any fresh worker
in any line where their own labors render them an authority or a guide.

Besides my special acknowledgments in the text and footnotes of this
volume, I desire to express my indebtedness and thanks to these
scholars who have freely rendered me important assistance at various
points in my studies: Professor Dr. Hermann V. Hilprecht, the Rev. Drs.
Marcus Jastrow, K. Kohler, and Henry C. McCook, Professor Drs. Hermann
Collitz, H. Carrington Bolton, William H. Roberts, Morris Jastrow,
Jr., F. K. Sanders, William A. Lamberton, W. W. Keen, William Osler,
J. W. Warren, and D. C. Munro, Drs. J. Solis Cohen, Thomas G. Morton,
Charles W. Dulles, Henry C. Cattell, and Frederic H. Howard, Rev. Dean
E. T. Bartlett, President Robert E. Thompson, Drs. Talcott Williams,
Henry C. Lea, and T. H. Powers Sailer, Messrs. Clarence H. Clark and
Patterson Du Bois.

This third work is to be considered in connection with the two which
have preceded it in the same field. It is hoped that it will be
recognized as adding an important thought to the truths brought out in
those works severally.

A previously published monograph on "The Ten Commandments as a Covenant
of Love" is added to "The Covenant of Salt" as a Supplement, in order
that it may be available to readers of this series of volumes on
covenants, as a historical illustration of the subject under discussion.

  H. C. T.

  Philadelphia,
  _October, 1899_.



CONTENTS



I.
                                              PAGE
CHARACTERISTICS OF A COVENANT                   1


II.

A COVENANT OF SALT                             11


III.

BIBLE REFERENCES TO THE RITE                   15


IV.

BREAD AND SALT                                 21


V.

SALT REPRESENTING BLOOD                        35


VI.

SALT REPRESENTING LIFE                         51


VII.

SALT AND SUN, LIFE AND LIGHT                   71


VIII.

SIGNIFICANCE OF BREAD                          77


IX.

SALT IN SACRIFICES                              81


X.

SALT IN EXORCISM AND DIVINATION                 97


XI.

FAITHLESSNESS TO SALT                          107


XII.

SUBSTITUTE TOGETHER WITH REALITY               115


XIII.

ADDED TRACES OF THE RITE                       121


XIV.

A SAVOR OF LIFE OR OF DEATH                    131


XV.

MEANS OF A MERGED LIFE                         139


SUPPLEMENT

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AS A COVENANT OF LOVE      143


INDEXES

TOPICAL INDEX, 177.     SCRIPTURAL INDEX, 183.



I

CHARACTERISTICS OF A COVENANT


Our English word "covenant," like many another word in our language and
in other languages, fails to convey, or even to contain, its fullest
and most important meaning in comparison with the idea back of it. As
a matter of fact, this must be true of nearly all words. Ideas precede
words. Ideas have spirit and life before they are shaped or clothed
in words. Words have necessarily human limitations and imperfectness,
because of their purely human origin.

When an idea first seeks expression in words, it is inevitable that it
be cramped by the means employed for its conveyance. At the best the
word can only _suggest_ the idea back of it, rather than accurately
_define_ and explain that idea. In practice, or in continued and varied
use, in the development of thought and of language, changes necessarily
occur in the word or words selected to convey a primal idea, in order
to indicate other phases of the idea than that brought out or pointed
to by the first chosen word. While these changes and additions aid
some persons to an understanding of the root idea, they tend to confuse
others, especially those who are looking for exactness of definition.

As a rule, the earlier words chosen for the expression of an idea
are more likely than later ones to suggest the main thought seeking
expression. Hence there is often a gain in looking back among the Greek
and Sanskrit and Hebrew and Assyrian roots carried forward by religion
or commerce into our English words and idioms, when we are searching
for the true meaning of an important custom or rite or thought. Yet
this will ordinarily be confusing rather than clarifying to an exact
scholar. Only as a person is intent on the primal thought back of the
chosen word is he likely to perceive the true meaning and value of the
suggestions of the earlier word or words found in his searching.

Archeology is sometimes more valuable than philology in throwing light
on the meaning of ancient words. It is often easier to explain the use
of an archaic word by a disclosed primitive custom or rite, than to
discern a hidden primitive rite or custom by a study of the words used
in referring to it. An archeologist may suggest a solution of a problem
which hopelessly puzzles the lexicographer or grammarian. Sentiment
and the poetic instinct are often more helpful, in such research, than
prescribed etymological methods. He who looks for an exact definition
can never reach a conclusion. If he seeks a suggestion, he may find one.

"Covenant," as an English word, simply means, according to its
etymological signification, "a coming together." At times the word is
used interchangeably with such words as "an agreement," "a league,"
"a treaty," "a compact," "an arrangement," "an obligation," or "a
promise." Only by its context and connections are we shown in special
cases that a covenant bond has peculiar or pre-eminent sacredness
and perpetuity. This truth is, however, shown in many an instance,
especially in translations from earlier languages.

Even in our use of the English word "covenant" we have to recognize,
at times, its meaning as a sacred and indissoluble joining together of
the two parties covenanting, as distinct from any ordinary agreement
or compact. And when we go back, as in our English Bible, to the Greek
and Hebrew words rendered "covenant," or "testament," or "oath," in
a sworn bond, we find this distinction more strongly emphasized. It
is therefore essential to a correct view of any form of primitive
covenanting that we understand the root idea in this primal sort of
coming together.

Primitive covenanting was by two persons cutting into each other's
flesh, and sharing by contact, or by drinking, the blood thus brought
out. Earliest it was the personal blood of the two parties that was the
nexus of their covenant. Later it was the blood of a shared and eaten
sacrifice that formed the covenant nexus. In such a case the food of
the feast became a part of the life of each and both, and fixed their
union. In any case it was the common life into which each party was
brought by the covenant that bound them irrevocably. This fixed the
binding of the two as permanent and established.[1]

  [1] See _Blood Covenant_ and _Threshold Covenant_, passim.

Lexicographers and critics puzzle over the supposed Hebrew or Assyrian
origin of the words translated "covenant" in our English Bible, and
they fail to agree even reasonably well on the root or roots involved.
Yet all the various words or roots suggested by them have obvious
reference to the primal idea of covenanting as a means of life-sharing;
therefore their verbal differences are, after all, of minor importance,
and may simply point to different stages in the progressive development
of the languages.

Whether, therefore, the root of the Hebrew _b[)e]reeth_ means, as
is variously claimed, "to cut," "to fetter," "to bind together,"
"to fix," "to establish," "to pour out," or "to eat," it is easy
to see how these words may have been taken as referring to the one
primitive idea of a compassed and established union.[2] So in the
Greek words _diath[=e]k[=e]_ and _horkion_ it can readily be seen
that the references to the new placing or disposing of the parties,
to their solemn appeal to God or the gods in the covenanting, and to
the testament to take effect after the death of the testator, or to
the means employed in this transaction, are alike consistent with the
primitive idea of a covenant in God's sight by which one gives over
one's very self, or one's entire possessions, to another. The pledged
or merged personality of the two covenantors fully accounts for the
different suggested references of the variously employed words.

  [2] See Gesenius's _Hebraeisches und Aramaeisches Wörterbuch_, 12th
  ed., p. 120; Norwach's _Lehrbuch der Hebræischen Archæologie_, I., p.
  358, note 1; Friedrich Delitzsch's _The Hebrew Language Viewed in the
  Light of Assyrian Research_, p. 41; _Blood Covenant_, 2d ed., p. 264.

True marriage is thus a covenant, instead of an arrangement. The twain
become no longer two, but one; each is given to the other; their
separate identity is lost in their common life. A ring, a bracelet, a
band, has been from time immemorial the symbol and pledge of such an
indissoluble union.[3]

  [3] _Blood Covenant_, 2d ed., pp. 64, 75, 77.

Men have thus, many times and in many ways, signified their
covenanting, and their consequent interchange of personality and of
being, by the exchange of certain various tokens and symbols; but these
exchanges have not in any sense been the covenant itself, they have
simply borne witness to a covenant. Thus men have exchanged pledges of
their covenant to be worn as phylacteries, or caskets, or amulets, or
belts, on neck, or forehead, or arm, or body;[4] they have exchanged
weapons of warfare or of the chase; they have exchanged articles of
ordinary dress, or of ornament, or of special utility;[5] they have
exchanged with each other their personal names.[6] All these have been
in token of an accomplished covenant, but they have not been forms or
rites of the covenant itself.

  [4] _Blood Covenant_, 2d ed., pp. 232-238, 326-330.

  [5] _Ibid._, pp. 14, 24, 28, 35 f., 62, 270; 1 Sam. 18 : 4; 20 : 1-13.

  [6] _Ibid._, 2d ed., p. 334 f.

Circumcision is spoken of in the Old Testament as the token of a
covenant between the individual and God. It is so counted by the Jew
and the Muhammadan. In Madagascar, as illustrative of outside nations,
it is counted as the token of a covenant between the individual and
his earthly sovereign. The ceremonies accompanying it all go to prove
this.[7] Again, men have covenanted with one another to merge their
common interests, and to obliterate or ignore their racial, tribal, or
social distinctions, as no mere treaty or league could do.

  [7] _Ibid._, pp. 215-233; Gen. 17 : 1-14; Ellis's _History of
  Madagascar_, pp. 176-186.

In tradition and in history men have covenanted with God, or with their
gods, so that they could claim and bear the divine name as their own,
thus sharing and representing the divine personality and power.[8] Thus
also in tradition different gods of primitive peoples and times have
covenanted with one another, so that each was the other, and the two
were the same.[9]

  [8] _Blood Covenant_, 2d ed., p. 335.

  [9] See Trumbull's _Friendship the Master-Passion_, p. 73 f.

There are seeming traces of this root idea of covenanting, through
making two one by merging the life of each in a common life, in words
that make "union" out of "one." In the Welsh _un_ is "one;" _uno_ is
"to unite." In the English, from the Latin, a unit unites with another
unit, and the two are unified in the union. The two by this merging
become not a _double_, but a larger _one_. Thus it is always in a true
covenant.

We have to study the meaning and growth of words in the light of
ascertained primitive customs and rites and ideas, instead of expecting
to learn from ascertained root-words what were the prevailing primal
ideas and rites and customs in the world. In the line of such studying,
covenants and the covenant relation have been found to be an important
factor, and to have had a unique significance in the development of
human language and in the progress of the human race from its origin
and earliest history. The study and disclosures of the primitive
covenant idea in its various forms and aspects have already brought to
light important truths and principles, and the end is not yet.



II

A COVENANT OF SALT


Among the varied forms of primitive covenanting, perhaps none is more
widely known and honored, or less understood, the world over, than
a covenant of salt, or a salt covenant. Religion and superstition,
civilization and barbarism, alike deal with it as a bond or rite, yet
without making clear the reasons for its use. The precise significance
and symbolism of salt as the nexus of a lasting covenant is by no
means generally understood or clearly defined by even scholars
and scientists. The subject is certainly one worthy of careful
consideration and study.

A covenant of salt has mention, in peculiar relations, in the Bible.
It is prominent in the literature and traditions of the East. Here in
our Western world there are various folk-lore customs and sayings that
show familiarity with it as a vestige of primitive thought. Among the
islands of the sea, and in out-of-the-way corners of the earth, it
shows itself as clearly as in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America.

In some regions salt is spoken of as if it were merely an accompaniment
of bread, and thus a common and indispensable article of food; but,
again, its sharing stands out as signifying far more than is meant by
an ordinary meal or feast. An explanation of its meaning, frequently
offered or accepted by students and specialists, is that in its nature
it is a preservative and essential, and therefore its presence adds
value to an offering or to a sacramental rite.[10] But the mind cannot
be satisfied with so superficial an interpretation as this, in view of
many things in text and tradition that go to show a unique sacredness
of salt as salt, rather than as a preserver and enlivener of something
that is of more value. It is evident that the true symbolism and
sanctity of salt as the nexus of a covenant lie deeper than is yet
admitted, or than has been formally stated by any scholar.

  [10] See W. Robertson Smith's _Religion of the Semites_, pp. 203, 252;
  Art. "Salt," by W. R. S. in _Encyc. Brit._; Trumbull's _Studies in
  Oriental Social Life_, pp. 106-112, with citations; Norwach's _Lehrbuch
  der Hebræischen Archæologie_, II, p. 245, etc.



III

BIBLE REFERENCES TO THE RITE


A "covenant of salt" seems to stand quite by itself in the Bible
record. Covenants made in blood, and again as celebrated by sharing
a common meal, and by the exchange of weapons and clothing, and in
various other ways, are of frequent mention; but a covenant of salt is
spoken of only three times, and in every one of these cases as if it
were of peculiar and sacred significance; each case is unique.

The Lord speaks of his covenant with Aaron and his sons, in the
privileges of the priesthood in perpetuity, as such a covenant. To
him he says: "All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the
children of Israel offer unto the Lord, have I given thee, and thy sons
and thy daughters with thee, as a due for ever: it is a _covenant of
salt_ for ever before the Lord unto thee and to thy seed with thee."[11]

  [11] Num. 18 : 19.

Of the Lord's covenant with David and his seed, in the rights and
privileges of royalty, Abijah the king of Judah says to Jeroboam, the
rival king of Israel: "O Jeroboam and all Israel; ought ye not to know
that the Lord, the God of Israel, gave the kingdom over Israel to David
for ever, even to him and to his sons by a _covenant of salt_?"[12]

  [12] 2 Chron. 13 : 5.

Again, the Lord, through Moses, enjoins it upon the people of Israel
to be faithful in the offering of sacrifices at his altar, according
to the prescribed ritual. "Neither shalt thou suffer the _salt of the
covenant_ of thy God," he says, "to be lacking from thy meal offering:
with all thine oblations thou shalt offer salt."[13]

  [13] Lev. 2 : 13.

While the word "covenant" appears more than two hundred and fifty
times in the Old Testament, it is a remarkable fact that the term
"covenant of salt" occurs in only these three instances, and then in
such obviously exceptional connections. The Lord's covenant with Aaron
and his seed in the priesthood, and with David and his seed in the
kingship, is as a covenant of salt, perpetual and unalterable. And
God's people in all their holy offerings are to bear in mind that the
salt is a vital element and factor, if they would come within the terms
of the perpetual and unalterable covenant.

In the Bible, God speaks to men by means of human language; and in the
figures of speech which he employs he makes use of terms which had and
have a well-known significance among men. His employment of the term
"covenant of salt" as implying permanency and unchangeableness to a
degree unknown to men, except in a covenant of blood as a covenant of
very life, is of unmistakable significance.

There are indeed incidental references, in another place in the Old
Testament, to the prevailing primitive idea that salt-sharing is
covenant-making. These references should not be overlooked.

In many lands, and in different ages, salt has been considered the
possession of the government, or of the sovereign of the realm, to
be controlled by the ruler, as a source of life, or as one of its
necessaries, for his people. In consequence of this the receiving of
salt from the king's palace has been deemed a fresh obligation of
fidelity on the part of his subjects. This is indicated in a Bible
passage with reference to the rebuilding by Zerubbabel of the Temple at
Jerusalem, under the edict of Cyrus, king of Persia. "The adversaries
of Judah and Benjamin" protested against the work as a seditious act.
In giving their reason for this course they said: "Now because we eat
the salt of the palace [because we are bound to the king by a covenant
of salt], and it is not meet for us to see the king's dishonor,
therefore have we sent and certified the king."[14]

  [14] Ezra 4 : 14.

And so again when King Darius showed his confidence in the Jews by
directing a supply, from the royal treasury, of material for sacrifices
at the Temple, and a renewal of the means of covenanting, he declared:
"Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to these elders of the Jews
for the building of this house of God: that of the king's goods, even
of the tribute beyond the river, expenses be given with all diligence
unto these men, that they be not hindered. And that which they have
need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for burnt offerings
to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the word
of the priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day
without fail: that they may offer sacrifices of sweet savor unto the
God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons."[15]
And again, in further detail: "Unto an hundred talents of silver, and
to an hundred measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, and
to an hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much;"[16]
the more salt they took, the more surely and firmly they were bound.

  [15] Ezra 6 : 8-10.

  [16] Ezra 7 : 22.



IV

BREAD AND SALT


"There would be nothing eatable," says Plutarch, "without salt, which,
mixed with flour, seasons bread also. Hence it was that Neptune and
Ceres [or Poseidon and Demeter as the Greeks called them] had both the
same temple."[17] And from the days of Plutarch until now, as has been
already mentioned, it has been customary to speak of the "covenant
of salt" as synonymous with the "covenant of bread and salt;" or as
identical with the covenant of food-sharing in the rite of hospitality.
But the covenant of salt among primitive peoples has, and ever has had,
a sacredness and depth of meaning far beyond what is involved in the
ordinary sharing of food.

  [17] Plutarch's _Sympos._ (Goodwin's edition), Book IV. Ques. IV., § 3.

Even the sharing of water between two persons, or the giving and
receiving of a drink of water, is a compact of peace for the time
being, as a truce between enemies.[18] The sharing of bread, or of
flesh, means yet more than the sharing of water. It brings those who
join in it into the league or treaty of hospitality, by which the host
is pledged to his guest while he is a guest, and for a reasonable time
after his departure.[19]

  [18] See Trumbull's _Studies in Oriental Social Life_, pp. 361-363.

  [19] See Burckhardt's _Travels in Syria_, p. 294 f.; _Beduinen und
  Wahaby_, p. 144 f.; Niebuhr's _Beschreibung von Arabien_, p. 48;
  Lane's _The Thousand and One Nights_, II., 423, note 21; Wetzstein's
  _Sprachliches_, p. 28 f.; Denham and Clapperton's _Travels and
  Discoveries in Africa_, p. xli; Warburton's _The Crescent and the
  Cross_, fifth ed., II., 167 f.; Pierrotti's _Customs and Traditions of
  Palestine_, p. 210 f.; Burton's _Pilgrimage to El Medinah and Meccah_,
  III., 86; Thomson's _The Land and the Book_, II., 40-43; Merrill's
  _East of the Jordan_, pp. 488-491; Harmer's _Observations_, fifth ed.,
  I., 388 f.; Doughty's _Travels in Arabian Deserts_, I., 228; _Studies
  in Oriental Social Life_, pp. 73-142; W. Robertson Smith's _Kinship and
  Marriage in Early Arabia_, p. 149 f. Compare also Gen. 24 : 12-14; Deut.
  23 : 3, 4; 1 Sam. 25 : 10, 11; 1 Kings 18 : 4; Job 22 : 7; Matt. 10 : 42;
  Mark 9 : 41; John 4 : 9.

Durzee Bey, a native chieftain in Mesopotamia, having put a bit of
roast meat into the mouth of Dr. Hamlin, as they sat together in his
domicil, said: "By that act I have pledged you every drop of my blood,
that _while you are in my territory_ no evil shall come to you. _For
that space of time_ we are brothers."[20] "Where enmity subsists, the
fiercer Arabs will not sit down at the same table with their adversary;
sitting down together betokens reconciliation."[21]

  [20] Hamlin's _Among the Turks_, p. 175 f.

  [21] Russell's _Natural History of Aleppo_, Book II., chap. 4 (I., 232).

A covenant of salt is, however, permanent and unalterable, as the truce
or treaty is not. Yet this distinction, recognized by Orientals, does
not seem to be observed by all writers on Oriental customs, even by
those who are generally observant and experienced.

It is true that the sharing of salt is usually an accompaniment of
bread-sharing; hence, a covenant of salt between two parties is
generally, although not always, made by their partaking of bread
and salt together. Moreover, because salt is a common ingredient in
Oriental bread, the eating of bread with another in the East may
include the sharing of salt with him; but in such a case it is the
salt, and not the bread, which is the nexus of the perpetual covenant,
in its distinction from the temporary compact of hospitality in the
sharing of bread. The bread is the vehicle of the covenant-making salt.
Indeed, they have it for a proverb among Arabs and Syrians, "My bread
had no salt in it," as a mode of accounting for any act of treachery,
or failure in fidelity toward one who was a partaker of the bread of
hospitality.

In the famous Oriental story of "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,"
the captain of the robber band who had visited Ali Baba in order to
murder him was unwilling to partake of any food which had salt in it.
This carefulness it was that excited the suspicion of Morgiana, the
faithful slave girl, and led her to ask, "Who is he that eateth [only]
meat wherein is no salt?" And when she recognized the robber captain
under his disguise, she said to herself: "So ho! this is the cause why
the villain eateth not of salt, for that he seeketh now an opportunity
to slay my master, whose mortal enemy he is."[22] This man was ready
enough to partake of bread and flesh as a guest, and then strike his
host to the heart in violation of all the obligations of hospitality;
as, indeed, has been done in many a case in the East in early and in
recent times,[23] but he could not consent, robber and murderer as he
was, to disregard a sacred "covenant of salt."

  [22] Burton's _Thousand and One Nights_, "Supplemental Nights," III.,
  398 f.

  [23] See, for example, Layard's account of the murder of a Koordish
  Bey by Ibrâheem Agha, after the latter had risen from the table of the
  former (_Nineveh and its Remains_, I., 96 f.); also his account of
  other murderous violations of the rites of hospitality (_Ibid._, I.,
  107 f.; _Nineveh and Babylon_, p. 38).

The story of the origin of the dynasty of the Saffaride Kaleefs, in
the ninth century, is an illustration of the surpassing power of the
covenant of salt. Laiss-el-Safar, or Laiss the coppersmith, was an
obscure worker in brass and copper, in Khorassan, a province of Persia.
His son Yakoob wrought for a time at his father's trade, and then
became a robber chieftain.

Having on one occasion found his way by night through a subterranean
passage into the treasury of the palace of the governor, Nassar Seyar,
who was then in control of Seiestan, Yakoob gathered jewels and costly
stuffs, and was proceeding to carry them off. Striking his bare foot,
in the darkness, against a hard and sharp substance on the floor of
the room, he thought it might be a jewel, and stooped to pick it up.
Putting it to his tongue, to test it after the manner of lapidaries, he
discovered that it was rock salt that he had tasted in the governor's
palace. At once he threw down his bale of stolen goods, and left the
palace by the way he had entered.

The signs of attempted robbery being found the next morning, the
governor caused a proclamation to be made throughout the city, that, if
the man who had entered the treasury would make himself known at the
palace, he should be pardoned, and should be shown marks of special
favor. Yakoob accordingly presented himself at the palace, and freely
told his story. The governor felt that a man who would hold thus sacred
the covenant of salt could be depended on, and Yakoob was given a
position near his person.

Step by step Yakoob went forward to power and honors, until he was
chief ruler of Khorassan, and founder of the Saffaride dynasty in the
Persian khaleefate. He died A.D. 878, and was succeeded by his brother,
Omar II.[24]

  [24] Price's _Mohammedan History_, II., 229 f.

Baron du Tott, the Hungarian French traveler among the Turks and
Tatars, tells of his experience in this line with one Moldovanji
Pasha, who desired a closer intimacy than was practicable in the brief
time the two were to be together. "I had already," says the Baron du
Tott, "attended him halfway down the staircase [of my house], when
stopping, and turning briskly to one of my domestics who followed me,
'Bring me directly,' said he, 'some bread and salt.' I was not less
surprised at this fancy than at the haste which was made to obey him.
What he requested was brought, when, taking a little salt between his
fingers, and putting it with a mysterious air on a bit of bread, he ate
it with a devout gravity, assuring me that I might now rely on him."[25]

  [25] Baron du Tott's _Memoirs of the Turks and Tartars_, Part I., p.
  214, quoted in Bush's _Illustrations of the Holy Scriptures_.

Stephen Schultz, in his Travels through Europe, Asia, and Africa, gives
this illustration of the binding force of the covenant of salt: "On
the 13th of June [1754] the deacon, Joseph Diab, a custom-house clerk,
was at table with us. Referring to the salt which stood on the table,
he said that the Arabs make use of it as a token of friendship. While
they are fond of it, they do not like to place it on the table. On one
occasion, when he was with a caravan traveling to Babel [Bagdad], they
came into a neighborhood where Arabs were encamped. In the caravan
was a rich merchant. Seeing that one of the Arabs was making ready to
come to the caravan, he buried his money in the ground, built a fire
over it, and then sat down to eat with the others near the fire. When
the Arabs arrived they were welcomed pleasantly, and invited to eat.
They accepted the invitation and sat down at the table. But when their
leader saw the salt on the table, he said to the merchant, 'My loss is
your gain; for as I have eaten at a table on which is salt, I cannot,
must not, harm you.' When that caravan started on its way, the Arab
leader not only refrained from taking what he had intended to demand,
but he escorted them without reward as far as the Euphrates, and gave
them over into the care of the Pasha of Bagdad, as friends of his
prince Achsam. They were now safe."

Schultz adds: "It is not customary among Arabs to place salt on a
common table, but only when an Arab prince enters into an alliance with
a pacha, which is called _baret-millah_, or the salt alliance. This is
done as follows: The Arab prince, when he wishes to live within the
jurisdiction of a pacha sends messengers to him to ask whether he may
dwell in his territory as an ally. If the pacha consents, he sends
messengers to the prince, informing him that they will meet on such
a day. When the day arrives the pacha rides out to meet the prince,
in the field which he has selected for his dwelling, and conducts him
to his own quarters. Then the Arab prince asks the pacha how much he
is to pay for permission to dwell in that field. The bargain is soon
concluded, according to the extent of the Arab encampment.

"As soon as the bargain is concluded, a repast is prepared, and a
salt-cellar, with some pieces of bread on a flat dish, is carried round
the apartment by the pacha's servants. The dish is first presented
to the pacha, who takes a piece of bread, dips it in the salt, and,
holding it between two fingers toward the prince, calls out, 'Salaam!'
that is Peace, 'I am the friend of your friend, and the enemy of your
enemy.' The dish is now presented to the Arab prince, who likewise
takes a piece of bread, dips it in the salt, and says to the pacha,
'Peace! I am the friend of your friend, and the enemy of your enemy!'
Thereupon the dish with the bread is handed to the chief men of the
Arab prince, and to the ministers of the pacha, who receive it in the
same manner as their principals; with the exception that they simply
say, on taking the bread, 'Salaam!' 'Peace'"[26]

  [26] Schultz's _Leitungen des Höchsten nach seinem Rath auf den
  Reisen durch Europa, Asia, und Afrika_, Part V., p. 246, quoted in
  Rosenmüller's _Des alte und neue Morgenland_, II., 152 f.

Don Raphel speaking of the "conventions," or rather the "covenants,"
which are recognized by the Bed'ween as sacredly binding on them, says:
"One kind of these conventions is made by their putting some grains of
salt with pieces of bread into each other's mouths, saying, 'By the
rite of bread and salt,' or, 'By this salt and bread, I will not betray
thee.' No oath is added; for the more sacred an oath appears to be,
the more easily does an Arab violate it. But a convention concluded in
this manner derives its force merely from opinion, and this is indeed
extraordinary.... If a stranger who meets with them in the desert, or
comes to a camp, or before he departs from a city, can oppose this
alliance to their rapacity, his baggage and his life are more safe,
even in the midst of the desert, than during the first days of his
journey with the securities of twenty hostages. The Arab with whom he
has eaten bread and salt, and all the Arabs of his tribe, consider him
as their countryman and brother. There is no kind of respect, no proof
of regard, which they do not show him."[27]

  [27] Don Raphel's _The Bedouins, or Arabs of the Desert_, Part II, p.
  59; quoted in Burder's _Oriental Customs_, 2d ed., p. 72 f.

Volney says of the Druzes, "When they have contracted with their guests
the sacred engagement of bread and salt, no subsequent event can make
them violate it."[28] This Volney illustrates by notable incidents.

  [28] Volney's _Travels_, II., 76.

Mrs. Finn, wife of the English consul at Jerusalem, who was long
resident in the East, gives the following illustration of the
importance of salt as well as bread to a binding covenant. After a
feast in the Hebron district of Palestine, one of the persons who
shared it was waylaid and murdered by hired assassins. "One of the men
(Abdallah) concerned in the deed, not as an actor, but as spectator,
had been the night before actually eating with the victim. On hearing
what had happened, the poor fellah woman who had cooked their supper,
and who was much attached to the murdered man, bewailed herself,
beating her breast and crying, 'Wo is me! wo is me! I left out the salt
by mistake when making the bread last night for their supper. Oh that
I had put it in! then would not Abdallah have dared to let my lord be
murdered in his presence; he would have been compelled to defend him
after eating his bread and salt. Wo is me! wo is me!'"[29]

  [29] _Survey of Western Palestine_, Special Papers, p. 355.

John Macgregor, while on the upper Jordan in his canoe Rob Roy, was
taken prisoner by the Arabs. As he parleyed with the old shaykh in his
tent, Macgregor opened a box of fine salt and proffered a pinch of
it to his captor. The shaykh had never before seen salt so white and
fine, and, therefore, thinking it was sugar, he tasted it. Instantly
Macgregor put a portion also into his own mouth, and with a loud,
laughing shout he clapped the old shaykh on his back.

The shaykh was dumbfounded. His followers wondered what had happened.
"'What is it?' all asked from him. 'Is it sukker?' He answered
demurely, 'La, meleh!' ("No, it's salt!") Even his home secretary
laughed at his chief." "We had now eaten salt together," says
Macgregor, "and in his own tent, and so he was bound by the strongest
tie, and he knew it." The result was that Macgregor and his canoe were
carried back in triumph to the river, and speeded on their way, while
the people on the banks shouted "salaams" to their brother in the
covenant of salt.[30]

  [30] Macgregor's _The Rob Roy on the Jordan_, p. 259 f.

Salt alone is a basis of an enduring covenant, but bread alone is not
so. Yet bread and salt may be such a basis, because there is salt as
well as bread there. So commonly does salt go with bread that it is the
exception when they are not together. Our English Bible asks, at Job
6: 6, "Can that which hath no savor be eaten without salt?" But the
Septuagint reads: "Can bread be eaten without salt?"[31]

  [31] See Swete's version of _The Septuagint_, in loco.

In India it is much the same as in Arabia, Palestine, and Persia.
In the Mahabharata, the great treasure-house of Hindoo wisdom, the
covenant of bread and salt finds specific recognition. When Krishna
urges the hero Karna to join with him in the war against the Kauravas,
he says to him: "If you will accompany me and join the Pandavas, they
will all respect you as their elder brother, and exalt you to the
sovereignty." But Karna cannot be persuaded to this treacherous course,
although he knows that to be true will cost him his life. "I have seen
bad omens," he says, "and I know I shall be slain; but I have eaten the
bread and salt of the Kauravas, and I am resolved to fight on their
side."[32]

  [32] Wheeler's _History of India_, I., 271.

Again, when Yudhishthira asked permission of Bhishma and Drona to fight
against the Kauravas, they granted his request, and at the same time
said: "We fight on the side of the Kauravas because for many years we
have eaten their bread and salt, or otherwise we would have fought for
you."[33]

  [33] _Ibid._, I., 297 f. Compare this with Ezra 4 : 1-14.

In Madagascar also the covenant of salt is known, as in other parts of
the East.[34] And thus on every continent and on the islands of the sea.

  [34] M. Hamelin's _Adventures in Madagascar_, quoted in "The Madagascar
  News," Sept. 9, 1893.



V

SALT REPRESENTING BLOOD


There are indications in the customs of primitive peoples that "blood"
and "salt" are recognized as in some sense interchangeable in their
natures, qualities, and uses. And in this, as in many another matter,
the trend of modern science seems to be in the line of primitive
indications.

Peoples who have not salt available are accustomed to substitute for it
fresh blood, as though the essential properties of salt were obtainable
in this way. An observant medical scientist, writing of his travels in
eastern Equatorial Africa, tells of the habit of the Masai people of
drinking the warm blood fresh from the bullocks they kill; and this he
characterizes as "a wise though repulsive" proceeding, "as the blood
thus drunk provided the salts so necessary in human economy; for the
Masai do not partake of any salt in its common form."[35]

  [35] Thomson's _Through Masai Land_, p. 430.

Similarly, Dr. David Livingstone noted the fact that when he was
among peoples who had difficulty in procuring salt, fresh-killed meat
seemed to satisfy the natural craving for salt, while vegetable diet
without salt caused indigestion.[36] In portions of China, also, where
salt is not obtainable, or where it is too expensive for ordinary use,
the blood of pigs or fowls is carefully preserved and eaten as if a
substitute for salt.

  [36] Livingstone's _Travels in South Africa_, p. 26 f., 600.

Professor Bunge of Basel, who is quite an authority in the realm of
physiological and pathological chemistry, speaking on the relation of
salt and blood, says that "at every period, in every part of the world,
and in every climate, there are people who use salt as well as those
who do not. The people who take salt, though differing from each other
in every other respect, are all characterized by a vegetable diet; in
the same way, those who do not use any salt are all alike in taking
animal food."

He says, moreover: "It is ... noteworthy that the people who live on
an animal diet without salt, carefully avoid loss of blood when they
slaughter the animals. This was told me by four different naturalists
who have lived among flesh-eaters in various parts of northern Russia
and Siberia. The Samoyedes, when dining off reindeer flesh, dip every
mouthful in blood before eating it. The Esquimaux in Greenland are
said to plug the wound as soon as they have killed a seal." Like
testimony comes from India, Arabia, Africa, Australia, and various
parts of America.[37]

  [37] Bunge's _Text-Book of Physiological and Pathological Chemistry_,
  Wooldridge's translation, pp. 122-129.

The Jews of to-day, who are careful to drain the blood from slaughtered
animals prepared for food, are accustomed to put salt freely on the
meat thus drained. This is in accordance with the prescription of the
Talmud, for the purpose of absorbing the blood not drawn out from the
main bloodvessels. At the close of two hours from the slaughtering, the
meat is washed for cooking. Whatever be the reason rendered for this
application of salt, and its remaining on the flesh for a time, may
there not thus be an instinctive supplying of the salts taken away by
draining out the blood?

"Salt" and "salts" are terms often used interchangeably in the common
mind. While they are distinct as employed by a scientist, it is not
to be wondered at that they are confused by those who fail to note
the differences; nor is it important to consider these differences in
primitive thought and customs.

"A salt," as the chemists use the term, is a combination of an acid and
a base. There are many salts in use in the world; among these the one
best known and most widely used and valued is sodium chloride, or what
is popularly known as "common salt." This has been used and prized, the
world over, among all classes of men, from the earliest historic times.

Salt has long been popularly claimed as an important element of the
liquids of the body, as shown in the blood, in the tears, and in the
perspiration, of mankind. Later scientific experiments have confirmed
ancient and traditional claims, that saline injections avail like blood
transfusion for the preservation of life in an emergency.[38]

  [38] See _Des Injections sous-cutanées massives de Solutions salines_,
  par le Dr. L. Fourmeaux, Paris, 1897, pp. 5-7; also Quain's _Dict. of
  Med._, art. "Transf. of Salt."

It has long been common among ordinary people to administer salt to one
taken with a hemorrhage of the lungs, or stomach, or nose. This is the
folk-lore remedy in many regions. Moreover, under careful medical and
surgical direction it is now customary in the hospitals to keep on hand
a warm solution of salt to inject into the veins or tissues of persons
brought in sinking from a sudden loss of blood. Whatever connection the
two ideas--the popular and the scientific--may or may not have, it is
not to be wondered at that it has long been thought that, when blood
has gone out from the body, salt might well go in.

Blood transfusion, by which the blood or life of a stronger or fresher
person may permeate the being of a sinking one, has been known of for
centuries, and there are at least traces of it in tradition from the
earliest ages.[39] More recent experiments have shown that a saline
solution is even safer and more efficacious than the warm blood from
another life; now, therefore, this has largely taken the place of
blood in supplying the waste occasioned by severe hemorrhages.[40]
Various illustrations of this treatment are given as showing that
when persons were in a very low condition through loss of blood, they
have been rescued and restored through copious injections of a saline
solution.[41]

  [39] See _Blood Covenant_, pp. 115-126, with references to Pliny, and
  to Roussel, and others. See, also, Dr. Thomas G. Morton's _Transfusion
  of Blood_; W. H. Howell's _American Text Book of Physiology_, p. 362.

  [40] See Dr. Bartholow's _Hypodermatic Medication_, pp. 126-142.

  [41] See, for example, _Capital Operations without Anæsthesia and the
  Use of Large Saline Infusion in Acute Anæmia_, a paper read by Dr.
  Buchanan before the National Association of Railway Surgeons, pp. 18,
  79.

The use of blood as food was forbidden to Noah and his sons after
the Flood.[42] A tradition of the Turkish or Tatar nations says that
Noah's son Japheth was their immediate ancestor, and that Toutug, or
Toumuk, a grandson of Japheth, discovered salt as an article of diet
by accidentally dropping a morsel of food on to salt earth, and thus
becoming acquainted with the savor of salt.[43] This carries back the
traditional discovery of salt to the age when blood was first forbidden
as food.

  [42] Gen. 9 : 4.

  [43] Price's _Mohammedan History_, II., 458.

It was long ago claimed by some that the red corpuscles of the blood
are dependent for their color and vitality on the presence of salt,
and recent scientific experiments and discussion have continued in the
direction of the question thus raised.[44]

  [44] See W. H. Howell's _American Text Book of Physiology_, p. 334.

It has been shown by experiment that many of the lower animals, as well
as man, are dependent for their life on salt in their blood. "When
an animal is fed with a diet as far as possible free from salts, but
otherwise sufficient, it dies of _salts-hunger_. The blood first loses
inorganic material, then the organs. The total loss is very small
in proportion to the quantity still retained in the body; but it is
sufficient to cause the death of a pigeon in three weeks, and of a dog
in six, with marked symptoms of muscular and nervous weakness."[45] A
mode of torture in former ages is said to have been to deprive a person
of salt, and cause him to waste away with painful salt-hunger. It is
said that this mode of torture is still employed in China.

  [45] Voit, cited in Stewart's _Manual of Physiology_, Baillière,
  Tindall, and Cox, 1895.

An Armenian story says that when a band of their people was in a
stronghold of the mountains, and was besieged by the Turks, the latter
failing to subdue the former by other means cut off the supply of salt
from the Armenians, and this quickly subdued them.

In 1830, a paper by Dr. W. Stevens, read before the London College
of Physicians, and afterwards elaborated and published in a volume,
contended that the salient ingredients of the blood, "the chief of
which is common culinary salt, ... is the cause of the red color, of
the fluidity, and of the stimulating property, of the vital current."
Dr. Stevens claimed that the poison of the rattlesnake, and various
other poisons, operate directly on the blood, and produce disease or
death "by interfering with the agency of the saline matter."[46]

  [46] See _London Quarterly Review_, XLVIII., 96 (Dec., 1832, 375-391).

"On the subject of the poison of the rattlesnake," Dr. Stevens, in
this work, asserts that "when the muriate of soda (common salt) is
immediately applied to the wound, it is a complete antidote. 'When an
Indian,' he says, 'is bitten by a snake, he applies a ligature above
the part, and scarifies the wound to the very bottom; he then stuffs it
with common salt, and after this it soon heals, without producing any
effect on the general system.'" In view of the fact that it might be
objected that the salt is not the essential means of cure, but is an
addition to the curative treatment, Dr. Stevens says that he has "seen
a rabbit, that was under the influence of the rattlesnake poison, drink
a saturated solution of muriate of soda with great avidity, and soon
recover; while healthy rabbits would not taste one drop of the same
strong saline water when it was put before them."

Dr. Stevens gives various illustrations, out of primitive customs, and
in the experience of modern practitioners, of curative and prophylactic
uses of salt in the treatment of fevers, where the condition of the
blood seems to be a main source of evil. Aside from the question
whether the claims of Dr. Stevens have been substantiated by later
researches and experiments, his investigations and assertions are
of interest as showing that, in the realm of modern science as of
primitive practices, salt and blood have seemed to many to have
interchangeable values.

If, indeed, this theory of Dr. Stevens, elaborated so carefully in
the first third of the nineteenth century, in which he claims that
salt practically represents blood, stood all by itself in the history
of medicine, it would have less importance than it has in a formal
treatise of this kind; yet even then it would show that such an idea
had before now found a place in the human mind. But it by no means
stands thus alone; a similar claim has been made both earlier and
later.

Pliny, in his day, at the beginning of the Christian era, records it
as the common belief that salt is foremost among human remedies for
disease, and among preventives of sickness of all kinds.[47] He gives
prominence to salt as a cure of leprosy,[48] whereas blood transfusion
and blood bathing was the traditional treatment of that disorder.[49]
Pliny also speaks of salt itself, and of salt fish in large quantities,
as a supposed remedy for the bite of serpents,[50] this being in the
line of asserted remedies among the Indians, according to Dr. Stevens.
Various other disorders, especially of the blood, are named by Pliny as
curable by salt.

  [47] _Hist. Nat._, XXXI., 45.

  [48] _Ibid._

  [49] _Blood Covenant_, pp. 116 f., 125, 287 f., 324.

  [50] _Hist. Nat._, XXXI., 41; XXXII., 17.

Seventy years after the treatise of Dr. Stevens, a volume, recently
published in London by C. Godfrey Gümpel on "Common Salt,"[51] claims
even more than Pliny, or any writer since his day, for "the vital
importance of common salt for our whole physical and social life." He
claims that of all the constituents of our life's blood "there is none
which can possibly surpass common salt in its necessity for a strong
healthy blood,"[52] and that both the red corpuscles and the white are
largely dependent for their normal condition on "the presence of common
salt in the system."[53]

  [51] _Common Salt: Its Use and Necessity for the Maintenance of Health
  and the Prevention of Disease_, p. 1.

  [52] _Ibid._, p. 37.

  [53] _Ibid._, p. 41.

A writer in the Asiatic Quarterly Review, not long ago declared that
the government salt monopoly of the British Empire in India (since
practically abolished, or modified) was a cause of greater evils than
those resulting from either opium or alcohol. This claim is based on
the idea that a lack of salt by the common people of India tends to a
deterioration of blood and consequent loss of life. Asiatic cholera
is said to be promoted by the lack of salt in the blood. Men and
cattle alike are said to be sufferers from this cause, and the soil is
rendered less fertile. Whether this idea is well grounded is a minor
matter; that the idea has been in many minds is not to be questioned.

Thus it will be seen that in the primitive mind salt and blood have
seemed to have common properties, and to be in a sense interchangeable,
while the more careful observers in the world of science have rather
grown toward this thought than away from it. Be it correct or
incorrect, the human mind has never been able to rid itself of the idea.

Salt is sometimes used in the rite of blood brotherhood among
primitive peoples, as is also wine, both wine and salt being counted
the equivalent of blood, and the original and the substitute being
sometimes employed together as if to intensify the symbolism. Stanley
tells of the use of salt in this rite on the occasion of its
performance with Ngalyema in the Congo region.[54] And so again in
other cases.[55]

  [54] _The Congo_, I., 383-385.

  [55] _Ibid._, II., 21-24, 79-90.

It is a common practice in the East to welcome an honored guest to
one's house by sacrificing an animal at the doorway, and letting its
blood pour out on the threshold, to be stepped over by the guest,
as a mode of adoption, or of covenant-making.[56] When such a guest
comes unexpectedly, and there is not time to obtain an animal for the
welcoming sacrifice, it is customary to take salt and strew it in
lieu of blood on the threshold,--salt being thus recognized as the
equivalent, or as a representative, of blood.[57]

  [56] See _Threshold Covenant_, passim.

  [57] _Ibid._, p. 5; Griffis's _Mikado's Empire_, pp. 467, 470; Isabella
  Bird's _Untrodden Tracks in Japan_, I., 392.

The measure of love and honor accorded to the welcomed guest is
indicated by the cost or preciousness of the sacrifice on the
threshold. There are traditions, at least, of the sacrifice of a son of
the host in this way. Again a favorite horse has been thus sacrificed.
More frequently it is a lamb that is the sacrifice. If there is no
lamb available, a fowl or a pigeon is thus offered. The essential
factor in every case is the blood, the life, outpoured. If, however, no
actual blood is obtainable, salt, as representing blood, is accepted
as indicating the love and the spirit which prompts the welcome,
according to the giver's means. There could hardly be a fuller proof of
the identity of salt and blood in the primitive mind.

When a Siamese student was asked by the writer whether the rite of
blood-covenanting was known in his land, he replied: "There is no
'blood covenant' so far as I know. The custom is, if two persons are
desirous to become firm friends or brothers they drink together _salted
water_; then each takes an oath." He also suggested that he had heard
that in former times they drank _a fowl's blood_ in this rite.

Again, the mode of making a covenant of salt in some portions of the
East coincides with this suggested identification of salt with blood in
the primitive mind. In the Lebanon region, where the blood covenant, as
a bond of union, is still recognized and practised,[58] the covenant
of salt is also well known, not only as between new comers who are to
enter into a mutual alliance, but as bringing into union friends who
would be as one. In such cases a sword is taken, and salt is laid on
its blade. The two friends in turn lick of the salt that is to unite
them, as if they were tasting of common blood after the fashion of the
"blood-lickers" in Mecca.[59]

  [58] See _Blood Covenant_, pp. 5-7.

  [59] See Smith's _Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia_, p. 48.

Another illustration of this mode is given by Sir Frederick Henniker,
in his notes of a journey in the East in 1819-20.[60] It was a shaykh
of the Arabs who escorted him from Mt. Sinai northward, who cut this
covenant with Sir Frederick. On the request being made for such an
assurance of fidelity from the shaykh, "he immediately drew his sword,"
says Sir Frederick, "placed some salt upon the blade, and then put
a portion of it into his mouth, and desired me to do the same; and
'Now, cousin,' said he, 'your life is as sacred as my own;' or, as he
expressed himself, 'Son of my uncle, your head is upon my shoulders.'"
Before this act the two were as cousins; now they were as one, the head
of one being upon the shoulders of the other. The similarity of this
rite with that of the blood covenant, in both its form and meaning, is
obvious.

  [60] _Visit to Egypt, Nubia_, etc., p. 242.

This correspondence of salt and blood in primitive thought, and in
fact, will perhaps throw light on a disputed reference in a fragment
of Ennius[61] to "_salsus sanguis_" (salted blood, or briny blood). It
would seem that as the Jews held that the blood is the life, and the
life is in the blood, similarly Greeks and Romans recognized the truth
that salt is in the blood, and the blood is salt.

  [61] Cited in _Macrobius_, 6, 2.

In the second century there were Christian ascetics who refused to take
wine in the eucharist. Among these the Elkesaites and the Ebionites
employed bread and salt instead of bread and wine. This seems to have
been a recognition of the fact that salt, like wine, represented
blood.[62]

  [62] See Clementine, _Homilies_, IV. 6; XIII. 8; XIV. 1, 8; XIX. 25,
  cited in art. "Elkesai" in Smith and Wace's _Dict. of Christian Biog._

Professor Hermann Collitz, of Bryn Mawr, has suggested, in this
connection, that the very words, in Latin, for salt and blood, _sal_
and _sanguis_, are from the same root.[63]

  [63] Professor Collitz says, on this point: "The Early European word
  for salt, _sal_ (nominative _s[=a]l-d_, genitive _sal-n-és_ according
  to Joh. Schmidt) which probably goes back to the Indo-European period,
  may be derived from the same root to which the Sanskrit _ás-r-g_
  (genitive _as-n-ás_) 'blood,' and Latin _s-an-gu-i-s_ (genitive
  _s-an-gu-in-is_) belong. The latter, as F. de Saussure (_Système
  primitif des voyelles Indo-Européennes_, Leipzig, 1897, p. 225) has
  shown, comes from a root _es_, which lost its initial vowel if the
  suffix was accented. If we connect the two groups of words, we should
  say that _sal_ is derived from this root _es_ by a suffix _al_, similar
  to the suffix _el_ in the word for 'sun' (Indo-European _s[=a]'v-el_,
  from root _s[=a]v_), or to the suffix _a-lo_ in Greek _meg-a-lo-s_ as
  compared with _meg-a-s_. The root _es_ is probably the same from which
  the word for 'to be' (Sanskrit _as-mi_, Latin _sum_) is derived, and
  the meaning of which seems to have been originally 'to live.'"

Certainly salt is sometimes used as a substitute for blood in primitive
covenanting; on the other hand, blood is used for salt among some
primitive peoples as an essential accompaniment of food. These facts
being noticed by the author of this volume first suggested to him the
real meaning of the covenant of salt.



VI

SALT REPRESENTING LIFE


As blood is synonymous with life in primitive thought and practice,[64]
and as salt has been shown to represent blood in the primitive mind,
so salt seems to stand for life in many a form of primitive speech and
in the world's symbolism. When, indeed, we speak of salt as preserving
flesh from corruption, we refer to the staying of the process of death
by an added element of life; preserving by re-vivifying, rather than by
embalming.

  [64] See _Blood Covenant_, passim.

Plutarch says of the power of salt in this direction: "All flesh is
dead and part of a lifeless carcass; but the virtue of salt being added
to it, like a soul, gives it a pleasing relish and poignancy."[65] All
life is from the one Source of Life, and in this sense it is that life
is divine. Thus Plutarch calls attention to the fact that Homer[66]
speaks of salt as "divine," and that "Plato delivers, that by man's
laws salt is to be accounted most sacred."[67] No other material is
thus reckoned from primitive days sacred and divine, unless it be
blood, which is the synonym of life.[68]

  [65] Plutarch's _Symposiacs_ (Goodwin's ed.), Book IV., Quest. IV., § 3.

  [66] Homer's _Iliad_, IX., 214.

  [67] Plutarch's _Symposiacs_ (Goodwin's ed.), Book V., Quest. X., §§ 1,
  2.

  [68] Lev. 17 : 11; Deut. 12 : 23. _Blood Covenant_, p. 38 f.

An Oriental form of oath sometimes substitutes "salt" for "life;"
as where the prime minister of Persia in a conference with James
Morier, secretary of the English embassy, at Teheran, early in this
century, swore "by the salt of Fatti Ali Shah"--the then reigning
Shah of Persia.[69] Indeed, to swear "by the salt" is a common form
of asseveration among Arabs; as to swear by the life, one's own or
another's, is a well-known oath in the East.[70]

  [69] Morier's _Journey through Persia_, p. 200.

  [70] See, for example, Arvieux on _Customs of Bedouin Arabs_, p. 43,
  quoted in Rosenmüller's _Das alte und des neue Morgenland_, II., 15.

Where we would say of one who is foremost in inspiriting and enlivening
a social gathering, "He was the _life_ of the party," the Arabs say,
"He was the _salt_ of the party."

The "salt of youth" is synonymous with the virility and vigor of life,
that show themselves in the age of strong passion. Thus Justice Shallow
says to Master Page: "Though we are justices and doctors and churchmen,
Master Page, we have some salt of our youth in us."[71] Iago refers
to young gallants in their passion, "as salt as wolves in pride."[72]
And Menecrates refers to "salt Cleopatra" in her loves with Antony.[73]
Mrs. Browning seems to have a similar idea as to the significance of
salt, when she says in "A Vision of Poets:"

   "And poor, proud Byron,--sad as grave
    And salt as life; forlornly brave,
    And quivering with the dart he drave."

  [71] _Merry Wives of Windsor_, Act II., Scene 3.

  [72] _Othello_, Act III., Scene 3.

  [73] _Antony and Cleopatra_, Act II., Scene 1.

Even in Plutarch's day this truth was recognized by the Greeks as
possibly having influenced the ancient Egyptians to forbid salt to
their priests, who must be pure and chaste, because salt "by its heat
is provocative and apt to raise lust."[74] It would seem, however, that
the prohibition of salt as food to Egyptian priests is easier to be
accounted for by the fact that it was recognized as the equivalent of
blood and life. Therefore those priests were not to partake of salt,
"no, not so much as in their bread."[75]

  [74] Plutarch's _Symposiacs_, Book V., Quest. X., §§ 1, 2.

  [75] _Ibid._

In this line of thought Florus says of salt: "Consider farther whether
its power of preserving a long time dead bodies from rotting be not a
_divine_ property, and opposite to death; since it preserves part, and
will not suffer that which is mortal wholly to be destroyed. But as the
soul, which is our diviner part, connects the limbs of animals, and
keeps the composure from dissolution; thus salt applied to dead bodies,
and imitating the work of the soul, stops those parts that were falling
to corruption, binds and confines them, and so makes them keep their
union and agreement with one another."[76]

  [76] Plutarch's _Symposiacs_, Book V., Quest. X., §§ 1, 2.

Philinus goes a step farther when he asks: "Do you not think that
that which is generative is to be esteemed divine, seeing God is the
principle of all things?"[77] And Plutarch adds suggestively that
salt is by some supposed to be a means of life, not only exciting
desire for generation, but actually causing procreation; "the females
(among the lower animals), as some imagine, conceiving without the
help of the males, only by licking salt. But [as he thinks] it is most
probable that the salt raiseth an itching in animals, and so makes
them salacious and eager to couple. And perhaps for the same reason
they call a surprising and bewitching beauty, such as is apt to move
and entice, _halmuron kai drimu_, 'saltish.' And I think the poets had
a respect to this generative power of salt in their fable of Venus
springing from the sea."[78]

  [77] _Ibid._

  [78] Plutarch's _Symposiacs_, Book V., Quest. X., §§ 1, 2.

In Central and South America it was deemed necessary to abstain from
salt while praying and sacrificing, with a desire to obtain children.
So far it was among the Maya nations of the New World as among the
priests of Ancient Egypt.[79]

  [79] See Bancroft's _Native Races of the Pacific Coast_, II., 678.

An Oriental proverb says: "If thou takest the salt [the life, or soul]
from the flesh [the body] then thou mayest throw it [the flesh] to the
dogs." This has been explained by the rabbis, as considering "salt"
here synonymous with the soul, or life, of man, which comes from God,
in distinction from man's body, which comes from his parents. "God
gives the spirit [the breath], the soul, the features, the hearing,
the organs of speech, the gait, the perceptions, the reason, and the
intuition. When now the time comes for man to depart out of the world,
God takes his part, and the part which comes from the parents [the
body] he lays before them."[80]

  [80] Niddah 31 a, quoted by Rev. Dr. Marcus Jastrow in _The Sunday
  School Times_ for April 28, 1894.

When Elisha, the prophet of Israel, was met by the men of Jericho,
as he came from the scene of Elijah's translation to enter upon his
mission as the successor of Elijah and was told of the death-dealing
power of the waters of the city, his words and action seemed to
emphasize the correspondence of salt with life. "He said, Bring me a
new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him. And he
went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast salt therein, and
said, Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters; there shall not
be from thence any more death or miscarrying [of the land]. So the
waters were healed [were restored to life] unto this day, according to
the word of Elisha which he spake."[81]

  [81] 2 Kings 2 : 19-22.

A spring of water is in itself so important to a primitive people
that it is not to be wondered at that water is called the Gift of
God, and that a living spring is looked at as in a sense divine, and
that it has even been worshiped as a god among primitive peoples.[82]
When, therefore, salt, as the synonym of life or of blood, is found
in a spring of living water, it is natural to recognize the spot as
peculiarly favored of God, or of the gods. Thus "among inland peoples a
salt spring was regarded as a special gift of the gods. The Chaonians
in Epirus had one which flowed into a stream where there were [as in
the Dead Sea] no fish; and the legend was that Heracles had allowed
their forefathers to have salt instead of fish (_Aristotle_). The
Germans waged war for saline streams, and believed that the presence of
salt invested a district with peculiar sanctity, and made it a place
where prayers were most readily heard (Tacitus, _Ann._, XIII., 57)."[83]

  [82] See _Kadesh-barnea_, p. 36, and note, 298 f.; and _Studies in
  Oriental Social Life_, pp. 213, 404 f.

  [83] W. Robertson Smith in art. "Salt" in _Encyc. Brit._, 9th ed.

There is said to be a salt lake in the mountain region of Koordistan,
which was changed from fresh water to salt, by St. Peter, when he first
came thither preaching Christianity. He wrought this change so that he
could influence the people to accept his teaching through sharing his
life by partaking of the salt. To this day the tradition remains, that,
if the natives will bathe in that lake, they will renew their faith.
Aside from the question of any basis of truth in the legend, it remains
as a survival of the primitive idea of a real connection of shared salt
with shared life.

It is customary among some primitive peoples to anoint or smear a
new-born babe with blood, as a means of giving him more and fuller
life.[84] Thus among the ancient Caribs, of South America, "as soon as
a male child was brought into the world, he was sprinkled with some
drops of his father's blood;" the father "fondly believing that the
same degree of courage which he had himself displayed, was by these
means transmitted to his son."[85] In one of the Kaffir tribes of South
Africa, when a new chief assumes authority, it was customary to wash
him in the blood of a near relative, generally a brother, who was put
to death on the occasion. In order to give more life and character to
the freshly elevated representative of the ruling family, the family
life was drawn from the veins of one near him, in order that it might
be absorbed by him who could use it more imposingly.[86]

  [84] _Blood Covenant_, p. 137 f.

  [85] Edwards's _Hist. of Brit. West Ind._, I. 47, referred to in _Blood
  Covenant_, p. 137 f.

  [86] Shooter's _Kafirs of Natal_, p. 216, _ibid._

The Bheels are a brave and warlike race of mountaineers of Hindostan.
They claim to have been, formerly, the rulers of all their region, but
either by defeat in war or by voluntary concession to have yielded
their power to other peoples, whom they now authorize to rule in
their old domain. When, therefore, a new rajput, or chief ruler,
comes into power in any of the surrounding countries, this right to
rule is conceded, or ratified, by an anointing of blood drawn from
the toe or thumb of a Bheel. The right of giving this blood, or new
life, is claimed by particular Bheel families; and the belief that the
individual from whose veins the blood is drawn never lives beyond a
twelvemonth, in no degree operates to repress the desire of the Bheels
to furnish the blood of anointing.[87]

  [87] _Trans. Royal Asiat. Soc._, I., 69, _ibid._

Salt is similarly used to-day, in the East and elsewhere.[88] A
new-born child is at once washed and salted. If an Oriental seems
lacking in life or wisdom, or is, as we would say, exceptionally
"fresh," it is said of him, "He wasn't salted when he was born." This
idea would seem to be included in the prophet's reproach of Jerusalem:
"Neither wast thou washed in water to cleanse thee; thou wast not
salted at all, nor swaddled at all."[89]

  [88] Van Lennep's _Bible Lands_, p. 569.

  [89] Ezek. 16 : 4.

As at birth, so at death, salt seems to stand in primitive thought for
blood, or life, in washing or anointing, in the hope of supplying the
special lack or need of the individual. Among the cannibals of Borneo,
on the death of a rajah or chief, the desire seems to be to restore him
to life if it be possible. His body is rubbed or bathed with salt. He
is then dressed in his best apparel, and placed in a sitting posture.
In his hands are placed his shield and mandau. If this application
of new life and this special appeal to action fail to arouse him,
he is counted as hopelessly dead; the arms are taken from him, the
body is undressed, and wrapped in a piece of cloth, and placed in the
ground.[90]

  [90] Carl Bock's _Head Hunters of Borneo_, p. 224.

A traveler in Asia Minor speaks of the practice among the Toorkomans
of the mother's dipping a child two or three times into a skin of salt
water, at the time of his naming. This would seem to be a primitive
rite, and not a Christian one. The father of the child meanwhile eats
honeyed cake, and drinks thickened milk.[91]

  [91] W. Eassie, in _Notes and Queries_, 3d series, II., 318.

Milk is sometimes accepted by the Arabs as a substitute for salt, as
the essential factor in the covenant of salt (the _milha_).[92] Milk is
nature's life food, it stands for liquid life; two "milk brothers" are
somewhat as blood brothers, brothers by a common life.[93] "There seem
to be indications," says W. Robertson Smith,[94] "that many primitive
peoples regard milk as a kind of equivalent for blood as containing a
sacred life. Thus to eat a kid seethed in its mother's milk might be
taken as an equivalent to eating 'with the blood,' and be forbidden to
the Hebrews[95] along with the bloody sacraments of the heathen."

  [92] See references, in W. Robertson Smith's _Religion of the Semites_
  (p. 252, note), to Burckhardt and to _K[=a]mil_.

  [93] _Blood Covenant_, pp. 10, 11.

  [94] _Relig. of the Sem._, p. 204, note; also _Kinship and Marriage in
  Early Arabia_, pp. 149, 150.

  [95] Exod. 23 : 19; 34 : 26; Deut. 14 : 21.

Milk has been employed instead of blood, and again of salt, for
transfusion in case of declining life from hemorrhage.[96] This would
seem to justify the belief that milk and blood alike represent life in
popular thought.

  [96] Quain's _Dict. of Medicine_, art. "Transfusion of Milk."

A favorite experiment among young folks is to bring life to dead flies
by covering them with salt. When flies are drowned purposely, or by
accident, if one is taken from the water apparently dead, and laid
on the table, or on a plate, and covered with common salt, in a few
seconds the fly will creep out from under the salt, and soon fly away
as if unharmed. Other flies in the same condition, not treated with
salt, remain as dead. This has been tried by succeeding generations of
young folks, and it is one of the folk-lore facts in support of the
idea that salt is life.

It may, of course, be that the absorbent power of salt clears the
trachea of the fly, and thus permits the restoration of the natural
breathing. Of course, there is some explanation of the phenomenon; but
the fact remains that the common mind has been affected by such things
in the direction of the belief that salt is life in a peculiar sense.

After the foregoing pages were already in type, it was cabled as news
from London that an English mechanic claimed to have discovered a
method of resuscitating persons who have been drowned. He proposed to
cover the entire body of the person taken from the water with dry salt,
which is supposed to absorb the moisture, and thus draw the water from
the lungs and permit the air again to circulate freely. He claimed to
have revived a recently drowned cat, after letting it remain under salt
for thirty minutes; and that a drowned dog was thus restored in two
hours.

This is simply the folk-lore idea of bringing the dead to life by the
application of salt as life. Like many another folk-lore idea, it is
deserving of attention because of some possible basis of truth below
the idea, apart from the question of fact in connection with the claim.

In "The Barber's Story of his Fifth Brother," in "The Arabian Nights,"
is an account of the hero's being beaten and slashed until he was
supposed to be dead from loss of blood, and his other injuries. Then a
slave-girl, named El-Meleehah, the "salt-bearer," came and stuffed salt
into his gaping wounds, after which his supposed corpse was thrown into
a subterranean vault among the dead. Yet by means of this application
of salt he was saved to life, and regained his pristine vigor.[97]

  [97] Lane's _Thousand and One Nights_, I, 365.

The references of Jesus to salt would seem to have fuller meaning, if
"salt" be understood as equivalent to "life." Where he says to his
disciples: "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost
its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for
nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men,"[98] he
would seem to remind them that they are the life of the world, if,
indeed, they retain life in themselves. And where he says, "Have salt
in yourselves, and be at peace one with another,"[99] he would call
them to have life in themselves, and to join with others who have it,
in making their life to be felt among their fellows.

  [98] Matt. 5 : 13; Luke 14 : 34.

  [99] Mark 9 : 50.

A supposed utterance of Jesus, which has been a puzzle to critics and
commentators, possibly has light thrown on it in this view of salt
as corresponding with life. Discoursing on life, and the wisdom of
striving to attain or to enter into life, even at a loss of much that
man might value here on earth, Jesus, according to some manuscripts,
said, "For every one shall be salted with fire."[100] This sentence is
disputed by some, not being found in all the more ancient MSS., and
its meaning does not seem to be clear to any.[101] It is obvious that
whatever else "salted" here means, it does not mean "salted." To salt
is to mingle, or to accompany, with salt. Clearly, fire does not do
that. The Greek is as vague, or as ambiguous, as the English. There
must be a conventional or popular, a figurative or symbolical, meaning
in which "salt" is here used. What can this be?

  [100] Mark 9 : 49. Comp. A. V. and R. V.

  [101] See notes and references in Nicoll's _Expositors' Greek
  Testament_; Lange's _Commentary_; Meyer's _Commentary_, in loco, etc.

"Fire" is here spoken of as the synonym, or equivalent, or parallel, of
"salt." In this figure, _fire_ is to accomplish what _salt_ performs;
the work of _salt_ is to be done by _fire_. In what sense can this
be true? Fire does consume and destroy the perishable;[102] it does
bring out and refine that which is permanent and precious;[103] it
does try and test and reveal the measure of real value in that which
is submitted to it.[104] In the testing time, "each man's work shall
be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it is revealed
in fire; and the fire itself shall prove each man's work, of what sort
it is. If any man's work shall abide which he built thereon [on the
one Foundation], he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be
burned he shall suffer loss: but he himself [who has builded] shall be
saved; yet as through fire."[105]

  [102] Gen. 19 : 24, 25; Exod. 9 : 23, 24; Lev. 10 : 2; 13: 52-57;
  Matt. 3 : 12; 7: 19; Luke 3 : 17; John 15 : 6.

  [103] Mal. 3 : 2, 3.

  [104] 1 Pet. 1 : 7.

  [105] 1 Cor. 3 : 13-15.

The whole context of the passage in Mark's Gospel indicates that
Jesus is speaking of _life_. He is showing the way to attain to life.
He points to the final testing of life by fire. As salt is shown to
correspond with life, and as this seems to have been understood by
his hearers, would they not have seen that Jesus was pointing out that
the measure of life, or salt, the reminder of God's covenant with his
people, in every one of them, would be revealed in the testing of fire?

It is, indeed, because salt represents life, that salt was to accompany
every sacrifice under the Jewish dispensation. Not death, but life, was
an acceptable offering to God, according to the teachings of the Bible,
both in the Old Testament and the New.[106] God wants "not yours, but
you."[107] This was emphasized by priest and prophet in the history
of the Jewish people, earlier and later. Paul re-echoed this primal
thought when he appealed to Christians: "I beseech you therefore,
brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [yourselves] a
_living_ sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable
service."[108] Without salt, without the symbol of life, no sacrifice
was to be counted a fitting or acceptable offering at God's altar.

  [106] See _Blood Covenant_, passim.

  [107] 2 Cor. 12 : 14.

  [108] Rom. 12 : 1.

Salt is taken, in the world's thought, as an equivalent of wit, or
lively wisdom, in speech. Thus Paul counsels the Colossian Christians:
"Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may
know how ye ought to answer each one."[109] Because the Athenians were
noted for their life and wit in speech, "Attic salt" was a synonym of
truest life in conversation. Cicero says of Scipio: "_Scipio omnes sale
superbat_" ("Scipio surpassed all in salt," or "wit").

  [109] Col. 4 : 6.

Pliny after describing the properties and uses of salt, says: "We may
conclude then, by Hercules! that the higher enjoyments of life could
not exist without the use of salt: indeed, so highly necessary is this
substance to mankind, that the pleasures of the mind, even, can be
expressed by no better term than the word 'salt,' such being the name
given to all effusions of wit. All the amenities, in fact, of life,
supreme liberty, and relaxation from toil [in a word, 'life,'] can find
no word in our language to characterize them better than this."[110]

  [110] _Hist. Nat._, XXXI., 41.

Pliny also calls attention to the fact that "salarium," from which we
derive our word "salary," was the "salt money," bestowed as a reward or
honorarium on successful generals and military tribunes.[111] The idea
of a "living," or a support of life, is in the word "salary." And so
when we say that a man is "not worth his salt," we mean that he is not
worth his living.

  [111] _Ibid._

Salt has been employed as money at various times and in various lands,
and thus has been the means of supporting life. It has been so in
Tibet and in India, and in the heart of Africa along from the sixth to
the nineteenth centuries of our era. Thus even in lands where gold is
abundant but less valued than salt.[112]

  [112] Marco Polo's _Travels_, Col. Yule's translation, II., 29, 35, 36,
  37, and notes to Chap. 47.

It is said of the people of a province in Tibet, that, while they
reckon the value of gold by weight, the nearest approach to coined
money which they have is in molded and stamped cakes of salt. "On this
money ... the Prince's mark is printed; and no one is allowed to make
it except the royal officers.... Merchants take this currency and go
to those tribes that dwell among the mountains; ... and there they
get a _saggio_ of gold for sixty, or fifty, or forty pieces of this
salt money; ... for in such positions they cannot dispose at pleasure
of their gold and other things, such as musk and the like; ... and so
they give them cheap." "This exchange of salt-cakes for gold, forms a
curious parallel to the like exchange in the heart of Africa, narrated
by Cosmas in the sixth century, and by Aloisio Cadamosto in the
fifteenth."[113]

  [113] _Ibid._

Victor Hehn calls attention to the fact that "the German copper-coin
heller (haller or häller), the smallest coin still in use in Austria,
referred to in the German saying, 'to have not a red heller,'
derives its name from the salt (_hal_), and the place where it was
obtained."[114]

  [114] Victor Hehn's _Das Salz_, p. 72.

Pythagoras, speaking as usual in figurative terms, described salt as a
preserver of all things, as continuing life and as staying corruption,
or death. He directed the keeping of a vessel of salt on every table,
as a reminder of its essential qualities.[115]

  [115] See Dacier's _Life of Pythagoras_ (Eng. trans.), pp. 60, 105.

Pliny says, moreover, that there are mountains of salt in different
countries in India, from which great blocks are cut as from a quarry;
and that from this source a larger revenue is secured by the rulers
than from all their gold and pearls.[116]

  [116] _Hist. Nat._, XXXI., 39.

In many countries of the world salt is a matter of government control,
its manufacture and disposition being guarded as if life and death were
involved in it. It is a common saying in Italy that a man must not dip
up a bucket of water from the Mediterranean Sea; for he might make salt
from the water, and so defraud the government.



VII

SALT AND SUN, LIFE AND LIGHT


In Oriental and primitive thought Salt and Sun are closely connected,
even if they are not considered as identical. They stand together as
Life and Light. Their mention side by side in various places tends to
confirm this view of their remarkable correspondence. The similarity
of their forms accords with the Oriental delight in a play upon words,
even apart from the question of any similarity in their meanings.

Pliny, who, while not an original thinker, was a faithful and
industrious collater of the sayings and doings of his contemporaries,
and those who had gone before him, especially in the realm of material
things, summed up the popular beliefs as to salt and its uses in the
declaration that there is nothing better for the human body, in health
or in sickness, than salt and sun, "_sale et sole_."[117]

  [117] _Hist. Nat._, XXXI., 45.

Not only in the English and the Latin, but in the Greek, the Kymric,
and the Keltic, this similarity in the form of the words for salt and
sun is to be observed. The Greek _hals_ and _helios_, the Welsh _hal_
and _haul_, the Irish _sal_ and _sul_, illustrate this so far as the
form is concerned.[118] As to the signification of the words, it has
already been shown that "salt" represents "life" in primitive thought
and speech. Similarly the sun was considered "as the life-giver, the
emblem of procreation." In consequence, "son" and "sun" are from the
same root.[119] In view of this it is not strange that salt and sun, as
life and light, were considered in primitive and popular thought as the
means of health and hope for mankind.

  [118] In the Old Irish and the Old Welsh _s_ and _h_ interchange, as
  they do in the Zend. See Table of Grimm, in Sayce's _Introduction to
  the Science of Language_, I., 305.

  [119] Skeat's _Etymological Dictionary_, at words "Salt," "Son,"
  "Solar," "Sun;" also Kluge's _Etymological Dictionary_, s. v. "_Sonne_."

"The root of the word for salt is unknown. The name of the sun is
apparently a derivation from the root _su_ (or _s[=a]v_) 1. To generate.
2. To impel, to set in motion, to bring about."[120] If the same be not
the root of the word "salt," there is at least reason for thinking that
the meaning of the two words "salt" and "sun" are similar,--one gives
life, the other represents life.

  [120] According to Prof. Dr. Hermann Collitz, of Bryn Mawr. Compare
  Joh. Schmidt in Kuhn's "Zeitschrift," XXVI., 9; and O. Schrader,
  _Prehistoric Antiquities of the Aryan Peoples_, p. 414. Trans. by F. B.
  Jevons.

To the primitive mind it certainly would seem natural to ascribe the
creation of salt to the action or power of the sun. Peculiarly would
this be the case with dwellers by the ocean or sea, or inland salt
lakes. As the sun shines upon the water drawn from the sea or lake, the
water is evaporated and the salt remains. This is the ordinary process
of salt-making with all its benefits in various countries to the
present day. What thought is more natural, in view of this recognized
fact, than that the sun is the generator, or the begetter, of salt
which is life? If the sun is supposed to bring life, in what way does
it more directly accomplish this than by this salt creation?

This would seem to give added significance and force to the words of
Jesus as to salt and light. If in the days of Jesus it was held, as
Pliny says, that there was nothing that could help the life of humanity
like salt and sun, life and light, the disciples of Jesus must have
recognized a peculiar meaning in the teachings of the Great Physician
as he sent them out into the world to heal the sick, and raise the
dead, and cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons,[121] when he
suggested that it was what they were, rather than what they did, that
was to be the help of humanity. In the same teaching he said, "Ye are
the salt of the earth," "Ye are the light of the world."[122]

  [121] Matt. 10 : 8.

  [122] Matt. 5 : 13, 14.

The recognized meaning of these words in the days of Jesus intensified
their importance at every use of them, as when it was said that "in
Him was life; and the life was the light of men."[123] Salt was blood;
blood was life; salt was life; life was light; blood and salt and light
were life.

  [123] John 1 : 4.

Among folk-lore customs on both sides of the ocean, salt and a candle
are carried across the threshold on moving to a new house, as if
representing life and light as needs in a new home. Sometimes the Bible
also is included, as if in recognition of the true basis of all sacred
covenanting. There are other folk-lore customs connecting salt and
light.[124]

  [124] See Chap. X., _infra_.

According to Professor Dr. Hilprecht, in the old Assyrian language,
_[t.]âbtu_, "salt," and _[t.]âbtu_, "blessing," have the same ideogram,
and are written exactly alike. "This suggests the inquiry whether
they are not derived from the same root, _[t.]âbu_, 'to be good,' and
whether _[t.]âbtu_, 'salt,' was not so called by the Assyrians as the
great blessing given to man, as needed more than aught else for the
preparation of food and the preservation of life."



VIII

SIGNIFICANCE OF BREAD


Bread is the basis of a common meal, as blood is the basis of a
common life. As, in the sacrifices, the body of the animal offered in
sacrifice was the basis of a covenant meal, while the blood was the
basis of union with the divine; so in the symbolism of bread and wine,
in any sacramental meal, or in any meal of sacred covenanting between
two persons, the bread stood for the flesh, and the wine for the blood.
So, also, when bread and salt are used together, the salt would seem to
stand for blood or life, and the bread to stand for the flesh or the
body.[125]

  [125] See _Blood Covenant_, pp. 182-190; 268 f.; 350-355.

Blood gives life; flesh as food gives sustenance. Salt represents life;
bread represents sustaining food. In this light those who share salt
together are in a life-sharing covenant; those who share bread together
are sharers in a common growth. Covenant union in sacrifice is secured
or consummated by blood-sharing; it is evidenced or celebrated by
food-sharing.

"Milk and honey" seem to be a symbol of blood and flesh, or of salt
and bread, from a divine source. They are supplied to man from the
vegetable world, through the agency of living animals, by the power of
the Author of life. They stand for the vivifying and nourishing of the
body by a providential ministry to man. In this light they seem to be
viewed by primitive peoples. The Land of Promise was represented to
the ancient Hebrews as "a land flowing with milk and honey,"[126] and
this figure seemed to represent to them all that could be desired in
the line of God's ministry to their material needs. It was many times
repeated to them, or by them, in this sense.[127]

  [126] Exod. 3 : 8, 17; 13 : 5; 33 : 3.

  [127] Lev. 20 : 24; Num. 13 : 27; 14 : 8; 16 : 13, 14; Deut. 6 : 3;
  11 : 9; 26 : 9, 15; 27 : 3; 31 : 20; Josh. 5 : 6; Jer. 11 : 5;
  32 : 22; Ezek. 20 : 6, 15.

This symbolism was preserved by the early Christians in connection with
the rite of baptism. Tertullian describing that rite says: "Having come
out from the bath, we are anointed with a blessed unction of holy oil;"
afterwards "we first taste a mixture of honey and milk."[128]

  [128] Tertullian. _De Coron._, v. 3, _adv. Prox._ XXVI., _de Bapt._
  vii. and viii., cited in Blunt's _Annotated Book of Common Prayer_, p.
  209.



IX

SALT IN SACRIFICES


Salt seems to have been recognized as a vital element in sacrifices
both in the teachings of the Bible and in the customs of the pagan
world. In the Lord's injunction to Israel, it is said unqualifiedly:
"And every oblation of thy meal offering shalt thou season with salt;
neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be
lacking from thy meal offering: with all thine oblations [offerings
bloody or unbloody] thou shalt offer salt."[129]

  [129] Lev. 2 : 13. See also Ezek. 43 : 21-24.

An alternative reading of the words of Jesus in Mark's Gospel refers
to this custom when it says that "every sacrifice shall be salted
with salt."[130] Josephus, in his "Antiquities of the Jews," makes
reference to the large quantities of salt required for sacrifices.[131]
This corresponds with the provision of the King of Persia for Jewish
sacrifices, "salt without prescribing how much,"[132]--a limitless or
indefinite amount.

  [130] Mark 9 : 49. These words are by some critics counted a gloss; yet
  the fact as a fact, with reference to salt in sacrifices, is undisputed.

  [131] _Antiquities of the Jews_, XII, iii, 3.

  [132] Ezra 7 : 21, 22.

In the Hebrew text which the Septuagint translators had before them,
salt is represented as always on the table of shewbread, and as an
important factor in that memorial offering before the Lord. It reads:
"And ye shall put upon the pile [of bread] pure frankincense and
salt, and they shall be to the bread for a memorial lying before the
Lord."[133] Philo Judæus makes mention of this salt with the bread, on
the sacred table in the Holy Place, and refers to the salt as a symbol
of perpetuity.[134]

  [133] Swete's _Septuagint_ at Lev. 24 : 7.

  [134] _De Victimis_, § 3.

In the directions for the preparation of the holy incense for use by
the priests in the services of the tabernacle, the fragrant gums and
spices were to be "seasoned [or tempered together] with salt, pure and
holy."[135] And this incense was for sacrificial offering.

  [135] Exod. 30 : 34, 35, Revised Text, and marginal note.

It is still a custom among strict Jews to observe the rite of the
covenant of salt at their family table, before every meal. The head of
the house, having invoked the Divine blessing in these words, "Blessed
be thou O Lord our God, King of the universe, who causest bread to
grow out of the earth," takes bread and breaks it in as many pieces as
there are persons present. Having dipped each piece into salt, he hands
a portion in turn to every one, and they share it together. In cases
where there is less strictness of ritual observance on the part of
modern Jews, this ceremony is limited to the beginning of the Sabbath,
at the Friday evening meal.

This might seem to be merely a renewal of the covenant which binds
the members of the family to one another and to God; yet it evidently
partakes of the nature of a sacrifice, and it is so understood by
the more orthodox Jews. The primitive idea of an altar was a table
of intercommunion with God, or with the gods. It was thus with the
Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Egyptians, the Hindoos, the Persians,
the Arabs, the early inhabitants of North and South America, and with
primitive peoples generally.[136] Thus also the Bible would seem
to count an altar and a table as synonymous. The prophet Malachi
reproaches, in God's name, the Jews for irreverence and sacrilege. "And
ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? Ye offer polluted bread upon
mine _altar_. And ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye
say, The _table_ of the Lord is contemptible."[137]

  [136] _Blood Covenant_, pp. 167-190.

  [137] Mal. 1 : 6, 7. See also Isa. 65 : 11 and Ezek. 41 : 22.

The Talmud emphasizes the home table of the Jew as the altar before
the Lord, to be approached in sacrifice with the essential offering of
salt. "As long as the Temple existed, the altar effected atonement,
and now it is for the table of each man to effect atonement for him. It
is for this reason that the description of the altar (in Ezekiel 41 :
22) closes by saying, 'And he said unto me, This is the table that is
before the Lord.'"[138]

  [138] Tract B'rakhoth 55 _a._, cited by the Rev. Dr. M. Jastrow.

It would seem, therefore, that bread and salt are as the body and the
blood, the flesh and the life, offered in sacrifice at the home table
of the Jew, as formerly at the altar of intercommunion with God.[139]

  [139] _Blood Covenant_, pp. 350-355.

This view of the household table as an altar has been recognized by
many Jews. Picart[140] says:

  [140] _Ceremonies and Religious Customs of the Various Nations of the
  Known World_, I., 245. London, 1733.

"The German Jew sets bread and salt upon his table, but the loaf, if
possible, must be whole. He cuts it without making a separation, takes
it up with both his hands, sets it down upon the table, and blesses it.
His guests answer, Amen. Afterwards he rubs it with salt, and whilst he
is eating it is as silent as a Carthusian. The bread thus consecrated
is distributed to all who are at table. If he drinks wine, he blesses
it as he did the bread before; takes it in his right hand, lifts it
up, and pronounces the benediction over it; and all other drink, water
alone excepted, is consecrated in the same manner. The master of the
family concludes with Psalm 23, and then every one eats what he thinks
convenient, without further ceremony. The ceremony of cutting the loaf
without separation has the same reason to support it; and a passage
from Psalm 10 : 3 is a voucher for its solidity. The master of the house
holds the bread in both his hands, in commemoration of the ten precepts
relating to corn; and each finger is the representative of one of
them.[141]

  [141] Buxtorf _ex_ Talmud.

"The salt as the religious intention of it is typical of the ancient
sacrifices. Meat without salt has no savor, which is proved from a
passage in Job, chapter 6, verse 6.[142] This is civil policy confirmed
by religion.

  [142] _Ibid._, cap. xii.

"A modest deportment at table is much recommended; so likewise is
temperance and sobriety. Their bread must be kept in a very neat place,
and preserved with all imaginary care. They must talk but little, and
with discretion at table, because, according to the opinion of the
rabbis, the prophet Elijah, and each respective guest's guardian angel,
are present at all meals. Whenever that angel hears anything indecent
uttered there, he retires, and a wicked one assumes his place. They
never throw down bones of flesh or fish upon the ground; but, however,
this caution is not the result of cleanliness only, but fear, lest
they should hurt any of those invisible beings.[143]

  [143] Dr. Kohler states that the reason for not throwing these
  fragments on the ground, is because the Jews would not disgrace what is
  regarded as a special gift of God.

"The knife that cuts their meat, must never touch what is made of
milk;[144] whatever, in short, strikes the senses in any manner, must
be blessed. They never rise from the table without leaving something
for the poor; but the knives must be removed before they return thanks,
because it is written, 'Thou shalt set no iron on the altar.' Now a
table is the representative of an altar, at saying grace before, or
returning thanks after meal."[145]

  [144] Because meat and milk are never to be eaten together. See p. 62,
  _supra_. (Exod. 23 : 19; 34 : 26; Deut. 14 : 21.)

  [145] Buxtorf _ex_ Talmud, cap. xii.

That the table was looked at as an altar among ancient peoples, is to
be inferred from various proverbs and practices with reference to it.
Thus one of the symbolic sayings of Pythagoras is, "Pick not up what is
fallen from the table."[146] A comment on this is, that as the table
was consecrated to divinities, whatever fell from it was not to be
restored, but to be left, as was the gleaning of God's fields, for the
poor.[147] When the Syrophoenician woman said to Jesus, "Yea, Lord:
for even the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters'
table,"[148] she spoke in recognition of this primitive truth, that
the crumbs from the table might be shared by whoever hungered.

  [146] Dacier's _Life of Pythagoras_, p. 116.

  [147] Lev. 19 : 9, 10; Deut. 24 : 19-21.

  [148] Matt. 15 : 27.

A usage in the early Latin Church would seem to be in the line of the
Jewish thought, that bread and salt at the table are a sacrifice, or
a sacrament; and it would also appear to be in recognition of the
fact that salt stands for blood, or for life. The catechumens, before
they were privileged to share in the Eucharist, were made partakers
of the sacrament of salt (_sacramentum salis_),--salt placed in the
mouth, accompanied by the sign of the cross, and by invocations and
exorcisms.[149]

  [149] Bingham's _Antiquities of the Christian Church_, Book X., Chap.
  2; Smith and Cheetham's _Dictionary of Christian Antiquities_, arts.
  "Catechumens," "Salt."

St. Augustine, speaking of this sacrament, says: "What they receive
is holy, although it is not the body of Christ,--holier than any food
which constitutes our ordinary nourishment, because it is a sacrament."
And, referring to its reception by himself, he says: "I was now signed
with the sign of the cross, and was seasoned with his salt."[150]

  [150] St. Augustine's Treatise on _Forgiveness of Sins and Baptism_,
  II., 46.

In the Greek Church, salt is still deemed an essential element of the
Eucharistic bread. It is said, indeed, that the salt "represents the
life, so that a sacrifice without salt is but a dead sacrifice." The
same is true of the Armenian and Syrian Christians, and Alcuin refers
to the fact that, in his day, certain Christians in Spain insisted that
salt should be put into the bread for the Eucharist.[151]

  [151] Smith and Cheetham's _Dict. of Chris. Antiq._, arts. "Elements,"
  "Salt."

Salt is put into the mouth of an infant at its baptism, in the Roman
Church of to-day.[152] In administering the salt to the babe the priest
says: "Receive the salt of wisdom. May it be a propitiation for thee
to eternal life."[153] All "holy water," in that church, contains salt
as an essential element.[154] At the dedication of a church, water
mixed with ashes and salt is employed for the sprinkling of the corners
of the altar, and other portions of the church; and the remainder is
poured out at the foot of the altar, where the sacrificial blood was of
old poured out in the Temple offerings.[155]

  [152] _Rituale Romanorum_, p. 29 f.

  [153] _Ibid._

  [154] _Ibid._, p. 276 f.

  [155] Smith and Cheetham's _Dict. of Chris. Antiq._, art. "Salt."

In the Brâhmanas, of the Vedic literature, salt is described as the
one "sacrificial essence" which is common to both sky and earth. In
the ritual directions for the "ceremony of establishing a set of
sacrificial fires, on the part of a young householder," the sacrificer,
under the guidance of the priests, is described as proceeding to equip
Agni, the fire, with its proper equipments. He having brought water
and gold,[156] it is said: "He then brings salt. Yonder sky assuredly
bestowed that (salt as) cattle on this earth: hence they say that salt
soil is suitable for cattle. That salt, therefore, means cattle; and
thus he thereby supplies it (the fire) with cattle; and the latter
having come from yonder (sky) is securely established on this earth.
Moreover, that (salt) is believed to be the savor (_rasa_) of those
two, the sky and the earth; so that he thereby supplies it (the fire)
with the savor of those two, the sky and the earth. That is why he
brings salt."[157]

  [156] Fire is masculine, water is feminine, gold is seed, according to
  the Vedic literature.

  [157] Müller's _Sacred Books of the East_, XII., 278 (_Satapatha
  Brâhmana_).

According to the Brâhmanas, the first offered sacrifice was a man. When
"the sacrificial essence" went out of the man in his offering, it went
into the horse, then into the ox, then into the sheep, then into the
goat. And afterwards it would seem to have been represented in salt. So
in bringing salt to the fire for sacrifice, there are brought cattle,
or animal offerings, with their blood and their life.[158]

  [158] _Ibid._, p. 50.

It is said in Brâhmanic explanation of the pre-eminent value of salt
as a sacrificial essence, that it was made thus by an original
agreement between the sky and the earth. "The sky and the earth were
originally close together. On being separated, they said to each other,
'Let there be a common sacrificial essence (ya-_gñ_-iyam) for us!'
What sacrificial essence there was belonging to yonder sky, that it
bestowed on this earth, that became the salt (in the earth), and what
sacrificial essence there was belonging to this earth, that it bestowed
on yonder sky, that became the black (spots) in the moon. When he
throws salt (on the fire-place), let him think it to be that (_viz_:
the black in the moon): it is on the sacrificial essence of the sky and
the earth that he sets up his fire."[159]

  [159] Müller's _Sacred Books of the East_, XII., 278, note.

Among the Booddhists in China, where the sacrifices are almost
exclusively vegetable, salt and wine are added in separate cups.[160]
This would seem to suggest the symbolism of both blood and wine in the
offerings.

  [160] Morris's _China and the Chinese_, p. 154.

Salt had its place in sacrifices in ancient Egypt. Herodotus tells,
for instance, of the great annual festival at Saïs, in honor of the
goddess Neith, corresponding to Athena or Minerva. Neith was, in fact,
another presentation of Isis, and was known as "the great mother of all
life." In conjunction with the sacrifices on this occasion, there was
the Feast of Burning Lamps, when all the inhabitants burned, in the
open air, about their houses, lamps filled with oil and salt. He says,
moreover: "The Egyptians who are absent from the festival [at Saïs]
observe the rite of the sacrifice, no less than the rest, by a general
lighting of lamps; so that the illumination is not confined to the city
of Saïs, but extends over the whole of Egypt."[161] Wilkinson says of
these lamps and their contents: "The oil floated on water mixed with
salt;" and he suggests a correspondence of this custom with a like one
in India and in China.[162]

  [161] Rawlinson's _History of Herodotus_, II., 92 (Book II., Chap. 62).

  [162] _Ibid._, note. See also Wilkinson's _Ancient Egyptians_, III.,
  380.

Friedrich, in his "Symbolism of Nature," speaking of this festival,
says that the "salt symbolized the creation of life, and the light that
it came forth from darkness into existence; therefore this did well
suit the festival." And a collector of Etruscan remains, referring to
the magic lamp still used in Italy, says, in connection with these
words of Friedrich, that the "wick fire seemed so mysterious to the
Rosicrucian Lord Blaize that he wrote a book on it, and on the blessed
secrets of salt."[163]

 [163] Leland's _Etruscan-Roman Remains_, p. 324 f.

Salt was essential to a sacrifice among the ancient Romans, as among
the Hebrews. A cake made of coarsely ground spelt, or wheat, mingled
with salt, was broken, or bruised, and sprinkled upon the head of
the victim for sacrifice, upon the fire of the altar, and upon the
sacrificial knife. Hence the term "immolation," or sprinkling with
this salted meal, came to be synonymous with sacrificing.[164] Pliny,
telling of the priceless value of salt, says of it in conclusion: "It
is in our sacred rites, more especially, that its high importance is
recognized, no offering ever being made unaccompanied by the salted
cake [_sine mola salso_]."[165] And Ovid says, that "in days of old it
was plain spelt, and the sparkling grain of unadulterated salt that had
efficacy to render the gods propitious to man."[166]

  [164] Harper's _Latin Dictionary_, s. vv. "Immolate," "Mola."

  [165] Pliny's _Hist. Nat._, Bostock and Riley's trans., XXXI., 41.

  [166] Ovid's _Fasti_, I., 337. See, also, Cooper's _Virgil_, notes on
  Aeneid, Books II. and XII.

There is good reason for believing that it was much the same with
the Greeks as with the Romans, although the fact that this is not
distinctly declared in the classic texts has led some modern scholars
to call it in question. Barley-meal cakes, with or without salt, were
certainly employed by the Greeks in their sacrifices.[167] And Homer
speaks of salt as "divine."[168] When, therefore, it is considered that
salt was counted essential in sacrifices among the ancient Egyptians,
Hindoos, and Hebrews, as also later among the Romans, it would seem to
need proof to the contrary to meet the natural presumption that the
Greeks also made use of "divine salt" in their sacred sacrificial cakes.

  [167] Homer's _Iliad_, I., 449, 458; II., 410, 421; _Odyssey_, III.,
  425, 441; Philo's _Opera_, 2 : 240.

  [168] _Iliad_, IX., 214. See Eustathius's Commentary, I., 748-750, ed.
  Basle (p. 648, ed. Rome).

Salt was offered at every little shrine by the wayside in Guatemala,
in Central America, in olden time. It was an acceptable gift to the
gods.[169]

  [169] See Bancroft's _Native Races of the Pacific Coast_, II., 719.

Wellhausen, in treating of the remains of Arabian paganism,[170] tells
of the custom of the old priests of throwing salt into the fire of
sacrifice, unperceived by the worshiper as he appealed to the gods
in his oath, and of the consequent startling of the offerer by the
up-leaping flames, as though under a divine impulse. Various popular
sayings are cited as incidental proofs of this custom; the purport of
them all being that salt in the fires of sacrifice is supposed to be an
effective appeal to the gods.

  [170] Wellhausen's _Reste Arabischen Heidentumes_, in _Skizzen und
  Vorarbeiten_, III., 124, 131.

Pliny says that "salt, regarded by itself, is naturally igneous, and
yet it manifests an antipathy to fire, and flies from it."[171] This
would seem to be a reference to the tendency of salt to spring up, or
flash and sparkle, when thrown into the flames.

  [171] _Hist. Nat._, XXXI., 45.

It has indeed been suggested that the very name "salt" was derived
(through _saltus_, "to leap") from the tendency of this substance
"to leap and explode when thrown upon fire."[172] If there be any
probability in this suggestion, or in another, and more natural one,
that _saltus_ was from the same root as _sal_, "salt," it is easy to
see that the primitive mind might infer that such was the affinity of
salt with the divine, that, when offered by fire, it leaped toward
heaven, and so was understood to be peculiarly acceptable to God or to
the gods, in sacrifice. The Latin verb _salis_ has the twofold meaning
"to salt" or "to sprinkle before sacrifice," and "to leap, spring,
bound, jump;" and the root _sal_ would seem to be in the Latin and the
Sanskrit alike.[173] Similarly, the word "salacious," or lustful, had
this origin.

  [172] See citation of Lennep, and Scheideus, in Richardson's _English
  Dictionary_, s. v. "Salt."

  [173] See Harper's _Latin Dictionary_, s. vv. "sal," "salio," "saltus."

It is evident that the primitive popular mind recognized salt as a
peculiarly acceptable offering in sacrifice to God or the gods, and
that its very name in various combinations seemed to suggest the
aspiring or uprising heavenward.



X

SALT IN EXORCISM AND DIVINATION


The line between sacrificial offerings and offerings for the purpose
of exorcising evil spirits, or of propitiating good spirits, is not
always a clear line even in the mind of the offerer; but there are uses
of salt among primitive peoples which must be placed under the head of
exorcisms and divinations, and as an accompaniment of incantations,
rather than under the head of sacrifices, even though they may be only
perversions of the original idea of sacrifice.

Burckhardt tells of the burning of salt, by way of exorcism, among
the people of Daraon, on the borders of Upper Egypt and Nubia. His
caravan was about being loaded for a journey. "Just before the lading
commenced," he says, "the Ababde women appeared with earthen vessels
in their hands, filled with burning coals. They set them before the
several loads, and threw salt upon them. At the rising of the bluish
flame produced by the burning of the salt, they exclaimed, 'May you be
blessed in going and in coming!' The devil and every evil genius are
thus, they say, removed."[174]

  [174] Burckhardt's _Travels in Nubia_, p. 157.

Among Muhammadan Arabs, in and out of Egypt, salt is sprinkled on
the floors of every apartment in the houses, on the last night of
the month of Ramadan, accompanied by the words, "In the name of God,
the Compassionate, the Merciful!" This is because the evil jinn, or
genii, are supposed to be confined in prison during that month, and the
sprinkling of salt, with the prescribed invocation, ensures protection
from them as they renew their work of harm. Salt is also sprinkled on
the floor after the birth of a child, as a propitiatory offering for
mother and child, against the influence of the evil eye.[175]

  [175] Lane's _Arabian Society in the Middle Ages_, pp. 41, 188.

In China, on the eve of the new year, salt is thrown into the fire,
and the manner of its burning is taken as an indication, favorable
or unfavorable, for the coming year. It is a species of divination
by salt.[176] In Japan, the burning of salt, or the offering it in
this way to the gods, is a propitiatory sacrifice in time of danger;
and it is scattered at the threshold for a similar purpose after a
funeral.[177] In Syria, also, the burning of a lump of salt in the
fire is resorted to as a means of exorcising the malevolent spirit
which afflicts one through the "evil eye."[178]

  [176] Doolittle's _Social Life of the Chinese_, II., 58 f.

  [177] Griffis's _Mikado's Empire_, pp. 467, 470; Bird's _Untrodden
  Tracks in Japan_, I., 392.

  [178] George A. Ford, in _The Church at Home and Abroad_, Dec., 1889,
  p. 501.

While suspected persons, or persons of doubtful orthodoxy, were
undergoing the "ordeal of boiling water" under ecclesiastical
authority, in the Middle Ages and earlier, it is said that "by
way of extra precaution, in some ritual it is ordered that holy
water and blessed salt be mingled in all the food and drink of
the patient--presumably to avert diabolical interference with the
result."[179]

  [179] Martène, _De Antiq. Eccles. Ritibus_, Lib. III., c. vii., Ordo.
  19; cited in Lea's _Superstition and Force_, p. 281.

Among the folk-lore customs in modern Greece salt has prominence in
various ways. Salt must be pounded on certain days and in a certain
way, in order to guard against ill luck. Salt must never be carried out
of the house after dark.[180]

  [180] Rodd's _Customs and Lore of Modern Greece_, p. 156.

In Scotland and in England, as well as in the East, the use of burning
salt in exorcism has continued in the more primitive regions down to
the present century. James Napier tells, for example, of the treatment
to which he was subjected as a child, when it was surmised that he had
gotten "a blink of an ill e'e." He says: "A sixpence was borrowed from
a neighbor, a good fire was kept burning in the grate, the door was
kept locked, and I was placed upon a chair in front of the fire. The
operator, an old woman, took a tablespoon and filled it with water.
With the sixpence she then lifted as much salt as it could carry, and
both were put into the water in the spoon. The water was then stirred
with the forefinger till the salt was dissolved. Then the soles of my
feet and the palms of my hands were bathed with this solution thrice,
and after these bathings I was made to taste the solution three times.
The operator then drew her wet forefinger across my brow,--called
'scoring aboon the breath.' The remaining contents of the spoon she
then cast over the fire, into the hinder part of the fire, saying as
she did so, 'Guid preserve frae a' skith.' These were the first words
permitted to be spoken during the operation."[181] Mr. Napier adds
that while in his case the "scoring aboon the breath" was accomplished
by scoring with a finger wet with salt water, the suspected possessor
of an evil eye was scored with the finger-nails, or some sharp
instrument, so as to draw blood. The blood and the salt seemed to have
correspondent values.

  [181] _Folk-Lore of the West of Scotland_, p. 36 f.

In the southern counties of England, salt is thrown into the fire by
way of invoking spiritual aid in behalf of a lass who would win back a
recreant lover. "A pinch of salt must be thrown into the fire on three
successive Friday nights, while these lines are repeated:

  "'It is not this salt I wish to burn,
    It is my lover's heart to turn;
    That he may neither rest, nor happy be,
    Until he comes and speaks to me.'"[182]

  [182] Henderson's _Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties_, p. 176.

There seems to be a special value in the sacred number "three," in the
appeals through salt to the spiritual powers. In the Scottish Lowlands,
"when a dead body has been washed and laid out, one of the oldest women
present must light a candle, and wave it three times around the corpse.
Then she must measure three handfuls of common salt into an earthenware
plate, and lay it on the breast. Lastly she arranges three 'toom,' or
empty dishes, on the hearth, as near as possible to the fire; and all
the attendants going out of the room return into it backwards, repeat
this 'rhyme of saining:'

  "'Thrice the torchie, thrice the saltie,
    Thrice the dishes toom for "loffie" (_i. e._, praise),
    These three times three ye must wave round
    The corpse, until it sleep sound.
    Sleep sound and wake nane,
    Till to heaven the soul's gane.
    If ye want that soul to dee
    Fetch the torch th' Elleree;
    Gin ye want that soul to live,
    Between the dishes place a sieve,
    An it sail have a fair, fair shrive.'"[183]

  [183] Henderson's _Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties_, p. 53.

In connection with the putting of a plate of salt on the breast of a
dead body, there were various usages. A plate of bread was sometimes
set with the salt, and again a plate of earth was its accompaniment.
And different reasons were assigned for the presence of the salt there.
Napier says that many persons claimed for it a value in preventing the
swelling of the body in process of decomposition, "but its original
purpose was to act as a charm against the devil, to prevent him from
disturbing the body."[184]

  [184] _Folk-Lore of the West of Scotland_, p. 60.

"Pennant tells us that formerly, in Scotland, the corpse being
stretched on a board and covered with a close linen wrapper, the
friends laid on the breast of the deceased a wooden platter, containing
a small quantity of salt and earth, separate and unmixed; the earth an
emblem of the corruptible body, the salt as an emblem of the immortal
spirit [the life]."[185]

  [185] Thistleton Dyer's _Domestic Folk-Lore_, p. 60.

Napier adds: "There was an older superstition which gave another
explanation for the plate of salt on the breast. There were persons
calling themselves 'sin-eaters,' who, when a person died, were sent for
to come and eat the sins of the deceased. When they came, their _modus
operandi_ was to place a plate of salt and a plate of bread on the
breast of the corpse, and repeat a series of incantations, after which
they ate the contents of the plates, and so relieved the dead person
of such sins as would have kept him hovering around his relations,
haunting them with his imperfectly purified spirit, to their great
annoyance, and without satisfaction to himself."[186] The basis of this
plan of vicarious substitution of personality would seem to be, in the
entering of the "sin-eaters" into oneness of life with the deceased
through the salt covenant or the blood covenant, in partaking of his
body and blood in the bread and salt from his breast.

  [186] _Folk-Lore_, p. 60.

Leland, in his "Etruscan-Roman Remains in Popular Tradition," says that
there was, among the Tuscan Romans, an incantation, or an invocation,
for every emergency. "If salt upset, they said, 'Dii avertite
omen!'"[187] In Sicily, a goddess known as the Mother of the Day "is
invoked when salt is spilt."[188] He also cites various incantations
and exorcisms, in which salt is an essential factor.[189]

  [187] _Etruscan-Roman Remains_, p. 12.

  [188] _Ibid._, p. 148.

  [189] _Ibid._, pp. 122, 204, 242, 264, 281, 286, 287, 312, 345.

A custom prevails in some portions of Pennsylvania, even to this
day, of carrying a bag of salt, with a Bible, over the threshold, on
entering a new house for the first time. There are families who would
not consent to live in a home which had not been thus consecrated.[190]
This would seem to be a survival of the passing over the threshold
with an offering of blood. A correspondence of this practice with
ancient Etruscan customs seems to be indicated by the collections of
Leland.[191] Among the Mordvins, a Finnish people on the Volga, salt
on bread is placed under the threshold of the bride's paternal home
at the time of a marriage covenant.[192] This may be classed with
sacrifices or with divination according to our idea of the workings of
the primitive Mordvin mind.

  [190] _Threshold Covenant_, p. 21.

  [191] _Etruscan-Roman Remains_, p. 306.

  [192] Ralston's _Songs of the Russian People_, p. 277 f.



XI

FAITHLESSNESS TO SALT


The fact that in its primitive conception a covenant of salt is a
permanent and unalterable covenant, naturally suggests to the primitive
mind the idea of treachery as faithlessness to salt. The Persian term
for a "traitor" is _namak harâm_, "untrue to salt," "one faithless
to salt;"[193] and the same idea runs through the languages of the
Oriental world.

 [193] Gesenius's _Thesaurus_, p. 790.

Baron du Tott, referring to the sharing of bread and salt, says: "The
Turks think it the blackest ingratitude to forget the man from whom we
have received food, which is signified by the bread and salt."[194]
But it is obvious that it is faithlessness to salt, not to bread or
ordinary food, that is deemed blackest ingratitude. This is in India,
as in Turkey. Tamerlane, the Mongol-Tatar chieftain, speaking, in his
institutes, of one Share Behraum, who had deserted his service for the
enemy and afterwards returned to his allegiance, says: "At length my
salt which he had eaten overwhelmed him with remorse, he again threw
himself on my mercy, and humbled himself before me."[195] Frazer
quotes a rebel chief in India as saying, when he capitulated after a
siege, and was asked if he would return to his old allegiance, "No,
I can no more visit my country; I must look for service elsewhere. I
can never face the rajah again; for I have eaten Ghoorka salt. I was
in trust, and I have not died at my post. We can never return to our
country."[196]

  [194] _Memoirs of the Turks and Tartars_, Part I., p. 214; cited in
  Bush's _Illustrations of the Holy Scriptures_, at Numbers 18 : 19.

  [195] Quoted in Burder's _Oriental Customs_, 2d ed., p. 77.

  [196] Frazer's _Journal of Tour through Himala Mountains_, quoted in
  Burder, p. 77, at Ezra 4 : 14.

Burton says that the Bed'ween of Arabia denounce the Syrians as
"abusers of the salt," because they cannot be depended on in their
agreements.[197] And Dr. Thomson says that Orientals "often upbraid
the civilized Frank because he does not keep bread and salt, is not
faithful to the covenant of brotherhood."[198]

  [197] _Pilgrimage to El Medinah and Meccah_, III., 114.

  [198] _The Land and the Book_, II., 41.

Burton says also, of the Bed'ween of El Hejaz: "'We have eaten salt
together' (_nahnu malihin_) is still a bond of friendship: there are,
however, some tribes who require to renew the bond every twenty-four
hours, as otherwise, to use their own phrase, 'the salt is not in their
stomachs.'"[199] And he quotes the advice to him of Shaykh Hamid,
concerning the Bed'ween who were to escort him from El Medinah, "never
to allow twenty-four hours to elapse without dipping hand in the same
dish with them, in order that the party might always be 'malihin,' on
terms of salt."[200] Treachery on the part of one who has even partaken
of an ordinary meal with another is, however, counted, among Orientals,
a peculiar crime, as surprising as it is unusual.[201]

  [199] _Pilgrimage_, III., 84.

  [200] _Pilgrimage_, II., 334.

  [201] Psa. 41 : 9; John 13 : 18.

Of course, there is no human bond which will guard human nature against
all possible treachery. These references to the measure of fidelity
among different peoples or tribes are an indication of the relative
degree of faithfulness prevailing among them severally. Those who are
faithless to salt cannot be depended on for anything. If a man would
not be true to one who is of his own blood, of his own life, and to
whom he is bound in a sacred covenant of which his God is a party, he
could not be depended on in any emergency. The covenant of salt is all
this in the thought of the primitive mind.

Don Raphel says, of the estimate of faithlessness to salt entertained
by Arabs generally: "When they have eaten bread and salt with any one,
it would be a horrid crime not only to rob him, but even to touch the
smallest part of his baggage, or of the goods which he takes with him
through the desert. The smallest injury done to his person would be
considered as an equal wickedness. An Arab who should be guilty of such
a crime would be looked upon as a wretch who might expect reproof and
detestation from everybody. He would appear despicable to himself, and
never be able to wash away his shame. It is almost unheard of for an
Arab to bring such disgrace upon himself."[202]

  [202] _The Bedouins or Arabs of the Desert_, Part II., p. 59; quoted in
  Burder's _Oriental Customs_, 2d ed., p. 72.

It was said by the ancient Jews that Sodom was destroyed because its
inhabitants had been faithless to salt, in maltreating guests who
had partaken of salt in their city. In a Talmudic comment on Lot's
wife, the record is: "Rabbi Isaac asked, 'Why did she become a pillar
of salt?' 'Because she had sinned through salt. For in the night in
which the men came to Lot she went to her neighbors, and said to them,
Give me salt, for we have guests. But her purpose was to make (the
evil-minded) people of the city acquainted with the guests. Therefore
was she turned into a pillar of salt.'"[203]

  [203] Rev. Dr. Marcus Jastrow refers to this in an article on "The
  Symbolical Meaning of Salt," in _The Sunday School Times_ for April 28,
  1894.

This idea of foul treachery as equivalent to faithlessness in the
matter of salt, seems to be perpetuated in Da Vinci's famous painting
of the Last Supper, where Judas Iscariot is represented as having
overturned the salt-cellar.[204] And even among English-speaking
peoples the spilling of salt between two persons is said to threaten a
quarrel; as though they had already broken friendship.

  [204] It has indeed been questioned whether the overturned salt-cellar
  in Da Vinci's picture, as shown in many an engraving of it, was in the
  original painting, as it is not to be seen there now. But it would
  seem clear that the copy of this painting by Da Vinci's pupil, Marco
  d'Oggoni, in the Brera, shows the overturned salt-cellar, while the
  original painting has had several retouchings and renovations. (See
  _Notes and Queries_, 6th Series, Vol. X., p. 92 f.)

Gayton, describing two friends (who were proof even against this ill
sign), says:

   "I have two friends of either sex, which do
    Eat little salt, or none, yet are friends too;
    Of both which persons I can truly tell,
    They are of patience most invincible,--
    When out of temper no mischance at all
    Can put,--no, not if towards them the salt should fall."[205]

  [205] Thistleton Dyer's _Domestic Folk-Lore_, p. 104.

In both the Old Testament and the New faithlessness to a formal
covenant is reckoned a crime of peculiar enormity as distinct from any
ordinary transgression of a specific law. Transgressing a covenant with
the Lord is counted on the part of Israel much the same as worshiping
the gods of the heathen. This is shown in repeated instances in the Old
Testament.[206] In the New Testament, Paul includes among the grossest
evil-doers of paganism those who are "filled with all unrighteousness,
wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife,
deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, hateful to God," and so down
to "covenant-breakers," and those "without natural affection," as among
the lowest and worst of all.[207] This idea shows itself continually in
records and traditions, sacred and secular.

  [206] Gen. 17 : 14; Deut. 17 : 2-7; Josh. 7 : 11-15; Judg. 2 : 20-23; 2
  Kings 18 : 11, 12; Psa. 55 : 19-21; Isa. 24 : 5, 6; Jer. 11 : 9-11; 34 :
  17-20; Hosea 6 : 4-7; 8 : 1.

  [207] Rom. 1 : 31.



XII

SUBSTITUTE TOGETHER WITH REALITY


Primarily it is the blood, as the life, of two persons entering into
a covenant with each other and with the Author of life, that is the
nexus of the enduring covenant.[208] Secondarily, it is the blood, or
life, of a substitute victim offered as a sacrifice to God, or to the
gods, that is accepted as such a nexus,--the blood being shared by the
contracting parties, or being poured out as an oblation to God, and the
flesh being eaten conjointly by the parties covenanting.[209]

  [208] _Blood Covenant_, pp. 5-86; _Threshold Covenant_, pp. 193-202.

  [209] Gen. 4 : 2-5; _Blood Covenant_, pp. 134-136.

Yet, again, wine is accepted as representing blood. This is not only
because wine resembles blood in appearance, and is called in the Bible
record the "blood of the grape,"[210] but because wine is actually
deemed, by many primitive peoples, real blood, and is supposed to
affect its users as it does because it represents the spirit, or life,
of the divinity whose blood it is.[211] On this point Frazer calls
attention to the primitive views of Egyptians, Arabians, Aztecs, and
others, citing authorities from Plutarch to Robertson Smith.[212]

  [210] Gen. 49 : 11; Deut. 32 : 14; Eccles. 39 : 26; 50 : 15;
  1 Macc. 6 : 34; _Blood Covenant_, p. 191.

  [211] _Blood Covenant_, pp. 139-142.

  [212] Frazer's _Golden Bough_, II., 184 f.

He says, for example: "We are informed by Plutarch that of old the
Egyptian kings neither drank wine nor offered it in libations to the
gods, because they held it to be the blood of beings who had once
fought against the gods, the vine having sprung from their rotting
bodies; and the frenzy of intoxication was explained by the supposition
that the drunken man was filled with the blood of the enemies of the
gods. The Aztecs regarded _pulque_, or the wine of the country, as bad,
on the account of the wild deeds which men did under its influence. But
these wild deeds were believed to be the acts, not of the drunken man,
but of the wine god by whom he was possessed and inspired.... Thus it
appears that, on the primitive view, intoxication, or the inspiration
produced by wine, is exactly parallel to the inspiration produced by
drinking the blood of animals.[213] The soul or life is in the blood,
and wine is the blood of the vine.... Whoever drinks wine drinks the
blood, and so receives into himself the soul or spirit of the god of
the vine."

  [213] Comp. _Blood Covenant_, pp. 114, 139-147.

Naturally, a substitute or representative of the original, or real,
nexus of a covenant, came to stand for the primary article with such
prominence in the popular mind that it would be deemed an essential,
not only when the real was lacking, but while the real was actually
present. Therefore we find libations of wine accompanying actual blood,
in sacrifices,[214] as well as used in substitution for it; so also of
other substitutes, such as saffron water, milk, and coffee, at other
times.[215]

  [214] Exod. 29 : 40; Lev. 23 : 12, 13; Num. 15 : 5, 10; 28 : 14, etc.;
  _Blood Covenant_, pp. 63-65.

  [215] _Blood Covenant_, pp. 77, 346-350.

As salt represents blood and life, quite naturally salt is employed in
sacrifices, not only where there is no blood or life, but also where
there is. And this accounts for the prominence of salt in sacrifices,
and elsewhere, where blood or life is essential as a fitting offering,
and as a bond of union.[216] Both wine and salt as substitutes for
blood are frequently used together, as though one alone were not
sufficient.[217]

  [216] Herodotus, Plutarch, and Pliny, cited in Becker's _Charicles_, p.
  330.

  [217] See pp. 83 f., 92, _supra_; also Frazer's _Golden Bough_, II.,
  67-70.

Similarly, bread is a recognized representative of flesh. It is so
understood in sacred and secular records and traditions. When Jesus
spoke of bread as his flesh, and as his body,[218] and of the fruit of
the vine as his blood, he used terms that in his day, and earlier,
were known in popular thought as representing the truth at the basis
of the covenant by which two became one in a merged common life.[219]
Yet while bread was an accepted substitute for flesh, it was much used
as an accompaniment of flesh[220] in sacrificial feasts. Thus bread
and salt as recognized substitutes for flesh and blood came to be
commonly used even where real flesh and blood were the main factors in
the sacrifice. Substitutes for bread, such as honey and flour or meal,
were, as already shown, also used in connection with bread. Hence it is
not unnatural to find salt as blood accompanying blood itself. This is
entirely in accord with primitive thought and customs generally.

  [218] Comp. Matt. 26 : 26-28; Mark 14 : 22-24; Luke 22 : 19, 20; 1 Cor.
  11 : 23-25.

  [219] _Blood Covenant_, pp. 171-184.

  [220] _Ibid._; Gen. 18 : 1-8; 31 : 54; Lev. 7 : 11-14; 23 : 15-20, etc.



XIII

ADDED TRACES OF THE RITE


On the occasion of a sacred alliance between clans, or in a treaty
of peace at the close of a war, among the Kookies of India, there is
a formal appeal to the gods, in which salt has an important part.
A _dhar_, or short sword, is placed on the ground between the two
parties. On it, as on an altar, "are arranged rice, salt, earth, fire,
and a tiger's tooth. The party swearing takes the _dhar_ and puts the
blade between his teeth, and, biting it, says, 'May I be cut with the
_dhar_ in war and in the field; may rice and salt fail me, my crops
wither, and I die of hunger; may fire burn all my worldly possessions,
and the tiger devour me, if I am not faithful!'"[221]

  [221] Stewart, in _Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal_, XXIV.,
  641, cited in Spencer's _Descriptive Sociology_, V., 39.

Among the Battas, in Sumatra, the more solemn form of their oath is,
"May my harvest fail, my cattle die, and may I never taste salt again,
if I do not speak the truth."[222]

  [222] Wooldridge's trans. of Bunge's _Physiological and Pathological
  Chemistry_, p. 126.

Among the Dyaks of Borneo, when a question arises between disputants
for which there is no ordinary mode of settlement, each litigant is
given a lump of salt, which the two drop into water simultaneously, and
he whose lump dissolves soonest is adjudged the loser.[223]

  [223] Köningswarter, _op. cit._, p. 202, cited in Henry C. Lea's
  _Superstition and Force_, p. 257.

In the Kenyah tribe in Borneo, the ceremony of naming a child is made
much of. Guests assemble on the occasion. After the more private
ceremony, participated in by a favored few, every guest present is
given a package of salt and some ginger root, as wedding-cake is given
in many lands, for a souvenir of the occasion.[224]

  [224] On the testimony of Dr. W. H. Furness, 3d.

A custom among Slavic peoples of presenting bread and salt to a ruler
at the threshold of his domain, as he comes on a visit, would seem to
combine the two ideas of hospitality and of worship. When the Emperor
of Russia visits one of his provinces, or subject cities, he is met
at its threshold by its representative rulers, as his loyal subjects,
with bread and salt served on a golden or a silver-gilt placque. In the
Winter Palace of St. Petersburg there are hundreds of these suspended
over the doorways and on the walls, which placques were thus presented
to different emperors on the occasion of such visits.

When the Grand Duke Alexis visited America in 1872, he was received
in this way by the wife of the Russian Minister at Washington. "As
the Grand Duke entered the Legation, Madame de Catacazy carried a
silver salver on which was placed a round loaf of plain black bread,
on the top of which was imbedded a golden salt-cellar."[225] This was
obviously more than a symbol of welcome to the home of the embassy. The
Grand Duke came as a ruler and lord to his own, and his own received
him loyally, with symbols of reverent submission. It was more like
the threshold covenant of the East, when blood is poured out from an
offered body at the doorway of a house, as one who would be honored as
well as welcomed comes in.

  [225] Parley's _Reminiscences of Sixty Years in the National
  Metropolis_, II., 277.

Some years later there was an account in the London Court Journal of
the making in Paris of an ornate golden dish for a similar use in
Roumania. The burghers of Bucharest were arranging to present on this
dish bread and salt to Princess Marie of Edinburgh, when she should
make her first entrance into their city as their future queen. The dish
was of gold worked in a purely Renaissance design, its edge being an
openwork pattern of interlaced ears of corn and branches of laurel. In
the center was the salt-cellar, shaped like an open tulip, and resting
upon four graceful stalks.

In the days of Queen Elizabeth of England it was a custom of officials
of the palace to rub bread and salt on the plates of the dining-table
before each royal meal.[226]

  [226] Agnes Strickland, _Queens of England_ (Students' Edition), p. 403.

Among the Kookies of the Hill Tribes in India, "whenever they send
any message of consequence to each other, they always put in the hand
of the bearer of it a small quantity of salt, to be delivered with
the message as expressive of its importance."[227] This would seem to
indicate a life-and-death matter in the message.

  [227] Macrae, in _Asiatic Researches_, VII., 188; cited in Spencer's
  _Descriptive Sociology_, V. 25.

An old English custom of having a salt-cellar at a certain point on the
family table, and of seating those present above or below it, gave rise
to the phrase "sitting below the salt" as indicative of an inferior
position at the household table. As salt was a symbol of hospitality
and of covenanted union, he who was within the scope of salt-sharing at
a table was in a very different position from one who was outside of
it.

A reference to this custom by Sir Walter Scott, in his "Tales of My
Landlord," in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, provoked
much discussion, and doubt was expressed as to the existence of the
custom in olden time. But abundant evidence was produced as to its
veritableness.[228] An old English ballad was cited, in which one said
sneeringly to his inferior:

   "Thou art a carle mean of degree,
    Ye salte doth stand twain me and thee;
    But an thou hadst been of ane gentyl strayne,
    I wold have bitten my gant[229] aganie."

  [228] See _Blackwood's Magazine_, Vol. I., No. 1, pp. 33-35; 132-134;
  349-352; 579-582.

  [229] Gant; that is, glove.

And one of Bishop Hall's Satires, in 1597, was instanced as saying:

   "A gentle squire would gladly entertaine
    Into his house some trencher chaplaine;
    Some willing man that might instruct his sons,
    And that would stande to good conditions.
    First, that he lie upon the truckle-bed,
    Whiles his young maister lieth o'er his head.
    Second, that he do, on no default,
    Ever presume to sit above the salt."

It was a custom in Oxford University to give salt to a student who had
concluded his course as a "freshman," and was finding admission into
the company of maturer, or salter, students or sophisters. Drinking
salt and water, or salt and beer, was a part of this ceremony. It was
called "salting a freshman," or "college salting."[230]

  [230] See _Notes and Queries_, First Series, I., 261.

A series of plates, illustrative of certain student ceremonies at
Strassburg University was published in 1666. "The last [of these]
represents _the giving of the salt_,--which a person is holding on a
plate in his left hand, and with his right hand is about to put a pinch
of it upon the tongue of each _becanus_, or freshman. A glass, probably
holding wine, is standing near him. Underneath is the following couplet:

   "_Sal Sophiæ gustate, bibatis vinaque læta,
    Augeat immensus vos in utrisque Deus!_"[231]

  [231] _Ibid._, I., 492.

In Hungary, at a wedding, there are customs that give solemn emphasis
to the truth that two lives are newly made one in a sacred covenant.
The ceremony is presided over by the Vajda, or chief ruler, rather than
by any Christian ecclesiastic. He stands with his back to a blazing
fire as the primitive altar.[232] When his address is concluded, an
earthen vessel is dashed to pieces as a symbol of their former life
now ended. Then the bridal couple are sprinkled with salt and brandy,
doubly standing for blood on the threshold of their married life.[233]

  [232] _Threshold Covenant_, pp. 22 f., 39 ff., etc.

  [233] _Martyrdom of an Empress_, p. 138 f.

Bread and salt seem to have a peculiar sacredness among the Hungarian
gypsies. This incident, from a gypsy camp, is given in a Hungarian
newspaper: A gypsy who had lost his cash informed his leader of the
fact, and at once an order was issued for its restoration. The money
not appearing, the gypsy chief bound two poles into the form of a
cross, and fixed one end in the ground. On the top of the cross he
fastened a piece of bread, and sprinkled it with salt. Each member of
the band was then called to swear upon this symbol that he had not
committed the theft. All stood the test, until the last one, an old
woman, came forward. As she was about to take the oath, she turned
pale, put her hand in her pocket, and brought out the stolen money. She
was then soundly beaten, and kicked out of camp.[234]

  [234] See quotation from the Pester Lloyd, in _Journal of the Gypsy
  Folk-lore Society_, copied in "The Journal of American Folk-lore," Vol.
  II., No. 5, p. 140.

The primitive idea that the sovereign properly controls salt as a
source or means of life, and that a gift of salt from the sovereign
lays a new obligation on the recipient, as illustrated in the days
of Cyrus and Darius,[235] shows itself down to our own day. In the
days of Arabi Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt desired to raise a sum of
money, at a time when the people were exceptionally poor in consequence
of excessive taxation and the rigors of a recent famine. Instead of
relying on the ordinary and obnoxious tax collectors, the Khedive
resorted to the pressure of the "fidelity to salt idea."

  [235] See p. 20, _supra_.

Salt, as a gift, or as an appeal, from the government supply, was
sent to every native house. Four pecks of salt to every two males in
the house was the average amount. The salt was laid, by a government
official, upon the threshold of the house, early in the morning, before
the inmates arose. Of course, any person stepping over that salted
threshold was brought anew into a covenant with the giver.[236] Later
in the day Egyptian soldiers called at every house to receive what the
inmates would give in return. The appeal was irresistible. It was not
like an ordinary tax, to be evaded or resisted if possible. All would
do what they could. The least that any could think of returning was the
usual price of the salt. Those who could afford more were glad to show
their fidelity and loyalty in a corresponding liberality.[237]

  [236] See _Threshold Covenant_, pp. 3-25.

  [237] This was told to the author by an Oriental who was residing in
  Egypt at the time.



XIV

A SAVOR OF LIFE OR OF DEATH


That which is a means of life in one instance may be a means of death
in another. A breath that might kindle a tiny spark into a living blaze
might also extinguish a quivering flame. The breeze that gives life
to fire in one case gives death to fire in the other. And fire itself
proves death to that which is perishable, while it gives added value
to that which is purified in the furnace flames. Salt, like fire, is
a symbol both of life and of death. In different connections it is a
preserver and a destroyer. "To the one a savor from death unto death;
to the other a savor from life unto life."[238]

  [238] 2 Cor. 2 : 16.

Salt is spoken of in the Bible as destructive of vegetable life, and a
barrier against new animal life. A piece of ground sown or strewed with
salt is deemed dead land: "It is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass
groweth therein."[239] When Abimelech captured Shechem, "he beat down
the city and sowed it with salt."[240] The Psalmist, speaking of the
power and ways of God, declares:

   "He turneth rivers into a wilderness,
    And watersprings into a thirsty ground;
    A fruitful land into a salt desert,
    For the wickedness of them that dwell therein."[241]

  [239] Deut. 29 : 23.

  [240] Judg. 9 : 45.

  [241] Psa. 107 : 33, 34.

The prophet Jeremiah says of one who departs from God's service that
he "shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, a salt land
and not inhabited."[242] Ezekiel, foretelling a curse on the land
of the Jews, says: "The marshes thereof shall not be healed; they
shall be given up to salt."[243] And Zephaniah declares that Moab
shall become "a possession of nettles, and salt-pits, and a perpetual
desolation."[244] Because there can be no fertility for new vegetable
life, there is no room or hope for new animal life for land thus sown
with salt and thus permanently sterile.

  [242] Jer. 17 : 6.

  [243] Ezek. 47 : 11.

  [244] Zeph. 2 : 9.

The one great body of water that is called the Dead Sea is the saltest
sea in the world. Five times the proportion of salt in the ocean is
found in this inland sea of salt. "No fish can exist in the waters,
nor is it proved that any low forms of life have been discovered
there."[245] An ancient legend declared that birds could not even
fly over its waters, because of the curse from heaven on its briny
depths.[246] Yet this doomed and dead sea of salt is a source of life
to man in its exhaustless supply of salt for his use. Preeminently is
this salt of the Dead Sea a savor of life and of death.

  [245] George Adam Smith's _Historical Geography of the Holy Land_, p.
  502.

  [246] Tacitus, _Hist._, v. 6, cited as above.

The salt of the ocean is the world's treasure. Without it the greater
portion of the earth's inhabitants would perish for lack of what
vivifies and preserves animal life. Yet because of the salt in the
ocean the very water, which man and beast must have or perish of
thirst, is useless to both man and beast. The cry in the "Ancient
Mariner" is the cry of the human, always, on the ocean's surface:

   "Water, water, everywhere,
      And all the boards did shrink:
    Water, water, everywhere,
      Nor any drop to drink."

Water, which is the gift of God to the thirsty soul, mocks the thirsty
soul when it brings with it salt, which is the representative of life.
Salt in water is a savor of death unto death, while salt and water are
also a savor of life unto life.

While salt as the equivalent of life is a symbol of permanency, it
becomes, as the equivalent of death, a symbol of doom and destruction.
Thus the prophet Isaiah, speaking of his salvation as sure and
permanent, says: "Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the
earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away [literally, shall be
salted] like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and
they that dwell therein shall die in like manner [or, like gnats]:
but my salvation shall be forever, and my righteousness shall not be
abolished."[247]

  [247] Isa. 51 : 6.

Life is in itself the destroyer of death, as light is the destroyer of
darkness. Hence that which makes anew does away with that which was of
old. When, therefore, salt or fire is spoken of as the destroyer of
that which is not worthy of preservation, it is not to be wondered at
that this power is possessed by an element that purifies and revivifies
through the process of destruction. The ground of a destroyed and
condemned city is guarded against a continuance of its old life of
evil by being sown with salt, which is a savor from life unto life and
from death unto death. The old heavens and the old earth which vanish
away as by fire and salt,[248] are replaced by a new heaven and a new
earth[249] which shall be enduring as gold tried in the fire, and as a
covenant of salt forever.

  [248] Isa. 34 : 4; 2 Peter 3 : 10-12.

  [249] Isa. 51 : 16; 65 : 17; 66 : 22; 2 Peter 3 : 13.

There is a sense in which that which is devoted to God is thereby
forbidden to the use of man. Thus land sown with salt may be counted
as devoted and as destroyed, _devoted_ to God and _destroyed_ for
man.[250] The Hebrew word _korban_ was applied to what had thus been
dedicated and doomed.[251]

  [250] See Num. 21 : 2, 3.

  [251] Mark 7 : 11. See the Rev. Dr. Jastrow, in _The Sunday School
  Times_ for April 28, 1894; also W. Robertson Smith's _Religion of the
  Semites_, p. 435; also Nowack, _Lehrbuch der Hebræischen Archæologie_,
  II., 267.

Blood also is used in the twofold sense of life and of death, in
different connections. Men say, "We are bound together by blood,"
and "We are of one blood," and "Blood is thicker than water." They
say, also, "There is blood between us," and "Spilled blood cannot be
gathered up," and "Blood is a barrier." Salt, that stands for blood,
may similarly stand for life or for death, for peace or for discord. It
is an old superstition that to put salt on another's plate is an evil
omen. Hence the couplet:

   "Help me to salt,
    Help me to sorrow!"

Yet even this portent of ill luck may be canceled by a repetition of
the act, helping to a second portion of salt.[252] The taking of blood
that becomes a barrier may be followed by the taking of blood as a bond
of union. Shedding of blood is atoned for by sharing of blood.

  [252] Henderson's _Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties_, p. 120.
  Thistleton Dyer's _Domestic Folk-Lore_, p. 104 f.

Even the spilling of salt, which is so dreaded in primitive thought,
may, it is said, be rendered harmless if the person who was guilty of
the mishap will carefully gather up the spilled salt with the blade
of a knife, and throw it over his left shoulder, with an appropriate
invocation.[253]

  [253] Henderson, p. 120; Dyer, p. 104 f.; Napier, p. 139 f.

It is deemed dangerous to give away salt to a stranger; for because
salt is as blood and as life, one must be careful lest he put his blood
and his life in the power of an enemy.[254] Salt is essential to the
preservation of human life; at the same time, salt is the destruction
of human life if it be in too great quantity or proportion. Thus the
seeming contradiction is only in seeming.

  [254] Henderson, p. 217.



XV

MEANS OF A MERGED LIFE


All life is from the Author and Source of life. Only as two persons
become partakers of a common life by each and both sharing in that
which is in itself life, can they become one in the all-inclusive
Life. Having life from the Source of life, they can merge their common
possession in each other, and in that common Source. Such merging in a
common life, with an appeal to and by the approval of God, or the gods,
has been the root-idea of covenanting, in one way or another, from time
immemorial, among all peoples, the world over.

In primitive thought, and in a sense in scientific fact, the blood is
the life and the life is in the blood; hence they who share in each
other's blood are sharers in a merged and common life. Covenanting
in this way with a solemn appeal to God, or to the gods, has been a
mode of sacred union from the earliest dawn of human history. Two
thus covenanting are supposed to become of one being; the one is the
other, and the two are one. Every form of sacrifice, Jewish, Egyptian,
Assyrian, or ethnic, is in its primal thought either an evidence and
a reminder of an existing covenant between the offerer and the Deity
approached, or an appeal and an outreaching for a covenant to be
consummated.[255]

  [255] Compare, for example, Psa. 50 : 5, 16; Hos. 1 : 10; Rom. 9 : 26.

Salt is counted as the equivalent of blood and of life, both in
primitive thought and, in a sense, in scientific fact; therefore salt,
like blood, has been deemed a nexus of a lasting covenant, as nothing
can be which is not life or its equivalent. Only as two persons are
sharers of a common life can they be supposed to have merged their
separate identity in that dual union.

And so we find that, in the primitive world's thought, shared salt has
preciousness and power because of what it represents and of what it
symbolizes, as well as of what it is. Salt stands for and corresponds
with, and it symbolizes, blood and life. As such it represents the
supreme gift from the Supreme Giver. Because of this significance of
salt, when made use of as the means of a lasting union, the Covenant of
Salt, as a form or phase of the Blood Covenant, is a covenant fixed,
permanent, and unchangeable, enduring forever.



SUPPLEMENT



THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AS A COVENANT OF LOVE


All of us are familiar with the Ten Commandments, given from God on
two tables, or tablets, of stone, to the people of Israel at Mount
Sinai.[256] But not all of us are accustomed to think of these Ten
Commandments as ten separate clauses of a loving covenant between
God and his chosen people, recorded on stone tablets for their
permanent preservation. Yet these witnessing tablets are repeatedly
called in the Bible "the tables of the covenant,"[257] and "tables of
testimony,"[258] not the tables of the commandments; while the chest or
casket which contained them is called "the ark of the covenant,"[259]
and "the ark of the testimony,"[260] not the ark of the commandments.

  [256] Exod. 20 : 1-17; Deut. 5 : 1-22.

  [257] Deut. 9 : 15.

  [258] Exod. 32 : 15; 34 : 29.

  [259] Num. 14 : 44; Deut. 10 : 8; 31 : 9, 25, 26; Josh. 3 : 3, 6, 8,
  11, 14, 17; 4 : 7, 9, 18; 6 : 6, 8; 8 : 33; Judg. 20 : 27; 1 Sam. 4 :
  3-5; 2 Sam. 15 : 24; 1 Kings 3 : 15; 6 : 19; 8 : 1, 6; 1 Chron. 15 :
  25, 26, 28, 29; 16 : 6, 37; 17 : 1; 22 : 19; 28 : 2, 18; 2 Chron. 5 :
  2, 7; Jer. 3 : 16.

  [260] Exod. 25 : 22; 26 : 33, 34; 30 : 6, 26; 31 : 7; 39 : 35; 40 : 3,
  5, 21; Num. 4 : 5; 7 : 89; Josh. 4 : 16.

There is obviously a world-wide difference between a loving covenant
that binds two parties to each other in mutual affection and fidelity,
and a series of arbitrary commandments enjoined by a sovereign upon
his subjects; between a compact of union, having its statement of
promises on the one hand and of responsibilities on the other, and an
instrument that asserts the rights of the ruler and defines the duties
of the ruled. In our estimate of the Decalogue we have made too much
of the _law_ element, and too little of the element of _love_. As a
consequence it has not been easy for us to see how it is that God's
law is love, and that love is the fulfilling of God's law. But the
Ten Commandments _are_ a simple record of God's loving covenant with
his people, and they are _not_ the arbitrary commandings of God to
his subjects. They indicate the inevitable limits within which God
and his people can be in loving union, rather than declare the limits
of dutiful obedience on the part of those who would be God's faithful
subjects. A close examination of the Decalogue will show that this is
its nature and scope.

It must be borne in mind, in our Bible reading, that the Bible was
originally written by Orientals for Orientals, and that it is to be
looked at in the light of Oriental manners and customs, and Oriental
modes of speech, in order to its fullest understanding. Hence when we
find the term "covenant," or the term "commandment," in the Bible, we
are to inquire into the Oriental meaning of that term, so that we may
know the sense in which it was employed by the Bible writers.

Now a "covenant" among Orientals is, and always has been, a sacred
compact binding two parties in loving agreement. Oriental covenants
are made in various forms and by various ceremonies. The most sacred
of all forms of covenanting in the East is by two persons commingling
their own blood, by its drinking or by its inter-transfusing, in order
that they may come into a communion of very life.[261] Two persons who
wish to become as one in a loving blood-friendship will open each a
vein in his own arm, and allow the blood to flow into a common vessel,
from which both parties will drink of the commingled blood. Or, again,
each person will open a vein in one of his hands, and the bleeding
hands will be clasped together so that the blood from the one shall
find its way into the veins of the other. Or, yet again, the two will
share together the substitute blood of a sacred animal. Usually, in
such a case, a written compact is signed by each party and given to
the other, with the stamp of the writer's blood upon it as a part of
the ceremony of covenanting; and this writing is carefully encased in
a small packet or casket, and guarded by its holder as his very life.
It is in the light of such customs as this that we are to read of the
sacred covenant entered into between God and his Oriental people.

  [261] See _The Blood Covenant_.

It was at the foot of Mount Sinai that Moses came before the people of
Israel with God's proffer to them of a covenant, whereby they should
bear his name and be known as his people. "And he took the book of
the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said,
All that the Lord hath spoken will we do, and be obedient."[262] Then
it was that Moses took of substitute blood and divided it into two
portions, one half to be sprinkled on the altar God-ward, and the other
half to be sprinkled on the people; and Moses said: "Behold the blood
of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these
words"--or, as the margin of the Revised Version has it, "upon all
these conditions."[263]

  [262] Exod. 24 : 7.

  [263] Exod. 24 : 8.

Moreover, we are told, in the Epistle to the Hebrews,[264] that Moses
sprinkled the blood upon the record, or book, of the covenant, as
well as upon the people. It was after this--after the breach and the
renewal of the covenant between Israel and God--that the stone tablets
on which the covenant itself had a permanent record were encased in
a casket, or an "ark,"[265] which was thenceforward guarded sacredly
as containing the charter of Israel's nationality, the witness, the
evidence, the testimony, of the loving covenant between God and his
people.

  [264] Heb. 9 : 19.

  [265] Exod. 40 : 20.

But you may ask, Did not the tables of stone bear a record of specific
commandments, rather than of articles of a covenant? And are not
the words there recorded specifically called in the Bible the "Ten
Commandments"? Look for yourselves, and see. It is true that our
English Bible speaks of the Ten Commandments recorded on these tables
of stone; but the word here translated "commandments" is more literally
to be rendered "words,"[266] as indeed it is given in the margin of the
Revised Version; and it is applicable to any declaration, injunction,
or charge, made by one to another. It is by no means to be understood
as simply an arbitrary mandate from an absolute sovereign to his
subjects. Looking at the Ten Commandments as a set of moral laws
covering man's duties to God and to his fellows, they seem strangely
defective, when we find among them no command to pray to or to praise
God, nor any command to give sympathy or assistance to man. But
when we look at them as clauses of a loving covenant, indicating the
scope and limits of relations within which a child of God's duties
God-ward and man-ward are to be exercised, we find that they are
far-reaching and all-inclusive. Looking at them as the tables of the
covenant between God and his people in the light of Oriental views of
covenanting, we can see a great deal more in the words on those tables
than when we look at them as the tables of the commandments,--in the
light of our Western ideas of commandings.

  [266] Exod. 34 : 28.

A covenant involves the idea of a twofold agreement between the parties
making it. Even though God himself be one of the parties, he will not
refuse to be explicit in his words of covenanting. And so we find it
to be in the record on the tables of the covenant which were given to
Moses at Mount Sinai. We call the opening words of that record the
"Preface to the Ten Commandments;" but they are more properly God's
covenanting words with his people. "I am Jehovah thy God, which brought
thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."[267]
The very name "Jehovah" includes the idea of a covenant-making and a
covenant-keeping God. The declaration of Jehovah's eternally existing
personality as Jehovah is in itself a covenant promise, for all time
to come, to those who are his covenant people. It is as though he
were to say: "I, who was and am, and am to be, the same yesterday and
to-day, yea and forever, will be your God unfailingly. As I have given
you a loving deliverance out of Egyptian bondage, so I am ever ready to
deliver you from every evil that enthralls you."

  [267] Exod. 20 : 2.

Man, when he promises for the future, needs to say, "I will do;" but
God can say nothing stronger than "I do," or than "I am." Thus the
promise of promises of Jesus to his disciples as their ever-present,
all-sustaining Lord, is, "Lo, I am with you alway;"[268] not "Lo, I
_will be_," but "Lo, I _am_." And so it is that God's covenant promise
to Israel, to be their loving, guarding, and guiding God for all time
to come, is in the words: "I am Jehovah thy God, which brought thee out
of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."[269] And this is
the promise of "the party of the first part," as we would say in modern
legal parlance, in this covenant between God and his people Israel.

  [268] Matt. 28 : 20.

  [269] Exod. 20 : 2.

Then there follow the covenant agreements of God's people, as "the
party of the second part" in this loving compact. As it is God who
prescribes or defines the terms on which this covenant is to be
made, the indication of those terms is mainly in the form of such
prohibitions as will distinguish the people of God from other peoples
about them, in the bearing of that people toward God's personality,
toward God's institutions, and toward God's representatives. This is
all that is needed in the fundamental articles of covenanting. The
details of specific duties may be defined in special enactments under
the terms of this covenant, or they may be inferred from its spirit.

The first requirement is, that this covenanting God shall be recognized
as the only God; that no other god shall be conceded a place in
God's universe. And this requirement is vital to any such covenant.
A divided heart is no heart at all. He who can see any other object
of love and devotion comparable with the one to whom he gives himself
in covenant-union, is thereby incapacitated from a covenant-union.
Therefore it is that this first word of the Ten Words of the covenant
of God's people with their God is not an arbitrary mandate, but is the
simple expression of a truth which is essential to the very existence
of the covenant as a covenant of union.

And this principle is as vitally important now as it was in the days
of Moses. The human heart is always inclined to divide itself when it
ought to be undivided. It is reluctant to be wholly and always true to
God alone. But, now as hitherto, without wholeness of heart a covenant
of union with God is an impossibility. And, indeed, the very idea of
other gods is an outgrowth of man's sense of an unfitness to be in
oneness of life with the One God,--in consequence of which man seeks
a lower divinity than the supreme God as the immediate object of his
worship.

The second requirement in this covenant of union is, that no material
image or representation of this covenanting God shall be made use of
as a help to his worship by his covenanting people; that, as a Spirit,
God shall be worshiped in spirit by his people. Here, again, is no
arbitrary mandate, but only the recognition of a vital truth. Because
God is Creator of all, no creation of God can be like God. Because God
is a Spirit, the human mind can best commune with him spiritually,
without having its conceptions of him degraded by any image or
representation--which at the best must be wholly unworthy of him.

In this second requirement, as in the first, a danger is indicated
to which the Israelites were peculiarly exposed in their day, and to
which all the people of God are exposed in any day. In the Assyrian, or
Chaldean, home of Abraham, there was practically no image worship, but
there was a belief in a plurality of gods. In the Egyptian home, from
which the Israelites had just come out, images in great variety were
the objects of worship. As the covenant people of God, the Israelites
were to refrain from the polytheism of their ancestral home in the far
East, and from the grosser idolatry of their more recent home in the
West. And so it must be with the people of God at all times; they must
worship only God, and they must worship God without any help from a
material representation of the object of their worship.

As there is still a temptation to give a divided heart to God, so there
is still a temptation to seek the help of some visible representation
or symbol of God's presence in his worship. The Christian believer does
not bow down to an idol, but many a Christian believer thinks that his
mind can be helped upward in worship by looking at some representation
of his Saviour's face, or at some symbol of his Saviour's passion. But
just because God is infinitely above all material representations and
symbols, so God can best be apprehended and discerned spiritually.
Anything coming between man's spirit and God the Spirit is a hindrance
to worship, and not a help to it. Suppose a young man were watching
from a window for his absent mother's return, with a wish to catch the
first glimpse of her approaching face. Would he be wise, or foolish, in
putting up a photograph of his mother on the window-pane before him, as
a help to bearing her in mind as he looks for her coming? As there can
be no doubt about the answer to that question, so there can be no doubt
that we can best come into spiritual communion with God by closing our
eyes to everything that can be seen with the natural eye, and opening
the eyes of our spirit to the sight of God the Spirit. This, again, is
no arbitrary requirement of God; it is in the very nature of his being
and of our own.

The third requirement of this compact is, that there shall be no
insincerity on the part of God's covenant people in their claiming
and bearing his name, as the name of their covenanting God. This
requirement is not generally understood in this light; but all the
facts in the case go to show that this is its true light. In the
Oriental world, and in the primitive world everywhere, one's name
stands for one's personality; and the right to bear one's name or even
to call on one by his personal name, is a proof of intimate relation,
if not of actual union, with him. God was now covenanting with this
people to be his people, thereby authorizing them to bear his name, and
to be known as his representatives. In the very nature of things, this
laid upon them a peculiar obligation to bear his name reverently and in
all sincerity.

It is not that God arbitrarily commanded his people to have a care in
the _speaking_ of his name, as if he were jealous of its irreverent
mention; but it is that he reminded them that the coming into the
privileges of his name was the coming into the responsibilities of that
name. It was as though Mr. Moody were taking a little street waif into
his home to train the boy as his own son, and were formally giving
to that boy the right to take and bear his name. Naturally he might
say: "Understand, now, my boy, that, wherever you go, they'll say,
'There goes a young Moody.' Now, I value my name, and I don't want it
disgraced. See to it that you take care of that name wherever you are."
So God said to his people: "Thou shalt not take"--shalt not assume,
bear, carry--"the name of the Lord thy God in vain"--insincerely,
vainly; "for the Lord will not"--cannot--"hold him guiltless that
taketh"--claimeth the privileges of--"his name in vain"--vainly,
insincerely.

This covenant obligation also is on us as it was on God's people
of old. As Christians we are baptized into the name of the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Ghost.[270] Wherever we go, we are counted
as members of God's family. His name is on us, and his honor is in
our keeping. Wherefore, "let every one that nameth the name of the
Lord"--claimeth it as his own name--"depart from unrighteousness;"[271]
and let him never feel that it is a light or a vain thing to bear that
name before the world.

  [270] Matt. 28 : 19.

  [271] 2 Tim. 2 : 19.

Thus we see that the first three of the ten requirements of the loving
covenant of God's people with their God are simply the requirements to
worship God as the only God, to worship him in unhindered spirituality,
and to worship him in all sincerity. These three fundamental
requirements seem to have been in the mind of our Lord Jesus when he
said to the woman of Samaria at the well of Jacob: "God"--the One
God--"is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and
truth."[272]

  [272] John 4 : 24.

Coming to the fourth requirement of the loving covenant of God and
his people, we find it differing in form from the preceding three
requirements; differing also from the form of all but one of those
which follow it. The preceding three are in the negative form; this
is in the affirmative form, beginning with the injunction, "Remember"
(Keep in mind). Of course, there is a reason for this. The first three
requirements are in the line of obvious, if not of self-evident,
truths; the requirement of one day in seven for rest and worship
is not, however, of obvious importance. Hence this requirement is
specifically affirmed as an article of the covenant, while the others
guard against departures from primal principles of vital moment.

The "Sabbath" was a recognized institution long before the days of
Moses. Traces of its strict and sacred observance in the ancestral
home of Abraham are disclosed in the Assyrian records unearthed
in these later days. And now that the Lord, at Sinai, is drawing
away his covenant people from the sins and errors of their fathers
and neighbors, he reminds them that there is good in some of the
observances of the past, which they are not to forsake or forget.
"Remember," therefore he says, "the sabbath day to keep it holy"--as
your fathers in all their polytheism had a care to observe it of old.
Bear _that_ institution in mind, as worth your remembering.

And here again there is affirmed a principle which is for all time and
for all people. Although the reason for setting apart one day above
another for rest and worship is not on the surface of things, the
experiences of mankind, as well as the teachings of God's Word, go to
show that there is such a reason below the surface. In the long run,
man can do more work, and do it better, in six days of a week, than he
can in seven; and unless a man worships God at stated times, he is not
likely to worship him at all. So it is that God makes it a part of his
loving covenant between himself and his people, that ever and always
they shall worship him statedly, as well as worship him sincerely,
spiritually, and solely; because without this stated recognition of the
covenant, the covenant itself would be forgotten.

And now we come to the fifth of the ten covenant requirements: "Honor
thy father and thy mother." This also is in the affirmative form, and
for a very good reason. God is here declaring, as it were, that those
who are in legitimate authority are so far his representatives. He
wants it understood that while no other gods are in existence, even
in a subordinate place in the universe, he has his representatives
in various spheres of human government and rule, and they are to be
honored accordingly by his covenant people.

We are accustomed to speak of the division of the Ten Commandments into
two tables, the first comprising four requirements, and the second
six; but it will be seen that this fifth requirement belongs with the
preceding four in the group of those which look God-ward. It is as
though the one table pointed upward from ourselves, while the other
pointed outward. We are to honor those who are over us in the Lord,
not as our fellows, but as our superiors; not because of what they
are as men, but because they are, within the scope of their rule, the
representatives of our God.

By Oriental custom the terms "father" and "mother" are by no means
limited to one's natural parents, but are applicable to superiors in
years, or in wisdom, or in civil or religious station. This truth was
impressed on my mind by an incident in my journey across the desert
of Sinai. My companions in travel were two young men, neither of them
a relative of mine,--as my dragoman very well knew. When, however, in
mid-desert, we met an old Arab shaykh, through whose territory we were
to pass, my dragoman introduced me as the father of these young men.
"No, they are not my _sons_," I said to the dragoman; but his answer
was: "That's all right. Somebody must be father here." And when I found
that, according to the Arab idea, every party of travelers must have a
leader, and that the leader of a party was called its "father," I saw
that it would look better for me to be called the father of the young
men, than for one of them to be called my father.

Traces of this idea are found in the Bible use of the term "father." In
Genesis, Jabal is said to be "the father of such as dwell in tents,
and have cattle;"[273] the man who started the long line of nomad
shepherds. Jubal is called "the father of all such as handle the harp
and pipe;"[274] the pioneer instrumental musician of our race. Joseph
in Egypt speaks of himself as "a father to Pharaoh,"[275] in view of
the confidence reposed in him by the ruler of the empire. "Be unto me a
father and a priest,"[276] says Micah to the young Levite, in the days
of the Judges; because a religious guide is, in the East, counted as in
a peculiar sense a representative of God.

  [273] Gen. 4 : 20.

  [274] Gen. 4 : 21.

  [275] Gen. 45 : 8.

  [276] Judg. 17 : 10.

It is not merely that the terms "father" and "mother" _may_ include
others besides human parents, but it is that no Oriental would think
of limiting those terms to that relationship. Hence this fifth
requirement of the covenant of God's people with their God, just
as it stands, is in substance: Honor those who are over you in the
Lord, as the representatives of the Lord; for the powers that be are
ordained of God,[277] and he who fails to honor them lacks in due
honor to him who has deputed them to speak and to act for himself.
And herein is affirmed a principle which is as important to us to-day
as it was to the Israelites in the days of Moses. Indeed, it may be
questioned whether any precept of the ten covenant requirements has a
more specific bearing on the peculiar needs of the American people,
than this injunction to reverence those who are in authority because
they are God's representatives in their sphere. Anarchy can have no
tolerance in the mind of a child of God; but reverence for rightful
authority has its home there.

  [277] Rom. 13 : 1.

Turning from the first table of the covenant with its upward look,
to the second table with its outward look, we find that each new
requirement in its order stands for a great principle which is
applicable alike to all peoples and to all times, and which has its
basis in man's loving union with God. The first of this series, the
sixth of the ten requirements, is: "Thou shalt not kill;" or, "Thou
shalt do no murder." Here is a great deal more than an ordinance
forbidding the striking down to death of a fellow-man. Here is a call
of God to guard sacredly the life of every child of God, as that which
is dear to God. In the Oriental world, as in the primitive world
generally, blood stands for life, and life is supposed to proceed from
God and to return to God. When, therefore, an Oriental is told that he
must not take it upon himself to shed another's blood, he realizes that
that prohibition is equivalent to saying that it is not for him to
decide when a life that God has given shall be recalled to God.

This idea it is that runs through the whole system of what is popularly
known as "blood revenge" in the East. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by
man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man,"[278]
was the declaration of God as early as the days of Noah; and it is
in the line of that declaration that any man in the East who sheds
another's blood must surrender his own blood to the other's family, at
the present day--as ever since the days of Noah. Not personal revenge,
but divine equity, is the real basis of this system. Not because the
life belongs to the man, but because it belongs to God, must it be
guarded sacredly, and be accounted for--if taken away.

  [278] Gen. 9 : 6.

It is on this principle that the civil magistrate, as the messenger
of God, takes the life of one who has taken another's life, in these
days of the Christian dispensation. "He beareth not the sword in vain:
for he is a minister of God, an avenger for wrath to him that doeth
evil."[279] A child of God must count sacred every life which God has
given; and except while acting as a specific messenger of God, he must
never send back a human life to God.

  [279] Rom. 13 : 4.

The seventh covenanting requirement is a call to regard the family
institution as an institution of God's appointing, and to refrain from
aught that tends to its injury. "Thou shalt not commit adultery" means
a great deal more than Refrain from unchastity because of its harm to
yourself or to your neighbor. It means, Guard God's primal institution
for man, as an institution which God holds dear. At the very beginning
of the race, it was ordained of God that one man and one woman--the
twain, not the three, or the four, but the twain--should be one flesh
in loving union.[280] This institution of God's ordaining is dear to
God, and it ought to be dear to every child of his; therefore God
says to those who would be in loving compact with him, "Thou shalt
not commit adultery." Because your and my interests are made one, you
must not, you cannot, as my loving people, do aught that shall prove
injurious to the family--to the institution which I have established,
and which is dear to my heart.

  [280] Gen. 2 : 24.

This, again, is not an arbitrary commandment; nor is it one for a
single period, or for a single people only. It is the enunciation of
a principle which is vital to the well-being of all peoples at all
times. It was so from the beginning, and it must be so unto the end.
The family is the unit in the State and in the Church. It must not be
ignored in the realm of society, of government, or of religion. He who
would be true to God must be true to the institution of the family. And
who shall say that we have no need of remembering this truth in our
land and day?

The eighth requirement of the covenant guards the rights of property
as within the plan and ordering of God. "Thou shalt not steal" is
announced as an article of the loving compact of God's people with
their God. Not merely because your fellow-man would object to your
taking his property from him, but because the rights of property are of
divine appointment, are you to refrain from claiming as your own that
which now belongs to another.

This idea of regarding property rights as of God's appointment is
peculiarly prevalent in the Oriental mind. The lines of tribal division
in the desert are recognized as having divine sanction; and now, as
in the days of old, it is hardly less than sacrilege to remove an
ancient landmark in the East. Tribes which are at enmity will make
raids across these border lines for purposes of plunder; but this is
in the nature of what "civilized" nations call a "military necessity."
Again, a stranger who enters a tribal domain without obtaining consent
is treated as a smuggler, and all his property is confiscated
accordingly. This, however, merely shows the primitive origin of the
"high tariff" principle. Orientals who plunder from their enemies, or
who collect impost duties from immigrants, do so in the belief that God
sanctions these habits of the ages.

When one of the Arabs of our party, in crossing the desert of Sinai,
found he had dropped a bag of meal, he went back to look for it, in
perfect confidence that it would be left untouched by others. On my
asking him if he had no fear that another Arab had carried it off, he
replied that no Arab would steal from an Arab. Dr. Edward Robinson[281]
saw a black tent hanging on a tree, where, as he was told, it had
remained a full year awaiting its owner's return; and he says that if
a loaded camel dies on the desert its owner draws a circle in the sand
about it, and leaves it without any fear that it will be disturbed in
his absence. Burckhardt[282] illustrates the estimate put by the Arabs
on stealing, by the story of an Arab father who bound his own son hand
and foot, and cast him headlong to death from a precipice, because the
son had stolen from one of his tribal fellows. Life can only be taken
at the call of God; but, according to this Oriental view, he who
violates the property rights of one of God's children forfeits his very
life to God.

  [281] _Biblical Researches_, 11th ed., I., 142.

  [282] _Travels in Syria and the Holy Land_, p. 475 f.

The principle underlying this estimate of the sacredness of property
rights, like every other principle enunciated in the Decalogue, is not
an outgrowth of an arbitrary commandment, but it inheres in the very
nature of God's dealings with the sons of men. What hast thou that
thou didst not receive by God's consent?[283] What has thy fellow that
he did not receive by the same permission? It is God who gives. It is
for God to take away.[284] No loving child of God will refuse to heed
the limits which his Father has assigned in the distribution of his
possessions among the children of his love. That was the way in which
the Orientals were taught to look at it. That is the way in which we
ought to view it. Anti-property communism is rebellion against God.

  [283] 1 Cor. 4 : 7.

  [284] Job 1 : 21.

Ninth in the list of the covenant requirements comes the summons to
hold in sacred regard the personal reputation, or good name, of every
child of God. "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor"
is a prohibition of slander, or of careless speech affecting the
good name of one's fellow-man. This is not, as many have supposed, a
mere injunction to truthful speech on all occasions. Lying needs no
specific prohibition in a loving compact between God and his people;
although the duty of truthfulness is inseparable from the thought
of any compact with God--who could not be God if he were to approve
untruthfulness.[285] But a disregard by man of the reputation of his
fellow-man does need to be guarded against in such a compact; therefore
its mention has a place here. A child's good name is always dear to
his father. He who loves and honors the father will not be heedless of
the reputation of the child. God is the Father of all. The good name
of every one of his children is dear to him. He who loves and honors
God will not be careless of the reputation of any one of God's dear
children. Therefore it is that, in the loving covenant of God with his
people, it is declared that love for God includes a truthful fidelity
to the good name of every child of God.

  [285] Num. 23 : 19.

How the application of this principle comes home to us in our social
life as God's children! We are jealous of the good name of the members
of our own families. We are tender of the reputation of those whom we
know to be very dear to our dearest friends. But how careless we are of
the good name of those in whom we feel no special concern, or of the
reputation of those who happen to be personally disagreeable to us!
We hear and repeat the words spoken to their discredit without knowing
whether or not those words are true. By our unguarded speech or looks
we help, perhaps, to give a false impression to others concerning them.
And all the while they are God's dear children, and every spiteful or
thoughtless blow at them is a stroke at him. Is this consistent with
our claim of loving union with their God and ours?

It was in the line of this principle that our Lord Jesus gave emphasis
to his one new commandment, that those who loved him should love one
another, as being dear to him;[286] and, again, that he declared that
whoever ministered tenderly to one of his disciples should be reckoned
as ministering to himself.[287] God links himself in loving sympathy
with all his children, and he wants their welfare to be held dear by
all who hold him dear.

  [286] John 13 : 34.

  [287] Matt. 25 : 40.

And now we come to the tenth and last of the requirements of this
covenant. Here we find an injunction that goes deeper than those which
precede it on the second tablet of the written compact. "Thou shalt not
covet." Not only, Thou shalt not openly disregard human life, or the
family institution, or the property or the reputation of any one of
thy fellows; but, Thou shalt not want to do any of these things. Thou
shalt recognize thine own lot, and thy possessions, and the lot and the
possessions of others, as God's assignment to thee and to them; and
thou shalt be contented within the sphere which he has deemed best for
thee.

This requirement in the second table of the compact corresponds with
the third requirement in the first table. The one says that the child
of God must be sincere and unfeigned in his loving devotedness to God
as his Father; the other says that the child of God must accept in all
heartiness his Father's ordering concerning himself, in his relations
to all his brothers and sisters in the great family of God.

Here it is that we find the more spiritual teachings of the Decalogue
concerning man's obligations to his fellow-man in the loving service of
God, as they are pointed out, and emphasized in the words of Jesus, in
what we call the Sermon on the Mount.[288] Here it is that the lesson
comes home to us that it is not enough for us to refrain from actual
murder and adultery and theft and false witnessing; but that it is
inconsistent with our devotedness to God as our loving Father for us to
have a hateful thought toward one of his dear children; for us to look
longingly in the direction of another family assignment than that which
is ours in the way of God's appointment; for us to turn a wistful or
an envious thought toward any possession of another which we have no
right to seek after. And all this is not of God's arbitrary commanding,
but is in the very essence of God's loving covenanting with his chosen
people. Therefore it is that the Apostle urges Christians to keep
themselves from "fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and
covetousness, the which is _idolatry_;"[289] the indulging in which is
being untrue to God as one's covenant God.

  [288] Matt. 5 : 3 to 7 : 27.

  [289] Col. 3 : 5.

       *       *       *       *       *

And now in the light of these disclosures of the nature and meaning
of the successive clauses of this covenant of God with his Oriental
people, let us look back upon it as a whole in its spirit and
teachings, in order that we may see what is covered by it, and wherein
its applications are for us as well as for God's people of old. God
must be recognized as God alone. No heart can love God as God, unless
that heart loves God wholly. God must be worshiped spiritually; for
spiritual things are spiritually discerned, and only as a man is lifted
above sight and sense can he be in communion with the spiritual and
the infinite. Union with God must be sincere and unfeigned; for only
by a complete and willing surrender of one's self can one's self
be merged into a holy and infinite Personality. The loving worship
of God must have its stated times, and hence, of course, its stated
places, in order to have its fitting hold on the worshiper; and the
recognition of this truth in the covenant is the authorization of all
legitimate seasons and methods of worship. God's representatives in the
family, in the State, and in the Church, are to be honored as God's
representatives; and herein is the authorization of all right forms of
human rule. These are the teachings of the first table of the covenant;
and those of the second table are like unto them.

He who loves God must love those who are God's. As the Apostle
expresses it: "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he
is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen,
cannot love God whom he hath not seen. And [therefore] this [second]
commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God love his brother
also."[290] Every child of man is a child of God. Wayward and prodigal
son though he be, he still is one who was made in the image of God; and
his Father's heart goes out toward him unfailingly in love. Hence he
who loves the Father must guard with sacredness the life of every child
of that Father. He must honor the institution of the family, which is
the human hope of the children of that Father. He must hold dear the
property possessions and the good name of each and every child of that
Father. And in his heart there must be such love for that Father's
children as the children of his Father, that he will have no wish to do
aught that shall harm any one of them in any degree.

  [290] 1 John 4 : 20, 21.

Thus it is that the spirit and substance of the entire covenant compact
stand out in those words of our Lord which lose their meaning if we
look at the Ten Commandments as ten arbitrary commandings of God. When
a certain lawyer came to Jesus with the knotty question, "Master,
which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said unto him: "Thou
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy
soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment.
And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as
thyself. On these two commandments hangeth the whole law, and the
prophets."[291] And thus it is that we are enabled to realize that
"love ... is the fulfilment of the law."[292]

  [291] Matt. 22 : 36-40.

  [292] Rom. 13 : 10.

The "Ten Commandments" are the law, the law of the covenant of love;
but, be it remembered, they are not the "Mosaic law." They were not
originated by Moses; nor were they done away with when the Mosaic
law was fulfilled and abrogated in Christ. They are the law of the
promptings of love; an orderly statement of the principles which rule
in a heart which is devoted to God. Their origin is in the nature of
God; and their continuance must be coexistent with the needs of the
children of God. With all our shortcomings in love, and with all our
failures in fidelity to our covenant-union with God in Christ Jesus,
just so far as we are in oneness with God by faith shall we be true to
the principles of this covenant-compact of God with his people. "God
is love; and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth
in him."[293] "And hereby know we that we know him, if we keep his
commandments."[294]

  [293] 1 John 4 : 16.

  [294] 1 John 2 : 3.



INDEXES



TOPICAL INDEX


  Aaron, God's covenant with, 17.

  Ababde women, reference to, 99.

  "Abusers of the salt," 110.

  Added traces of the rite, 123-130.

  "Agreement" used interchangeably with "covenant," 5.

  Alexis, Grand Duke, reference to, 125.

  "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves," reference to, 254.

  Altar and table as synonymous, 85.

  "Ancient Mariner," reference to, 135.

  Animal food supplies lack of salt, 38.

  Antony and Cleopatra, reference to, 55.

  Arabia, Bed'ween of, reference to, 110.

  "Arabian Nights," reference to, 64.

  Arabs: regard for salt covenant among, 29;
    not accustomed to put salt on table, 29 f.;
    rite of bread and salt among, 31;
    John Macgregor taken prisoner by, 32 f.;
    swearing by salt of, 54;
    milk sometimes accepted as substitute for salt by, 62;
    honesty of, 111 f., 166.

  Archeology: its value compared with philology, 4.

  Ark of the covenant, reference to, 145.

  Armenians, supply of salt cut off, 43.

  "Arrangement," used interchangeably with "covenant," 5.

  Arvieux: cited, 34.

  Asiatic cholera promoted by lack of salt, 46.

  Asiatic Quarterly Review, reference to, 46.

  Assyrian roots, gain of looking among, 4.

  Assyrian: word for "salt," 76;
    words translated "covenant," 6 f.

  "Attic salt," synonym of life in conversation, 68.


  Babe: anoint with blood, 59;
    more life to a, 59.

  Bancroft, H. H.: cited, 57, 95.

  Band, symbol and pledge of union, 7.

  Barley-meal cakes employed in sacrifice, 94.

  Bartholow, Dr.: cited, 41.

  Battas, in Sumatra, form of oath of, 123.

  Bed'ween, conventions for covenants of, 30 f.

  Bey, Durzee, reference to, 24.

  Bheels, in India, reference to, 60.

  Bible: references to the rite in, 17;
    carried over threshold of new house, 76, 106;
    estimate of treachery in, 113.

  Bingham's "Antiquities:" cited, 89.

  Bird Bishop, Isabella: cited, 47, 100.

  Birth of child, salt at, 61.

  Blackwood's Magazine, reference to, 127.

  "Blood Covenant": reference to, 6, 7, 8, 9, 41, 45, 48, 53,
  54, 59, 60, 62, 67, 79, 85, 86, 117, 118, 119, 120, 147.

  Blood: fresh, drunk by people of Masai, 37;
    salt representing, 37-50;
    drained from animals slaughtered by Jews, 39;
    transfusion of, 41;
    use of, as food, 41;
    red corpuscles of, 42 f.;
    saline ingredients in, 42 f.;
    anointing a new-born babe with, 59;
    Kaffir new chief washed in, 60;
    represented by wine, 117;
    atoned for by blood, 137;
    sprinkled by Moses, 148;
    shedding man's, 162 f.

  "Blood-licker" in Mecca, 48.

  "Blood revenge" in the East, 163.

  Blunt, on Book of Common Prayer: cited, 80.

  Bock, Carl: cited, 61.

  "Boiling water, ordeal of," 101.

  Booddhists in China, customs among, 92.

  Bracelet as symbol and pledge of union, 7.

  Brâhmanas, reference to, 90 f.

  Bread: salt as an accompaniment of, 14;
    and salt, 23-34;
    significance of, 79, 80;
    and flesh, 119.

  Bridal couple, sprinkled with salt, 128 f.

  Browning, Mrs., quotation from, 55.

  Buchanan, Dr., reference to, 41.

  Bunge, Professor: cited, 38, 39, 123.

  Burckhardt: cited, 24, 99 f., 100, 166.

  Burder: cited, 31, 110, 112.

  Burning Lamps, Feast of, 92 f.

  Burning of salt, 99 f.

  Burton: cited, 24;
    quotation from, 26.

  Bush's illustrations, reference to, 109.

  Buxtorf: cited, 87 f.

  Cadamosto, Aloisio, reference to, 69.

  Cannibals, bathing body of chief in salt after death, 61.

  Catacazy, Madame de, reference to, 125.

  Ceres, reference to, 23.

  Cattle, salt as meaning, 91.

  Characteristics of a covenant, 3-10.

  Chemist's use of term "salt," 39.

  China: blood substitute for salt in, 38;
    depriving a person of salt a mode of punishment in, 42;
    customs among Booddhists in, 92.

  Church, salt in dedication of a, 90.

  Cicero, reference to, 68.

  Circumcision as token of a covenant, 8.

  Clapperton: cited, 24.

  "College salting," 128.

  Collitz, Professor Hermann, reference to, 50, 74.

  "Compact," used interchangeably with "covenant," 5.

  "Conventions," Bed'ween, 30 f.

  Corpse, salt on a, in Scotland, 103.

  Cosmas, reference to, 69.

  Covenant: meaning of the word, 3 f.;
    characteristics of a, 3-10;
    etymology of, 5;
    words used interchangeably with, 5;
    marriage a, 7;
    circumcision as token of, 8;
    various kind of, 9, 13;
    Bible references to, 17.

  Covenanting, exchange of tokens and symbols in, 8.

  Cross, sign of the, reference to, 89.

  Curative powers of salt, 43 f.

  Customs preceding words, 9.


  Dacier, reference to, 70, 88.

  Daraon, burning of salt among people of, 99.

  Darius, King, directing supply from royal treasury, 20.

  David, God's covenant with, 17 f.

  Da Vinci's painting, reference to, 113.

  Dead body, salt on breast of, 104.

  Dead Sea, reference to, 58, 134.

  Death: from _salts-hunger_, 42;
    salt used at, 61;
    or life, 133-138.

  Dedication of a church, 90.

  Definition, not easily reached, 5.

  Delitzsch, Friedrich: cited, 7.

  Denham: cited, 24.

  _Dhar_, used in treaty of peace, 123.

  Diab, Joseph, reference to, 28.

  Discovery of salt as article of diet, 41.

  Disputes settled by salt and water, 124.

  Divination, salt in, 99-106.

  Division of Ten Commandments, 159 f.

  Doolittle: cited, 100.

  Doughty: cited, 24.

  Du Tott, Baron, quotation from, 27, 28.

  Dyer, Thistleton: quotation from, 104;
    cited, 113, 137, 138.

  Eassie, W.: cited, 62.

  Ebionites, salt and bread employed by, 50.

  Edwards's "History of West Indies," quotation from, 60.

  Egypt: salt forbidden to priests in ancient, 55;
    Feast of Burning Lamps in, 92 f.;
    burning salt in, 99;
    Muhammadan Arabs in, 100.

  Egyptian: use of salt in sacrifice, 93;
    idea of wine and blood, 118;
    collection of taxes, 130.

  Egyptians, table an altar among, 85.

  El Hejaz, Bed'ween of, reference to, 110.

  Elijah, reference to, 58.

  Elisha, reference to, 57.

  Elizabeth, Queen, reference to, 126.

  Elkesaites, bread and salt employed by, 50.

  Ellis's "History of Madagascar:" cited, 8.

  England, burning salt in, 101.

  Esquimaux, value of blood among, 39.

  Etruscan: symbolism, 93;
    customs, salt in, 105.

  Etymology of "covenant," 5.

  Eucharist, salt in the, 89.

  "Evil eye:" reference to, 100 f.;
    treatment received by James Napier for, 101 f.

  Evil spirits, exorcising, 99.

  Exactness of definition not to be reached, 5.

  Exchange of tokens and symbols as a means of covenanting, 8.

  Exorcism, salt in, 99-106.


  Faithlessness to salt, 109-114.

  "Father," Oriental meaning of, 160.

  Feast of Burning Lamps, 92 f.

  Fidelity to salt, 130.

  Finn, Mrs., quotation from, 32.

  "Fire: salted with," 65;
    salt leaping up in, 95;
    salt thrown into, 100.

  Fish, salt in Dead Sea in lieu of, 58.

  Flesh and bread, 119.

  Flies, dead, life brought to, by salt, 63.

  Flood, use of blood as food forbidden after the, 41.

  Floor, salt sprinkled upon, 100.

  Florus, reference to, 55.

  Food: salt indispensable in, 14;
    use of blood as, 41.

  Ford, George A.: cited, 101.

  Founder of Saffaride dynasty, 27.

  Fourmeaux, L.: cited, 40.

  Frazer: quotation from, 110;
    cited, 118 f.

  "Freshman, salting a," 128.

  "Friendship the Master-Passion," reference to, 9.

  Funeral, salt scattered at threshold after, 100.

  Furness, W. H., 3d, reference to, 124.

  Germans, waging war for saline streams, 59.

  German Jews, customs among, 86.

  Gesenius: cited, 7, 109.

  Ghoorka salt, eating, 110.

  Ginger root, salt and, given as wedding-cake, 124.

  God's covenant with his people, 150 f.

  Gold, salt in exchange for, 69.

  Greek Church, salt deemed essential in Eucharist by, 89.

  Greek words translated "covenant," 7.

  Griffis, William Elliot: cited, 47, 100.

  Grimm, reference to, 74.

  Gümpel, C. Godfrey: cited, 45.

  Gypsies, Hungarian customs among, 129.


  Hall, Bishop, reference to, 127.

  Hamelin, M.: cited, 34.

  Hamlin, Dr.: cited, 24.

  Harmer: cited, 24.

  Harper's Latin Dictionary, reference to, 94, 96.

  Hospitality, salt symbol of, 126.

  Hebrew roots, gain of looking among, 4.

  Hebrew words translated "covenant," 6 f.

  Hebrews, forbidden to eat "with the blood," 62.

  Hehn, Victor: reference to, 69;
    quotation from, 70.

  Hemorrhage, salt administered in, 40.

  Henderson: cited, 103, 104, 137, 138.

  Henniker, Sir Frederick, reference to, 49.

  Herodotus: reference to, 92;
    cited, 119.

  Hilprecht, Dr. Herman V.: cited, 76.

  "Holy water:" salt essential element of, 90;
    and salt mingled in food and drink, 101.

  Homer: cited, 53, 94.

  "Honey, milk and," symbol of blood and flesh, 80.

  Howell, W. H.: cited, 41, 42.

  Hungarian gypsies, customs among, 129.

  Hungary, wedding customs in, 128.


  Iago, reference to, 55.

  Ideas precede words, 3.

  Importance of salt in covenant, 32.

  Infant, salt put into mouth of, 90.

  Inspiration by wine, 118.

  Intoxication by wine, 118.


  Jabal, reference to, 160.

  Japheth, reference to, 41.

  Jastrow, Rev. Dr. Marcus: cited, 57, 86, 112, 137.

  Jesus: references of, to salt, 64 f.;
    new commandment of, 169.

  Jews: careful to drain blood from slaughtered animals, 39;
    observing covenant of salt at table, 84;
    table customs among, 87.

  Josephus: cited, 83.

  Jubal, reference to, 161.

  Judas Iscariot, reference to, 113.


  "Kadesh-barnea," reference to, 58.

  Kaffir chief, washed in blood upon assuming authority, 60.

  Karna, reference to, 34.

  Kauravas, reference to, 34.

  Kluge: cited, 74.

  Kohler, Dr. K.: cited, 88.

  Kookies of India, treaty of peace among, 123.

  Koordistan, salt lake in region of, 59.

  Krishna, reference to, 34.

  Kuhn: cited, 74.


  Laiss-safar, worker in brass and copper, 26.

  Lane: cited, 24, 64, 100.

  Lange, reference to, 65.

  Layard: cited, 26.

  Lea, Henry C.: cited, 101, 124.

  "League," used interchangeably with "covenant," 5.

  Lebanon region, blood covenant in, 48.

  Leland, quotation from, 93.

  Leprosy, prominence of salt as cure for, 45.

  Life: dependent on salt, 42;
    salt representing, 53-70;
    seasoned with, 67;
    and light, 73-76;
    savor of, 133-138.

  Light, life and, 73-76.

  Livingstone, Dr. David: cited, 37 f., 38.

  London Court Journal, reference to, 125.

  London Quarterly Review, reference to, 43.

  Lot's wife turned to pillar of salt, 103.

  Lying, reference to, 167 f.


  Macgregor, John, experiences with Arabs, 32 f., 33.

  Macrae, quotation from, 126.

  Macrobius: cited, 49.

  Madagascar, covenant of salt in, 34.

  Mahabharata, quoted and cited, 33 f.

  Man offered in sacrifice, 91.

  Marie, Princess, reference to, 125.

  Marriage: a covenant, 7;
    salt and bread placed under threshold at, 106.

  Martène: cited, 101.

  "Martyrdom of an Empress," 129.

  Masai people, reference to, 37.

  Meal, salt of the covenant not to be lacking from the, 18.

  Meaning of the word "covenant," 3 f.

  Means of a merged life, 141, 142.

  Meat, eating of, as a pledge, 24.

  Mecca, "blood-lickers" in, reference to, 48.

  Mediterranean Sea, water not to be taken from, 70.

  Merged life, means of, 141, 142.

  Merrill, Selah: cited, 24.

  "Merry Wives of Windsor," reference to, 55.

  Message-bearer, salt in hand of, 126.

  Meyer's commentary, reference to, 65.

  Milk: substitute for salt, 62;
    used instead of blood, 62.

  "Milk and honey" standing for blood and flesh, 80.

  "Milk brothers," reference to, 62.

  Money, salt as, 69.

  Morier, James, reference to, 54.

  Morris's "China:" cited, 92.

  Morton, Dr. Thomas G.: cited, 41.

  Mountains of salt, 70.

  Müller, F. Max, reference to, 91 f.

  Moody, D. L., reference to, 156.

  Moses, reference to, 148, 158.

  "Mother," Oriental meaning of term, 160.

  Mount Sinai, Moses at, 148.


  Name signifying personality, 155 f.

  Naming child, ceremony of, 124.

  Napier, James: cited, 101 f., 104, 138.

  Neptune, reference to, 23.

  Nicoll, reference to, 65.

  Niebuhr: cited, 24.

  Noah: use of blood as food forbidden to, 41;
    reference to, 163.

  Norwach: cited, 7, 14, 137.


  Oath: Oriental form of, 54;
    different forms of, 123.

  "Obligation," used interchangeably with "covenant," 5.

  Old Testament, word "covenant" in, 18.

  Oriental: form of oath, 54;
    meaning of terms "father" and "mother," 160;
    summit of treachery, 111.

  Orientals, Bible written by, 146.

  Othello, reference to, 55.

  Oxford University, giving salt to students in, 127.


  Page, Master, reference to, 54.

  Pasha, Arabi, reference to, 130.

  Pasha, Moldovanji, reference to, 28.

  Paul, reference to, 67.

  Perley, quotation from, 125.

  Perpetuity, salt as symbol of, 84.

  Perspiration, salt shown in, 40.

  Philinus, reference to, 56.

  Philology, archeology sometimes more valuable than, 4.

  Pierrotti: cited, 24.

  Plato, reference to, 53.

  Pledge, eating meat as a, 24.

  Pliny: cited, 45, 68, 70, 73, 94, 119.

  Plutarch: cited, 23, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 119.

  Poison of rattlesnake, 43.

  Polo, Marco: cited, 69.

  Preface to Ten Commandments, 150.

  Price's "Mohammedan History:" cited, 27, 42.

  Priests, salt forbidden to, 55.

  Primitive covenanting, 6.

  "Promise," used interchangeably with "covenant," 5.

  Pythagoras: reference to, 70;
    quotation from, 88.


  Quain's "Dictionary of Medicine:" cited, 40, 62.


  Ralston's "Songs of Russian People:" cited, 106.

  Raphel, Don: reference to, 30;
    quotation from, 31;
    cited, 111 f.

  Rattlesnake, poison of, 43.

  Rawlinson's "Ancient Egypt," quotation from, 93.

  Resuscitating drowned persons by salt, 63.

  Richardson's English Dictionary, reference to, 96.

  Ring as symbol and pledge of union, 7.

  Robbery attempted by Yakoob, 26 f.

  Robinson, Dr. Edward: cited, 166.

  Rodd's "Customs:" cited, 101.

  Rosenmuller: cited, 30;
    reference to, 54.

  Russell's "Natural History of Aleppo," quotation from, 24.


  "Sabbath," a recognized institution before Moses, 158.

  Sacrifice on threshold, 47.

  Sacrifices, salt in, 83-96.

  "Sacrificial essence, the," 91.

  Saffaride dynasty, founder of, 27.

  Saffaride Kaleefs, story of the origin of the dynasty of, 26.

  St. Augustine: cited, 89.

  St. Peter, fresh water changed to salt by, 59.

  Saïs, annual festival at, 92.

  Salary, derivation of word, 68.

  Saline injections, 40.

  Salt: as preservative, 14;
    indispensable in food, 14;
    spoken of as an accompaniment of bread, 14;
    a vital element, 18;
    covenant of, perpetual and unalterable, 18;
    of the covenant not to be lacking, 18;
    in many lands the possession of government, 19;
    bread and, 23-34;
    nothing eatable without, 23;
    on a common table, 29 f.;
    importance of, to a covenant, 32;
    representing blood, 37-50;
    and salts, 39;
    discovery of as article of diet, 41;
    as antidote for snake-bite, 43;
    as saline ingredient of blood, 43;
    curative powers of, 43 f.;
    supply of, cut off from Armenians, 43;
    strewn on threshold, 47;
    representing life, 53-70;
    and sun, 73-76;
    in sacrifices, 83-96;
    in the Eucharist, 89;
    as sacrificial essence, 91;
    leaping up in fire, 95;
    in divination, 99-106;
    in exorcism, 99-106;
    not to be carried out of house after dark, 101;
    on a corpse in Scotland, 103;
    carried across threshold upon entering new house, 106;
    faithlessness to, 109-114;
    and ginger root given as wedding-cake, 124;
    water mocking thirst, 135.

  Salt-cellar as point of division on family-table, 126.

  Salt-making, ordinary process of, 75.

  Salted cake, essential in sacrificial offering, 94.

  Salted water, drinking of, as a covenant, 48.

  "Salted with fire," 65.

  "Salting a freshman," 128.

  Salts, salt and, 39.

  Salts-hunger, death from, 42.

  Samaria, woman of, reference to, 157.

  Samoyedes dipping flesh in blood before eating it, 38.

  Sanskrit roots, gain of looking among, 4.

  Savor of death, 133-138.

  Savor of life, 133-138.

  Sayce, Professor A. H., reference to, 74.

  Schrader, O.: cited, 74.

  Schultz, Stephen: cited, 28, 29 f., 30.

  Scipio, reference to, 68.

  Scotland, salt on a corpse in, 103.

  Scott, Sir Walter, quotation from, 127.

  Seal killing by Esquimaux, 39.

  Seasoned: with life, 67;
    with salt, 67.

  Second requirement of God's covenant, 153.

  Sentiment valuable in research, 5.

  Septuagint, The, reference to, 33, 84.

  Settling dispute by salt and water, 124.

  Shallow, Justice, reference to, 54.

  Shewbread, salt on table of, 84.

  Shooter's "Kafirs:" cited, 60.

  Sign of the cross, reference to, 89.

  Significance of bread, 79, 80.

  "Sin-eaters," reference to, 105.

  "Sitting below the salt," 126.

  Sixth requirement of God's covenant, 162.

  Skeat: cited, 74.

  Smith, George Adam, quotation from, 134.

  Smith, W. Robertson: cited, 14, 24, 48, 59, 62, 137.

  Snake-bite, salt as antidote for, 43.

  Sodom destroyed because of faithlessness to salt, 112.

  "Son" and "sun" from same root, 73.

  Spencer, Herbert: cited, 123, 126.

  Spilling of salt, 138.

  Stanley, Henry M., reference to, 46 f.

  Stealing, Arab estimate of, 166.

  Stevens, Dr. W.: cited, 43.

  Stewart's "Manual of Physiology:" reference to, 42;
    quotation from, 123.

  Strassburg University, reference to, 128.

  Strickland, Agnes: cited 126.

  Student, in Journal of Asiatic Society, giving salt to, 127.

  "Studies in Oriental Social Life," 14, 23, 24, 58.

  Substitute together with reality, 117-120.

  Substituting salt for blood, 37.

  Sun, salt and, 73-76.

  Supply of salt cut off from Armenians, 43.

  Survey of Western Palestine, reference to, 32.

  Swearing by salt, 54.

  Sword, salt on blade of, 49.

  Syrophoenician woman, reference to, 88.


  Table: of shewbread, salt on, 84;
    an altar, 85;
    customs among Jews, 87.

  Tacitus: cited, 135.

  Tamerlane, Mongol-Tartar chieftain reference to, 109.

  Tatar tradition of salt, 41.

  Taxation in Egypt, 130.

  Tears, salt shown in, 40.

  Ten Commandments, division of, 159 f.

  Thirst, salt water mocking, 135.

  Thomson, W. M.: cited, 24;
    quotation from, 37.

  "Three," value as sacred number, 103.

  Threshold: pouring blood on, 47;
    Bible carried across, in new house, 76;
    salt and candle carried across, 76;
    salt scattered at, 100;
    salt and Bible carried across, in new house, 106;
    salt and bread under, 106.

  "Threshold Covenant," reference to, 6, 47, 106, 117, 128, 130.

  Torture: depriving of salt as a means of, 42;
    treachery, Oriental summit of, 111;
    Bible summit of, 113.

  "Treaty," used interchangeably with "covenant," 5.

  Truce between enemies, sharing water as, 23 f.

  Twain made one, 7.


  Van Lennep: cited, 61.

  Various kinds of covenant, 9.

  Vegetable: diet used by those who take salt, 38;
    life, salt destructive of, 133.

  Virgil, reference to, 94.

  Volney: cited, 31.


  Warburton: cited, 24.

  Water: sharing of, 23;
    fountain of, cured, 58;
    not to be dipped from Mediterranean Sea, 70.

  Wellhausen: cited, 95.

  Wetzstein: cited, 24.

  Wheeler's "History of India:" cited, 34.

  Wilkinson's "Ancient Egypt:" cited, 93.

  Wine: representing blood, 117;
    and salt, 119.

  Wit, salt equivalent of, 67.

  Woman of Samaria, reference to, 157.

  Words: ideas precede, 3;
    limitations and imperfectness of, 3;
    customs precede, 9.


  Yakoob, a robber chieftain, 26.

  "Youth, salt of," 54.

  Yudhishthira, reference to, 34.


  Zerubbabel, rebuilding of the temple by, 19.



SCRIPTURAL INDEX



  GENESIS.

  TEXT                    PAGE

   2 : 24                  164
   4 : 20, 21              161
   9 : 4                    41
   9 : 6                   163
  17 : 1-14                  8
  17 : 14                  114
  18 : 1-8                 120
  19 : 24, 25               66
  24 : 12-14                24
  31 : 54                  120
  45 : 8                   161
  49 : 11                  117

  EXODUS.

   3 : 8, 17                80
   9 : 23, 24               66
  13 : 5                    80
  20 : 1-17                145
  20 : 2              150, 151
  23 : 19                   88
  23 : 19; 34 : 26          62
  24 : 7, 8                148
  25 : 22                  145
  26 : 33, 34              143
  29 : 40                  119
  30 : 6, 26               145
  30 : 34, 35               84
  31 : 7                   145
  32 : 15                  145
  33 : 3                    80
  34 : 26                   88
  34 : 28                  149
  34 : 29                  145
  39 : 35                  145
  40 : 3, 5, 21            145
  40 : 20                  149

  LEVITICUS.

   2 : 13                   18
   2 : 13                   83
   7 : 11-14               120
  10 : 2                    66
  13 : 52-57                66
  17 : 11                   54
  19 : 9, 10                88
  20 : 24                   80
  23 : 12, 13              119
  23 : 15-20               120

  NUMBERS.

   4 : 5                   145
   7 : 89                  145
  13 : 27                   80
  14 : 8                    80
  14 : 44                  145
  15 : 5, 10               119
  16 : 13, 14               80
  18 : 19                   17
  21 : 2, 3                137
  23 : 19                  168
  28 : 14                  119

  DEUTERONOMY.

   5 : 1-22                145
   6 : 3                    80
   9 : 15                  145
  10 : 8                   145
  11 : 9                    80
  12 : 23                   54
  14 : 21                   62
  14 : 21                   88
  17 : 2-7                 114
  23 : 3, 4                 24
  24 : 19-21                88
  26 : 9, 15                80
  27 : 3                    80
  29 : 23                  133
  31 : 9, 25, 26           145
  31 : 20                   80

  JOSHUA.

   3 : 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17 145
   4 : 7, 9, 18            145
   4 : 16                  145
   5 : 6                    80
   6 : 6, 8                145
   7 : 11-15               114
   8 : 33                  145

  JUDGES.

   2 : 20-23               114
   9 : 45                  134
  17 : 10                  161
  20 : 27                  145

  1 SAMUEL.

   4 : 3-5                 145
  25 : 10, 11               24

  2 SAMUEL.

  15 : 24                  145

  1 KINGS.

   3 : 15                  145
   6 : 19                  145
   8 : 1, 6                145
  18 : 4                    24

  2 KINGS.

   2 : 19-22                58
  18 : 11, 12              114

  1 CHRONICLES.

  15 : 25, 26, 28, 29      145
  16 : 6, 37               145
  17 : 1                   145
  22 : 19                  145
  28 : 2, 18               145

  2 CHRONICLES.

   5 : 2, 7                145
  13 : 5                    18

  EZRA.

   4 : 14                   20
   6 : 8-10                 20
   7 : 21, 22               83
   7 : 22                   20

  JOB.

   1 : 21                  167
  22 : 7                    24

  PSALMS.

  41 : 9                   111
  50 : 5, 16               142
  55 : 19-21               114
  107 : 33, 34             134

  ECCLESIASTES.

  39 : 26                  117
  50 : 15                  117

  ISAIAH.

  24 : 5, 6                114
  34 : 4                   136
  51 : 6                   136
  51 : 16                  136
  65 : 11                   85
  65 : 17                  136
  66 : 22                  136

  JEREMIAH.

   3 : 16                  145
  11 : 5                    80
  11 : 9-11                114
  17 : 6                   134
  32 : 22                   80
  34 : 17-20               114

  EZEKIEL.

  16 : 4                    61
  20 : 6, 15                20
  41 : 22                   85
  43 : 21-24                83
  47 : 11                  134

  HOSEA.

   1 : 10                  142
   6 : 4-7                 114
   8 : 1                   114

  ZEPHANIAH.

   2 : 9                   134

  MALACHI.

   1 : 6, 7                 85
   3 : 2, 3                 66

  1 MACCABEES.

   6 : 34                  117

  MATTHEW.

   3 : 12                   66
   5 : 3 to 7 : 27         170
   5 : 13                   65
   5 : 13, 14               75
   7 : 19                   66
  10 : 8                    75
  10 : 42                   24
  15 : 27                   88
  22 : 36-40               173
  25 : 40                  169
  26 : 26-28               119
  28 : 19                  156
  28 : 20                  151

  MARK.

   7 : 7-11                137
   9 : 41                   24
   9 : 49               65, 83
   9 : 50                   65
  14 : 22-24               119

  LUKE.

   3 : 17                   66
  14 : 34                   65
  22 : 19, 20              119

  JOHN.

   1 : 4                    76
   4 : 9                    24
   4 : 24                  157
  13 : 18                  111
  13 : 34                  169
  15 : 6                    66

  ROMANS.

   1 : 31                  114
   9 : 26                  142
  12 : 1                    67
  13 : 1                   161
  13 : 4                   163
  13 : 10                  173

  1 CORINTHIANS.

   3 : 13-15                66
   4 : 7                   167
  11 : 23-25               119

  2 CORINTHIANS.

   2 : 16                  133
  12 : 14                   67

  COLOSSIANS.

   3 : 5                   171
   4 : 6                    67

  2 TIMOTHY.

   2 : 19                  157

  HEBREWS.

   9 : 19                  148

  1 PETER.

   1 : 7                    66

  2 PETER.

   3 : 10-12               136
   3 : 13                  136

  1 JOHN.

   2 : 3                   174
   4 : 16                  174
   4 : 20, 21              172

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  Transcriber's notes

  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected but otherwise
  variations in spelling, punctuation and hyphenation have been
  retained. Italics are represented thus _i_, breve thus [)e] and
  macron is thus [=a].

  Repeated chapter headings on consecutive pages have been removed.
  Footnote 63. The word 'sum' in the original has been corrected to
  'sun', which is more reasonable in the context.





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