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By Alan on Nov 06 in Blog tagged bilief in the one true God, Characters reveal Genesis account, Chinese characters have Biblical meaning, Chinese cultural connection with the divine, chinese culture, Chinese new the Gospel message, creation, finding God, God confused the languages, heavenly palace, Heavenly ruler, Maker, Shang Li, ShangDi, Temple of Heaven, the creator of the world, there is a God, Tower of Babel, traced to the most ancient of Chinese emperors, worship ceremony of antiquity | Comments Off
‘To Thee, O mysteriously-working Maker, I look up in thought. … With the great ceremonies I reverently honor Thee. Thy servant, I am but a reed or willow; my heart is but that of an ant; yet have I received Thy favouring decree, appointing me to the government of the empire. I deeply cherish a sense of my ignorance and blindness, and am afraid, lest I prove unworthy of Thy great favours. Therefore will I observe all the rules and statutes, striving, insignificant as I am, to discharge my loyal duty. Far distant here, I look up to Thy heavenly palace. Come in Thy precious chariot to the altar. Thy servant, I bow my head to the earth reverently, expecting Thine abundant grace. … O that Thou wouldest vouchsafe to accept our offerings, and regard us, while thus we worship Thee, whose goodness is inexhaustible!’
‘Of old in the beginning, there was the great chaos, without form and dark. The five elements [planets] had not begun to revolve, nor the sun and moon to shine. You, O Spiritual Sovereign, first divided the grosser parts from the purer. You made heaven. You made earth. You made man. All things with their reproducing power got their being’.
‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. …
‘And God said, “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas. …
‘And God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also. …
‘So God created man in His own image; …’ (Genesis 1:1-2, 9-10, 16, 27-28)
‘I know Heaven loves men dearly not without reason. Heaven ordered the sun, the moon, and the stars to enlighten and guide them.Heaven ordained the four seasons, Spring, Autumn, Winter, and Summer, to regulate them. Heaven sent down snow, frost, rain, and dew to grow the five grains and flax and silk so that the people could use and enjoy them. Heavenestablished the hills and river, ravines and valleys, and arranged many things to minister to man’s good or bring him evil.’
This most important of ceremonies was performed by the emperor and was called the Border Sacrifice, because it usually took place on the southern outskirts (border) of the imperial city. It was also called the Ji Tian, that is, the Ceremony of Sacrifice to Heaven. The history of the Han Dynasty, one of the 26 volumes of the official dynastic histories dating back to approximately 1100 B.B., uncerscores the profound importance of this ceremony:
“To an emperor, the most important thing is to follow the principles of Tian [Heaven]. In following Tian, nothing is important than the sacrifice at the border.”
This all important ceremony can be traced to the most ancient of Chinese emperors. Grand Historian Sima Qian confirmed in the Historical Records that sacrifices were performed at Mount Tai in coastal Shandong provice by many ancient rulers. He also explained why it was called the Border Sacrifice: “In ancient times, the Son of Heaven [i.e. the emperor] of the Xia Dynasty personally reverentially sacrificed to Shang Di at the border, that’s why it is called the Border [Sacrifice].”
China’s own historical records show that active worship of the supreme God, Shang Di, goes back to some of the earliest Chinese emperors and continued through several thousand years until collapse of the last dynasty in 1911.