but should enter into fellowship with human creatures in their ordinary condition. To such strong workings of popular feeling, to such cries of the popular heart, we traced the Vishnu and Siva worship, which the priests had been compelled to incorporate with that older principle it seemed striving to subvert. In these cases the priestly caste, whatever rude shocks it may have sustained, nevertheless kept its ground, even in the hearts of the people who assailed it. In fact, nothing proves more clearly than such changes, how much the reverence for a priestly order has been bound up with the sympathies and character of this nation. Neither the awakening of impulses which the priests could not control, nor conquest by such an utterly unsacerdotal people as the Mahometans, have availed to weaken this reverence. The priests have adapted themselves to feelings which they could not subdue; their authority has waxed stronger by a doctrine which threatened to crush it and the popular faith together.

But the Buddhist doctrine cannot in any wise be identified with this kind of movement. The word Buddha, it seems to be admitted on all hands, means Intelligence. That men ought to worship pure Intelligence, must have been the first proclamation of the original Buddhists. The deduction from this must have been, that no caste of priests was necessary for such worship. Could this doctrine have originated on the soil of Hindostan? I do not wonder that thoughtful persons, especially those whose experience made them aware



of the facts I have just alluded to, should have said that it could not: that a theory so contrary to the tendencies of Hindoos from generation to generation, must have come from some other region, and been rudely forced for a time upon this. But plausible as such an hypothesis may seem, I think I have given you sufficient reason for distrusting it. The sacerdotal principle has indeed struck its roots very deep into the Indian soil, probably from as early a time as any to which we can look back. It has shewn itself to be, in some form or other, inseparable from that soil. But it has grown up side by side with another principle, from which, at times, it is hardly distinguishable; the reverence for human intelligence; the disposition to make this the great Brahminical characteristic. It is quite conceivable, then, that from a very early time two sets of men may have coexisted in Hindostan; one composing an hereditary order of priests, the other a mere order of sages or devotees. They co-exist in India to the present day, on terms not probably of sympathy, but also not of absolute opposition or repulsion. The Greek writers allude to two classes seen by the soldiers of Alexander, between whom it has been reasonably enough supposed that a relation similar to this may have subsisted.

Both will alike have aimed at converse with the pure Intelligence, absorption into him. Both therefore will have been far removed from any wish to substitute for this object of worship one of a more visible and earthly character. But

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different circumstances may have operated to draw each of them into closer connexion with that which is visible. The hereditary priest will have maintained his position by taking part in civil employments will gradually have exhibited less of the higher and more abstracted character. The devotee will have been reverenced by the people for retaining and carrying out this character. Thus he will have been brought into greater sympathy with them; will have been induced to symbolize the object of his worship, that it might be more apparent to ordinary men. In this way, perhaps, we may account for the appearance of temples, possessing the characteristics of Buddhism, which must have existed in Hindostan from a very early period. Gradually the distinction between these classes will have become more marked and definite. Sages will have appeared calling upon men to adore Buddha in purity and simplicity, denouncing the hereditary caste, denouncing the books upon which they rested their pretensions, acknowledging a modified sympathy with the worship of the people as opposed to that of the Brahmins. In what light these sages were regarded we shall consider hereafter; now it is only necessary to observe that there are the widest differences of opinion among Buddhists respecting the time in which the original sage, the first Buddhist teacher, flourished. That one Sakya Muni appeared in the sixth century before Christ, who produced an effect upon the inhabitants of India of the kind I have just de



scribed, and that he left a series of successors, seems to be ascertained. But he was in all probability only the rekindler of feelings, which had been existing previously; only the person who formally set them in opposition to the Brahminical tendencies with which they had been hitherto, though by somewhat loose and fragile links, associated. Although, then, I would by no means support a paradox which has had some countenance from learned men, but not from the most learned or those who have examined the subject most, that Buddhism was the original doctrine, of which Brahminism was a depravation-though such an opinion has to struggle with the greatest opposi tion of outward facts, and is, I think, also quite inconsistent with the respective character of the two systems; yet I imagine we must look upon Hindostan as the place from which both have started, must assume that they were branches from the same root, and that their separation, however decided at last, was a slow and gradual work. Ultimately the systems did come into direct collision, and it became evident that they could not dwell together on the same soil. The Brahminical succeeded in expelling its rival from Hindostan, and it went forth to seek and to find an asylum first in one, then in another of those numerous Asiatic countries which it now claims as its own.

This view of the origin of Buddhism may be a great help, I think, in reconciling the very opposite reports of it which we obtain from those

who have seen it in different, or even in the same, localities. The extreme Polytheism of India we found was not so incompatible with what was said of its original Monotheism, as it appeared at first. But what are we to say of a doctrine which is sometimes represented as one of almost perfect Theism; sometimes as direct Atheism; sometimes as having the closest analogy to what in a Greek philosopher, or in a modern philosopher, would be called Pantheism; sometimes as the worship of human saints or heroes; sometimes as altogether symbolical; sometimes as full of the highest abstract speculation; sometimes as vulgar idolatry? Strange as it may seem, the same doctrine is, I believe, capable of assuming all these different phases; no one of them can be thoroughly understood without reference to the other. Each is very imperfectly denoted by the names which I have used; for the feelings, good and evil, which work in the hearts of human beings, can never be satisfactorily expressed by mere labels describing a notion or theory.

I. Thus, to begin with the first supposition. Buddhism is, as we have seen, an attempt at the highest, least material idea of divinity. Buddha is clear light, perfect wisdom. You must not try to conceive of him as doing anything. Rest is not so much his attribute, as his very essence. He is One, the One; and it is only with the inward eye, purged from sensual corruptions, and steadily fixed on the contemplation of unity, that he can in any wise be apprehended. For the natural eye of the

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