1. Handel

    I had the privilege of visiting the Temple of Heaven some years ago, and when I entered its precincts, there was this overwhelming feeling that remnants, vestiges of gospel truths could be seen all over.

    For instance, the circular enclosure upon which the Temple stands is composed of three concentric levels, as if pointing towards a triune, progressive heaven. When I entered the Temple itself, I was struck to see twelve pillars holding up the structure, while four inner pillars held up the innermost sanctum. We all know the significance of these numbers. Lifelike representations of reclining oxen on platforms were also displayed towards the altar area. I think these were placed by museum authorities to show perhaps the kind of sacrifices that were offered.

    But the other thing that really struck me was the Prayer Mound at the opposite end of the Temple of Heaven. It was like a stylized artificial mountain, with three concentric ascending circles rising up to not another temple or structure, but just that, a wide platform where we were told the Emperor would supplicate to the heavens. Remember the significance of high places in the scriptures?

  2. syd

    I likewise have visited the temple of heaven. There is a little visited museum off to the side that discusses the ancient ceremony for the worship of the God of Heaven. The original worship of the God of Heaven was blood sacrifice. This included placing two jade tablets on the alter upon which were written the law as well as placing wine and rice upon the alter before the offering of the sacrifice. The emporer was ritually washed before performing the sacrifice. Also when viewed from above, the temple and platform upon which it sits forms the cosmic imagry of the a circle within a square. Which the chinese viewed as the earth being square while the heaven is a circle. The practice of the worship of the God of Heaven was ceased which Sun Yat Sen took power in the start of the 20th century.

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