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ii. Shin like elohim and theos is the ordinary word for objects of worship. It is open however to serious objection.
1. Because of the difficulty inherent in the Chinese language, of elevating one of the class as Shin κατ' ἐξοχὴν.
2. Because it is too wide and means "spirit" as well as "gods. As there appears to be nothing left us but to choose between the two terms, it seems to me that sound philology as well as Scripture analogy compel us to use Shin, notwithstanding the objections to it. APPENDIX.
Our knowledge of the meaning of words is dependent on two sources, viz. etymology and usage. As etymology lies hidden in the depths of antiquity, it is sometimes uncertain, especially in the hands of one who has more imagination than judgment; still it is often of great use, especially in comparing the words of one language with those of another. Usage may be discovered in three ways: 1. By dictionaries; 2. By examining classic literature; and 3. By making ourselves acquainted with the modern popular use of a term. Besides these three, a technical usage of terms, which should generally be put aside as irrelevant; e. g. no one should translate ɛkkλŋa by "lodge," because that term is used by Masons to express an organized body of men,—or ETLOKOTOS by "head-centre," because the Fenians use this expression. So in Chinese, certain Tauist or Buddhist uses of words, which are confined to the initiated, are not a part of the general language of the country, and ought to have no place in a discussion on the use of terms.
Perhaps western scholars might have made better dictionaries than the Chinese have, and may find fault with much of the work of Chinese scholars; still it must be admitted that the native dictionaries have moulded the language, and Kang-hi will be referred to as the ultimate authority by most Chinese.
Classic usage of course lies back of dictionaries, and perhaps we may draw from this usage conclusions different from some of those of the native dictionary-makers. Still it is not our ideas of the meaning of a word, but those of the commentators and dictionary-makers which will settle it in the minds of the Chinese as a people.
Present usage may differ from ancient usage. A living language is not a dead thing. It is constantly growing, assimilating new words and ideas, changing the force of others, and rendering others obsolete. Shakespeare and King James' version of the Bible may be called our English classics, yet who would refer to them for the modern use of a word. Why is a new translation of the Bible demanded? Partly at least, because many of the words have changed their meaning (let for hinder, for example). A man who lives in his study, in the companionship of rusty tomes, may be fully convinced that from his standpoint a
certain word has a certain force, while another who mingles freely with the people-a living man among living men-may be just as certain that according to present usage, another word will convey the meaning better.
Let us look at the words under consideration in the light of these several sources of information.
Shin is composed of two parts, the radical π shé and the shin. The radical composed of "above" and "descend" means an omen,' a manifestation from heaven; and almost all the words under it are connected with worship or blessings conferred on man from on high. The phonetic in this case probably merely gives the sound.
The word Shin is described as the being (or energy) "that evolves or develops all things," and as that which "mysteriously influences all things." The chief idea seems to be that of a hidden, inscrutable power or being which produces the changes we see around us. It seems the nearest approach to the Creator that we can find in Chinese writers. The idea of mystery-inscrutability, seems inherent in the word. Compare with this our English word "God," which probably means "the Secret or Mysterious One," from Sanscrit guth, "to cover, to conceal."-Ogilvie.
A secondary meaning of the word is the "human soul or spirit;' probably because it is the hidden power within us. I hold this to be secondary; not only because it is put so in the dictionaries, but because from the composition of the word we see, that the idea of heavenly energy is the primary one.
The word is used for "deities" in the common language of the people. When they are urged to worship the Chin Shin or Shin, they naturally understand the "true Deity" or the "Deity," as soon as they understand it is not used in a plural sense. It is never understood of the human spirit, unless used in connection with a man. It is the ordinary adjective for "divine," and the generic term for "gods" in such expressions as "gods and men."
"above" as a component part, and "napkin," was anciently written This probably was only used to "pierce," it is akin to the Greek
(2.) ✈ Ti, like shin, has though now under the radical kin, with its'ze, "thorn," "to pierce." give the sound; if there is any force in δια δια dia "right through" in dia кpivw, &c. κρινω,
It is defined as "judge, investigate, scrutator," and as "he who rules the empire." The meanings are probably derivative, and we are to find the primary meaning in such definitions as "a name for Heaven," "one whose virtue accords with Heaven's." The original idea expressed by the word seems to be "one who investigates, judges"
human conduct. It is easy to see how such a title would be applied both to the supreme power in heaven and on earth.
In present usage, the word primarily means "the emperor." Any Chinese would understand Ti-tszè, as the emperor's son," Ti ngan, as "the emperor's favor," &c. Alone it would never be referred to "the Judge-the Ruler of the universe." With the epithet Shang, it might be understood as "the Lord," "the superior or supreme Judge-Ruler," &c. Whether in the Chinese classics, "the Lord," &c. meant Jehovah, or merely the supreme god in the Chinese pantheon, is a question which each investigator must settle for himself. If it originally referred to the Supreme Being, as I am inclined to think, it no doubt represented a very imperfect conception of that Being, who can be adequately known only by revelation. if the term formerly had this meaning, it has been degraded by centuries of idolatry, and would not now be understood of the Supreme Being, especially by the common people; as it is already appropriated as the title of certain popular idols.
That Shang-ti is used as a designation of several objects of worship admits of no question, but that it is in any sense a generic term, or the designation of the beings worshipped as a class, is out of the question. Even the merest tyro in Chinese would never think of translating "gods and men" by Ti jin; much less by LɅ, Shang-ti jin. Shang-ti is either generic or it is not. If it is, it stands in this respect on precisely the same ground as Shin, and can only be used for God Kar' ¿šoxǹv, or must be preceded by some epithet to distinguish it from the rest of the class. If it is not, it may be used as a designation of God-especially if it can be proved that the Shang-ti of the classics refers to "the true God."
SHALL T'IEN-CHÜ SUPERSEDE SHANG-TE AND SHIN?
BY REV. A. B. HUTCHINSON, C. M. S.
THE old arguments which are continually reappearing in the discussion of the quæstio vexata, as to the term to be used by Chinese Christians for "God," may possibly be reinforced and some freshness— not to say attractiveness-imparted by the introduction of a consideration, not available twenty-five years since, but which now seems to present itself with irresistible force. I mean the argument from experience.
In the two southern provinces of Fuhkien and Kwangtung, there are shown (by easily accessible statistics) to be at the present time over ten thousand native Protestant Christians, of whom all but about five hundred use Shang-te for "God." These Christians
are organized into native churches, ministered to most effectually in many instances by a native ordained ministry. In various places and at divers seasons, individually and collectively, the members of these congregations have endured bitter persecutions for the sake of the Lord who bought them; and now in their walk as Christians, and in their zeal for the conversion of the heathen around, they exhibit unmistakeable signs that they are undoubtedly recipients of divine grace, and that, in no stinted measure. "They continue stedfast in the apostles' doctrine, in fellowship, in breaking of bread and in prayers." From them it is not too much to say "is sounded out the word of the Lord" on every side. That such grace has been wonderfully vouchsafed to these churches during the past twenty-five years, is patent to every one who will patiently investigate for himself. Nor have special instances of Divine blessing been wanting; take for instance one recently to hand from a letter of the Rev. J. R. Wolfe of Foochow to Bishop Alford in March last, published in the Church Missionary Intelligencer of October, 1876, describing a scene at the native conference of the church there:-"We all prayed for a blessing, and as we were praying we all felt an indescribable impulse which broke forth into deep moans, and then in the loud wail of a hundred praying souls. It was a wail, a cry, an agonizing cry to God for mercy upon the heathen and upon ourselves. I was dumb when we all got up from our knees. The tears flowed and speech came; I never had seen anything like this. I felt such a real presence of God."
Let us as we bear these things in mind, remember that they are written of worshippers of God under the name of Shang-te. And now let us look at the statements which are being deliberately and repeatedly made by some of our brethren, and see what they involve. I will quote first from the Rev. Canon McClatchie's Confucian Cosmogony, 1874. He says: p. 145, "Shang-te is the identical Jupiter of the west;" p. 152, "Shang-te is evidently the Priapus of the west, and the Baal-peor of Scripture," &c. p. 156, "Shang-te is the Sap-god of the Hellenes;" p. 159, "Shang-te is the same as the Chaldæan Bel or Baal." Again, in the Notes to the Translation of the Yih King (1876), by the same missionary, I find on p. 427, "The title Shang-te, it is plain, includes both the male and female origin of all things, and in this we have another striking proof that Shang-te is the Belus of ancient Babylon;" (See Note at end.) p. 451, "Shang-te is unquestionably the Baal-peor of Scripture, and is represented by the same indecent symbols," &c. idem, "Baal, Shang-te and Jupiter, being merely several designations of 'Heaven' or the Hermaphroditic Monad," &c. In all these statements—and they are but examples-there is no uncertainty implied-the assertion is clearly made that Shang-te is Bel, Baal, Priapus, Jupiter, &c.
Dr. Blodgett feels "that there is great danger of the converts using Shang-te becoming idolaters," and looks forward to the time when Shang-te shall be given up for Tien-chü, and so "the names of Baal be taken out of the mouths of the disciples of Chirst." Again from other quarters in which the use of Tien-chü is advocated, we hear of Shang-te being "a filthy idol," and equalled with the Baal of the Phoenicians and the Zeus of the Greeks.
Now let us suppose for a moment that these serious allegations, made by experinced missionaries, are true-that during the past years we in our pitiful ignorance have been teaching, and our converts in their blindness and prejudice have been worshipping—instead of the most High God blessed for ever-Jupiter, Bel and (proh puder) Priapus; how I ask is this assertion to be reconciled with the undoubted evidences which meet us on every side, that these converts have been richly dowered with heavenly grace? For the presence of this grace is undeniable. Whence then comes it? It must be either from the Being who is worshipped, or from one who is the very opposite of the object of that worship! Will the advocates of Tien-chü or Chi-shinwho assert that we worship those unclean idols-allow that such grace can come from them? The supposition is incredible! But will they then say that it comes from the most High, even from that God whose glory we must not give to another-comes too, to men who are giving God's praise to Baal and Jupiter? Such a conclusion is improbable in the highest degree; it is directly opposed to Scripture and to common sense. Isaiah xlii. 8. "I am Jehovah: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." The reply may possibly be made, that they mean to say nothing of the kind; they may even affect to ignore the difficulty they create; but the fact remains-that whenever the assertion is made that Shang-te is an idol, then is impugned either the reality or the source of the Christian grace exhibited by those who worship him. Look impartially at all the facts of the case, and then say, is not the just conclusion this— that we are right in worshipping the true God under the ancient monotheistic name Shang-te. Nor can it be said that this argument is selfdestructive, because it cuts both ways, and would be equally available in the case of congregations using Shin and exhibiting like grace.
All I am concerned to prove is, that the use of Shang-te is indubitably right. It is well known here that in the case of many Chinese, whilst their mouths from sundry motives, utter in prayer Tien-chü or Shin, their hearts address Shang-te. Far be it from me to pronounce any judgment on the question, whether God may or may not be worshipped in China under another name than Shang-te; suffice it, that he is acceptably worshipped under that. Neither am I making